New Delhi. From Paytm, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, we are using all the UPI. In the era of Corona, their popularity has increased further. But when the question is about paying the expenses of the children, that cash is given. Ankit Gera understood this problem.
Amidst the lockdown in the Corona epidemic, Ankit inculcated the habit of starting online transactions in children through the Junio app. It was an app in which children could spend online, but the power of payment was with the parents. For every transaction, the OTP was to be entered by the parent itself. News18 spoke to Ankit Gaira, co-founder of the Junio app. Here are selected excerpts from his conversation.
Question: How did the founders come up with a unique concept like a smart card for children’s pocket money?
answer : A lot of online transactions were being initiated by the children, but the power to pay was with the parents. Children did not have dedicated means of making payments and parents did not have the necessary tools to pay tension free money to their children while monitoring them for digital transactions. All these things helped us to come up with such a concept.
Question: How does it work?
answer : In simple words, Junio is a way for parents to give pocket money to their kids digitally. For kids, there are many payment tools like cards, UPI, QR code scanner, etc, which can be used both online and offline. Parents can order the card on the Junio app by paying a subscription fee of Rs 99. The Junio card is similar to a debit card and works similarly, but without the hassle of opening a bank account. It can be recharged by the parent.
Question: How has been the journey from coining this idea to launching it now?
answer : Junio as an idea was conceived in October 2020. We launched it a few months later in March (2021). We understood that such a concept was always needed in the form of Junio. Meanwhile, the change in the behavior of Kovid further increased this demand. We believe that apart from e-learning and gaming, the idea of becoming the owner of his/her own payments and transactions will come in the mind of the child in future.
Question: How can financial literacy be inculcated in children through fintechs like Junio?
answer : Our platform focuses on the basic concepts of financial literacy, earning and managing money. Parents can assign household chores to the children on the app and pay some money to the children on completing them. The Junio app also teaches children the basics of money while promoting interactive activities so that they understand how difficult it is to earn. It is important that children are taught good financial behavior a little early.
Question: What are the challenges and opportunities faced in the last one year?
answer : Digital has expanded significantly during the pandemic and has become the most common mode of transaction. Just as demonetisation pushed people to make digital payments on a large scale, the pandemic has fueled edtech, online shopping and even large-scale transactions. Generation Z, which has always been heavily inclined towards digital, has become more digital over the past 12 months.
Question: What could be the future of fintech for children?
answer : The future of fintech for children is promising. At the initial stage, when children learn to plan their finances as well as other simple and essential banking tasks, it gives them a good start and prepares them for the future. On the business side, fintech makes a significant promise to kids by bringing in more and more digitally aware kids. It is like a greenfield at the moment. Moreover, it has more investor interest and additional funding provides more help for product development, distribution and marketing, etc.
Question: What did you learn from Paytm?
answer : At Paytm, we came to know that there is great power in collaboration. We worked with over 100 brands on consumer promotions in the form of Paytm cash redemption. It is a win for all, not a zero sum game. One of the biggest advantages of being a part of Paytm’s journey is that we have seen massively in close quarters. Unless one is a part of this journey, one cannot even imagine the scale. We have seen developments and seen how a brand name can be taken as an example, such as Paytm or Google. For this, many elements need to come together such as branding, development, technology and relationships. But they still do not guarantee success. For the same input, sometimes the outputs can be very different. But what it does do is raise the odds for us to become better. A past experience helps us to see the opportunities that could possibly become bigger in the future. Another important learning from Paytm is that there is no substitute for strong technology and product. Uptime plays an important role and the transaction success rate should be close to 100 percent. Otherwise, users will skip it.