Junio’s Co-founders Ankit Gera (left) and Shankar Nath (right)

Story of Junio – Helping Children Gain Financial Responsibility

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This happened in Connecticut in December 2020. Jessica Johnson, mother of two boys, was in for a rude shock when she discovered that $16,000 (Rs. 11 lakhs approximately) was paid to Apple from her account. She discovered to her horror that her six-year-old son George Johnson was busy making in-app purchases on Apple App Store using her credit card! And the highlight is, Apple refused to refund the money because she did not claim the money within 60 days.

Who can be held responsible for your children’s unauthorized credit card charges? The best way to protect your credit card from your children is to teach them how to use money and make them understand what hard-earned money feels like.

Junio, a children-focused fintech startup, is helping to solve this problem by bringing out a Smart Card with an interactive app.

Parents could gift their children this smart card and make them learn the true value of money. This will aid the children to grow into financially responsible adults.

This New Delhi-based startup was conceived in October 2020 by Shankar Nath and Ankit Gera, former senior executives of Paytm. The platform was launched in March 2021. It aims to build a smart card for a child’s pocket money to create a community of financially smart and empowered younger generation.

The team has tied up with RBL Bank for issuing the card. The co-branded card will be running as a prepaid card. It is connected with an app, which the parents have, to promote savings for a big-ticket item.

“A child focused payment platform is a new concept in India and a space that is unexplored. Our aim is to meet the needs of young digital natives who are inclined towards a cash free world.”

– Ankit Gera, Co-founder

“The idea is to give children their own payment instrument, where they have the power to decide where they use it and spend it on. Obviously with the guidance of their parents. The parents load the card with the monthly pocket money for their children.”

– Shankar Nath, Co-founder

Using this app, parents could help children to earn money when the children complete tasks set by them. When they see the desired behavior in their children, they could incentivize it by giving bonus additions. Parents could also help their kids learn the concept of compounding by paying interest on the amount they save. All these activities would encourage the children to learn how to earn, spend and save money.

The features of the app include instant transfers, weekly or monthly allowance on autopilot and real-time notifications whenever the card is used.

At present, Junio allows parents to either have a physical card or just the virtual payment app or both. The physical card has a subscription fee of Rs. 40 to Rs. 60 per month.

The team is also looking to earn through MDR for each transaction. This is between one and two percent.

The startup has recently raised $1 million angel funding led by Kunal Shah of CRED, Ashneer Grover of BharatPe, Yashish Dahiya of PolicyBazaar, Pravin Jadhav of First Cheque, Deepak Abbot of IndiaGold, and Amit Lakhotia of Park+.

“The funding will be used for developing the product, bolstering the team, and customer acquisition.”

– Shankar Nath, Co-founder

“Going forward, the investors’ guidance and business acumen will be a huge asset for us. In the months ahead, we will focus on building an intuitive, user-friendly product along with sustainable customer acquisition initiatives.”

– Ankit Gera, Co-founder

The startup digital pocket aims to have achieve a monthly active base of 2 lakh users in India and aims to have 5 million users in 3-4 years.

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