Juntos Finanzas, a US-based company offering mobile personal finance tools, recently was announced the winner of the 2012 Financial Inclusion Competition created at G2012 Mexico, the seventh summit of leaders from 20 large economies (G-20), and Ashoka Changemakers, an initiative of the US-based nonprofit Ashoka. Juntos Finanzas came in first among 257 participants from 62 countries and received a USD 100,000 prize sponsored by Mexican financial instutions: Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex) and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Bancomer, subsidiary of Spanish Bank BBVA. The technology used by Juntos, which is based on short message service (SMS, also known as text messaging), reportedly can be beneficial to other financial service providers and microfinance institutions (MFIs) by helping reduce operating costs.Founded in 2010, Juntos Finanzas offers “SMS-based personal finance tools that help cash-based households track their spending and save towards goals.” The savings tool sends “SMS check-ins to remind [users] of specific savings goals, and to set aside small amounts of money.” Juntos Finanzas reportedly has a user base of 1,000 households and claims that 74 percent of those saving through its service have never saved before. Financial data on the firm is unavailable at this time.
By Sarah Benali, Research Associate
About Juntos Finanzas
Juntos Finanzas, which was founded by Ben Knelman, started as an experiment at US-based Stanford University to help Latinos save money. Juntos now offers “SMS-based personal finance tools that help cash-based households track their spending and save towards goals.” The savings tool sends “SMS check-ins to remind [users] of specific savings goals, and to set aside small amounts of money.” Juntos Finanzas reportedly has a user base of 1,000 households and claims that 74 percent of those saving through its service have never saved before. Financial data on the firm is unavailable at this time.
About The Group of Twenty (G20)
Established in 1999, the Group of Twenty (G20) brings together finance ministers and central bank governors of “systematically important” industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy. The G20 is made up of representatives from the EU and 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the UK and the US.
About Ashoka Changemakers
Launched in 1994, Ashoka Changemakers is an initiative of the US-based nonprofit Ashoka, which was founded in 1980. Changemakers aims to facilitate online collaborations and communication to help advance and scale global social innovations. Ashoka aims to build an infrastructure that supports the growth and expansion of the field of social entrepreneurship, including seed financing and capital, access to the business and academic sectors and strategic partnerships with social and financial value. As of 2011, Ashoka reported total assets of USD 85 million.
Sources and Additional Resources
“Winner of the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion Competition is Juntos Finanzas!” November 2012, http://pulse.changemakers.com/competitions/social-investment/2012/06/financial-inclusion/ – /uncategorized/2012/11/winner-of-the-g2012-mexico-financial-inclusion-competition-is-juntos-finanzas/
Forbes.com story: “Juntos Finanzas Helps Latinos Save, Plan,” January 6, 2011, http://www.forbes.com/sites/petercohan/2011/06/01/juntos-finanzas-helps-latinos-save-plan/
MicroCapital.org story: “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: G2012 Mexico, Ashoka Changemakers Offers $100k for Winning Solution to Financial Services Access,” June 28, 2012, http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-g2012-mexico-ashoka-changemakers-offers-100k-for-winning-solution-to-financial-services-access/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: G20 http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=G20
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Ashoka Changemakers http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Ashoka+Changemakers
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Juntos Finanzas http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Juntos+Finanzas
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