Geltr and the challenge of digital financial inclusion for children in LatAm
30% of Latin America’s population, or 193 million are age 18 below, and are coming to age in a digital age. They are raised by largely unbanked and financially uneducated parents. Even for banked parents, the banking system provides limited options in LatAm to raise financially savvy kids. Parents must choose between “cash only” for their children’s allowance, providing them with unlimited credit card access or paying high banking fees without any educational component.
The Final Frontier to Socio-Economic Mobility in LatAm: Educating the Next Generation
Most of Latin America consists of developing and impoverished countries. The one through-line is the widespread adoption of smartphones. Latin America as described in the following article is experiencing a “boom” where “the percentage of the region’s population that used a smartphone in 2018 reached 64%, and that number is expected to reach 78% by 2025.” In many cases, the smartphone is the most important screen for many people. Smartphones have been a vehicle through which new technologies like Rappi or Uber, have empowered local communities from all socio-economic backgrounds with access to services that were previously only available to the wealthy. We are living in a continent where most of the services are now democratized for the masses, including delivery, private transportation, and financial services. These services, in turn, create new jobs and opportunities that play critical roles in breaking down barriers to socio-economic mobility. However, this ease of access has created a challenge for parents trying to raise financially savvy kids. Kids are exposed to a culture that values instant gratification, while parents have limited options for setting boundaries and cultivating responsible spending habits with their children. Parents are simply poorly equipped to handle this new paradigm.
Digital banking is already having an immense impact in the region, but it is mainly focused on adults and banking them. What about the digital-first generation?
Approximately 70% of the Latin American population is unbanked or underbanked and native digital banks are introducing solutions to bring informal transactions (physical cash) online. This is further supported by governments pushing for more digital banking and payments solutions to reduce tax evasion and promote transparency. The business opportunity for the unbanked sector is estimated at $34 billion, but we estimate that the opportunity of setting up the next generation could easily triple or quadruple that number.
It is important to remember that until digital banking was introduced, financial services were a privilege only available to the wealthy. Digital banking made these services accessible to the masses, and now there is a critical opportunity to break down barriers to socio-economic mobility for good in LatAm. How? Let’s raise financially savvy kids.
Raising financially savvy kids is a challenge universally, which is why startups like Greenlight Card (USA), Current (USA), gohenry (UK) and Mitto (Spain) are having so much success. Now imagine being among the 70% of Latin Americans that are unbanked and do not have access to financial services and education. How do they raise financially savvy kids when they themselves have never had a bank account, let alone a debit or credit card?
We created Geltr, because we believe there is a better, more inclusive, and safer way to raise financially savvy kids in LatAm
Geltr is a digital financial platform designed for children and managed by parents that works with a mobile app and a debit card/account. Parents send money to their children through the platform, so their children receive the money immediately and can use it according to the rules created by the parents. Everything is managed by a mobile app that works in two modes: parents and children. In this way, Geltr helps parents teach their children how to handle money and grow financially savvy in a cashless world.
Who can use Geltr?
While we recognize that adoption of Geltr will be higher with the banked population and their children at first, our long term commitment is to make Geltr available for the masses. That is why there are no prerequisites for using Geltr. Any parent who can load funds using their debit/credit card, bank transfer or even with cash at their nearest convenience store can use Geltr. Raising financially savvy kids is challenging, regardless of any socio-economic background, and Geltr provides the tools to make it available for everyone. Geltr is launching first in Mexico, followed by Brazil.
Geltr for Parents:
- Securely give money to your kids from anywhere, instantly from your smartphone.
- Get a debit card for each of your children and manage them from a single app
- Review real-time spending requests from your kids. You can approve, edit, or decline the requests and communicate with your kids within the app
- Receive instant notifications for all transactions approved or denied with the Geltr card
- Powerful transaction history view lets you monitor where the money is going. View individual expenses or group by store to see a full analysis of spending
- Create chores and reward your children for completing them
- Card lost or stolen? No problem. Turn the card on or off in the Geltr app with one touch
- Give your kids an allowance weekly or monthly with automatic transfers to their spend anywhere funds, or allocate for specific expenses.
Geltr for Kids:
- View Geltr to see the funds you have available, and where you can spend your money
- Request money at specific stores or locations. Take a picture or chat with your parents so they’ll approve your request!
- Receive real-time notifications each time you make a purchase with your card
- Track all of your spending within the app to see where your money is going
- Card lost or stolen? No worries. Simply turn it off or order a new one. Find it? Turn it back on right in the Geltr app
- Chat with your parents to ask to request approval for special spending.
If you would like to support us on our journey to empower the next generation of financially savvy kids in LatAm, drop us a line here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Geltr is now Mozper: link to Medium post.