Reflections On This Decade of Work

Juntos has always been a company about relationships. At first it was about the relationship we have to our money and to ourselves. As part of a graduate school class project working with night shift janitors, I discovered how powerful saving even a little bit of money could be for the way we as people feel about ourselves. I watched as participants began saving weekly, and built on their newfound confidence in themselves to make lasting improvements to their quality of life. They used their newly created financial reserves to – among other things – buy their first car, invest in their children’s education, buy equipment that let them earn more income, and visit family they had not gotten to see in years.

As Juntos grew, we began to work with banks, and over the past decade Juntos has gotten the chance to accompany millions of people around the world in their financial lives — across 16 countries and 20+ languages. It was through this work that we discovered how important it was for people to have good relationships with their financial institutions. When users understand the financial products they rely on, they come to trust their banks, and this trust is essential to extending the benefits of formal financial services into people’s lives. Where trust is established, users take out loans, start businesses and manage family finances with the speed and convenience digital services afford them. Perhaps even more importantly, when banks have the ability to hear from their users directly about financial challenges and successes, they design better and more effective products. That combination of good products and the trust to use them unlocks banking relationships that benefit everyone.

In just one example from thousands, here’s one user’s story:

“Thanks for the friendship you have continued to show me. I was doing business but things weren’t shifting. But ever since I joined your service, I can now afford a smile on my face. I did not know that there could be a bank that would help a low income earner like me. Ever since my father died, I decided to work twice as harder than I did while he was still alive. I began to stock merchandise for whole sale and setting up stock for sell, in addition I also started rearing poultry birds. I am so happy because right now I am having progress in my businesses. Now I am acting as a point of reference for whoever has a business and needs more capital injected in the business, I therefore refer them to [your] Bank. Thank you.

For me, the idea that friendship can exist between a bank and its most vulnerable clients shows us the profound effects that can come from conversation. When we reach out to people, when we listen to what they have to say, when we really hear it and allow ourselves to be moved by their successes and struggles, astounding things can happen.

A New Chapter

I am excited to share today the news of Juntos’ acquisition by Nubank, one of the most remarkable financial service companies in the world. I cannot think of a more perfect partner for Juntos and our work.

To our new colleagues and collaborators at Nubank:

The work Nubank has already done to understand the needs of its users is clear in the love that your customers show on a daily basis for your products and brand. Astounding things have already happened at Nubank, and for your customers, as you have shown your commitment to building strong, trusting relationships — through your world class customer support, your efforts in inclusion, and your commitment to continuously changing, improving, growing and learning. I am so excited to continue the work of building strong relationships with conversation at Nubank! I am so curious about what we will learn and create together!

Many People’s Stories

On the brink of all the new relationships that this acquisition will bring with it, I find I am so grateful for all the people who worked with us to bring us to this moment. I want to extend my deepest thanks to everyone who has worked at Juntos, both now and in the past, to all our investors and institutional partners, mentors and guides and cheerleaders, and to every user who trusted us enough to text us back.

The work of building good relationships is urgent and necessary in our world. This is true both for the people closest to us and people who are very different from us and very far away. This work is rewarding and, at its best, becomes both simple and easy. All of us know how to start. We make an introduction. We ask someone about how they are feeling and what matters to them. We listen, we offer our stories in return for their stories. Thank you for being a part of this story. I look forward to hearing your stories in return.

My best,

Ben

 

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