Even today, parents will send very young children to after-school coding programs, but very few will teach them how to balance a checkbook, or how interest rates, credit cards, or the stock exchange work. Schools almost never talk about these things. Financial Illiteracy is a huge problem all over the world.
As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World” I had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin (Benny) Nachman, an Israeli born fintech Entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Jassby,the founder of Credorax and has acted as a board member and advisor across multiple technology organizations.
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to your specific career path?
I was an attorney working on corporate law and investment agreements (mostly in technology), but always had an instinct and desire for business building. I created my first small startup while in Law School. In 2004, I was hired by a new payment processing fintech client to help execute a complex international transaction. Through that experience, I was able to learn a lot about the Payments and Banking Industry. After that specific deal was signed and done, I continued to work with the company and others in the field, becoming more and more involved with the Industry. I always tell people that working in Payments is a lot like quicksand, it is easy to get in very deep, very quick…
By 2007 I was deeply involved in Fintech and specifically with Payments. I saw a growing need for better international credit card processing services and technology, and so I started my first Fintech company — Credorax, a Global Acquiring and Processing Bank.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career/startup?
I’d like to share an experience, rather than a specific story. The Fintech industry, like anything that involves people’s money is very heavily regulated. There are laws, regulations and standards that any company, big or small, must comply with. Many times, regulators suffer from a bad image, and poor public relations. My experience throughout the years is twofold: 1. I had the opportunity to do business in many countries, here in the US, all across Europe, in Israel and even in Japan. It’s amazing how similar our world has become with the public and regulators being very much alike across languages and cultures. We’re more akin than we think. 2. Regulators are friendly and reasonable! Yes. If you approach a regulator, almost anywhere in the world, with respect and explain your idea in a clear, detailed oriented manner — they will work with you and help you!
Money is a serious business and we need to make sure that whoever is engaged in Fintech in anyway is serious and trustworthy.
Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change the World”?
Banking, Financial Services, Payments, are not just for middle-aged business people — they’re for everyone, including, maybe especially for Families and Kids!
Years ago, most families conducted their day-to-day affairs with cash and checks. This was even more true when it involved kids, parents gave allowance in cash, grandparents sent Christmas money in a check. Kids would spend what they had by going to the local mall or store and pay cash. At the same time, most families never discussed money, it was and still is almost a taboo. Even today, parents will send very young children to after-school coding programs, but very few will teach them how to balance a checkbook, or how interest rates, credit cards, or the stock exchange work. Schools almost never talk about these things. Financial Illiteracy is a huge problem all over the world, but we in the US seem to be doing less well than most. Everyone is complaining about it, you read bad statistics about it, but nobody is doing anything about it!
In 2020 kids (and adults!) spend hours a day on their mobile devices. Shopping is done mostly online. Checks are almost extinct, and kids spend a big part of their money on digital goods, like games and music. A family with young or teenage kids needs more than just cash to manage their affairs. The most important thing — We can teach Financial Literacy, not through boring condescending lectures, but through DOING.
Jassby brings easy, safe and fun (!) banking into your family and to your kids. Want to give your kids allowance — a few clicks on the app and you’re all set. Grandparents want to send a birthday gift — it’s a tap away. Kids can save, donate or shop right from the app. You can set up budgets to allocate funds just for food, entertainment or back to school goods and let your kids manage their money, even if very small amounts each time.
How do you think this will change the world?
For one, it will make families’ lives much easier. The best part — our kids will become more responsible, better understanding young adults. Research shows that financial literacy can be learned. If you let your kids manage just a little bit of their money, they will grow up with a much better understanding of what money means, how important it is to save, how interest rates work and become much more responsible and successful adults. This can change the course of financial lives for generations and generations to come.
Who will benefit the most?
Parents and kids will both benefit in addition to families nationally and worldwide. It is a benefit that can span a lifetime across our loved ones.
An issue that bothered me as a parent to two young boys, is privacy. I wanted to make sure that no one will be using kids’ data and selling it to 3rd parties, like so many services (I’m looking at you Facebook and Google). At Jassby we keep our customers data secure and we never sell it to 3rd parties. We also do not share it with credit bureaus, so your information and especially your kids’ information remains theirs and no one else’s.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?
After almost a decade as CEO of my previous Fintech company — Credorax, I stepped down from my day-to-day duties and took a year, doing mostly consultancy work. I was working mostly with banks, but also with education organizations (trying to start a fintech center) and had one bank tell me that the average age of their clients was well above 55 and continuing to rise. When we looked at the data, we saw that new young clients were just not joining. I quickly realized that this was a nationwide phenomenon, young people were not using banks anymore, mostly, I thought, because they don’t get the services that they need. At the same time, I learned that many of the bright young people starting their studies in college, don’t understand how interest rates work, and why only paying the minimum amount on their credit card bill each month is not a good idea.
The combination of both led me to start Jassby!
What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?
We’re trying to spread the word, and people are reacting very positively to our message. We have garnered over 100,000 installs in less than 6 months, so I assume we’re answering a need. Our service is one that we need people to pay some attention to when we’re explaining it, as it is not easy to put in a one-line slogan. I know nowadays everyone’s lives are so busy that it can be a difficult task, but I would like for us all to stop to think once in a while- how do we make our kids more financially literate and how do we better educate them about money? Then go ahead and signup for Jassby. It takes less than 3 minutes.
Based on the future trends in your industry, if you had a million dollars, what would you invest in?
To paraphrase Bill Gates — Banking is necessary, banks are not. I would invest in financial services that are separated from banks and provide people with services on the go, including insurance, money, payments.
Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?
1. Be honest — lying makes you weak. Be honest, and you will be rewarded.
2. Stay optimistic — business is not always easy and welcoming. There will be trouble, stay optimistic and believe in yourself.
3. Perseverance is a must — see above — keep trying, especially when things don’t work the first time.
Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?
-Wake up early.
-Answer your emails as soon as you can, don’t let them pile up.
-Tell people what you want, what it is you’re trying to achieve, openly and honestly.
-Ask for help.
-Hire well especially at the beginning. Don’t settle on the quality of your employees.
Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say?
Generation Z will be some 75M people in the US alone. Generation Alpha (the young kids of today) is 17M with some 4M being born every year in the US alone. All of them will need financial services. They will want it mobile, on the go. Easy and they will NEVER walk into a bank branch to open an account in person. The younger we can teach those kids about money and responsibility the better it is for all of us. Jassby is the answer to help families deal with money easily and quickly and the answer to kids’ financial education and the future of our world.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you for all of these great insights!