A conversation with Josh Gosliner, (formerly) senior director of market strategy at Juvo
Key Takeaway: “We need to help people avoid the lenders of second and third choice, those lenders can push people into debt traps, as opposed to creating a healthy, sustainable credit infrastructure and credit ecosystem.”
In this episode of the Purpose Inc. podcast, host Michael Young had the opportunity to speak with Josh Gosliner, the senior director of market strategy at Juvo, a venture-backed startup that has pioneered the creation of financial identities for the unbanked and underbanked.
Josh explains how Juvo is building financial identities to solve the challenge of 68% of the global population, or four billion adults, who don’t have credit histories and thus no access to mainstream credit resources.
Individuals with “thin file” credit history are ineligible for bank loans and must resort to lenders who may charge usurious interest. However, eighty-three percent of adults do have a mobile phone, which creates a wealth of data points on payment history and creditworthiness allowing them to be added to the financial system.
Juvo partners with mobile network operators to offer “loans” in the form of prepaid airtime, directly to consumers. This loan allows users to “top-up” their balance and then go in later to make a payment when it is convenient for them.
The data from these transactions helps build financial identities, Josh explained, opening up access to traditional financial institutions for millions. Giving individuals access to “prime” loans at better rates and terms for the first time.
Juvo’s mission is about putting people on a path to financial health, not simply getting them credit. Juvo has focused on Latin America and Southeast Asia, two areas that have relatively low credit bureau and services penetration.
Josh sees the coronavirus pandemic as encouraging people to move into more digital channels in a time when social distancing, or what he refers to as “physical distancing,” has people turning toward technology solutions to everyday problems.
He added that making sure small businesses have liquidity in uncertain times will be an important step in recovery from COVID while avoiding the debt trap.
Listen to the full interview with Josh here: