Texas-based startup Viva First launching new mobile bank for Latinos in the U.S.

Texas-based startup Viva First launching new mobile bank for Latinos in the U.S.

Published: 08-10-2020 15:02:00 | By: Pie Kamau | hits: 1677 | Tags:

Texas-based startup, Viva First, is launching a new mobile bank with the Latino community in mind, all 52 million in the United States. While so many banks and fintech companies take a broad approach when catering to multiple demographics, the company sees a real opportunity to bank this underserved market.

When looking at the financial habits of Latinos, they are traditionally a cash-heavy group that has a 22% lower adoption rate for traditional checking and savings accounts when compared to their Non-Latino counterparts, but they're ready for a solution. Internal research finds that 30% of Latinos would consider switching banks if an in-language mobile banking experience was available.

Several cultural, behavioral, and trust barriers have prevented Latinos from adopting certain financial services. The company aims to remedy that through a Spanish-first approach and a ground-up technology platform specifically designed to cater to Latino preferences. The company has also crafted public-facing messaging and customer service to provide a uniquely-Latino experience that delivers a high level of dignity that is lacking from other institutions. 

Natalia Muñoz-Moore, Chief Evangelist said: ''The Latino community has largely been banked in the wrong way with misguided practices. We're going to deliver a banking solution that truly speaks their language and gives them every account feature they could ever expect. We're talking about a very influential demographic that deserves real attention. And we've tailored a financial relationship just for them.''

While the mobile bank is curated for Latino clientele, it is open to everyone and the company's product teams have engineered functionality that any customer can appreciate. ''Just about every bank has an app, most of which are fairly cookie-cutter. We wanted to architect a better mobile experience than our community- and mega-bank peers. When it comes to the technology and customer experience, we spent a great deal of time building a better product,'' Muñoz-Moore explains.

Every account comes standard with industry-leading security, Visa™ debit cards, smart saving recommendations, highly-personalized messaging, and are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. The Viva First accounts will be sponsored by Spur Security Bank in Spur, Texas.

The startup is currently in its alpha phase of testing and plans to launch its fully-featured mobile app in 4th quarter of 2020 in select markets. The first areas to be opened up for customers will be located in Texas including El PasoSan Antonio, and parts of the Rio Grande valley. Viva First already has plans of introducing some first-to-market features soon after the rollout is complete.

Users wanting to open an account can join a waitlist at vivafirst.com and get notified of availability as new markets are opened up.