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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Paytm’s ex-executive Shankar Nath built Junio a startup that is helping parents teach their kids’ money management

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Shankar Nath, of Junio, says the age-old concept of pocket money has evolved over time. The startup is helping parents teach their kids’ money management.

Shankar Nath, who jointly founded Junio, a kid-focused pocket money app, says, Pocket money was traditionally provided to children for offline purchases, but there is now a huge shift toward online and making in-app purchases while they are on Roblox or if they want to buy something on Amazon.

Nath, who worked as Paytm’s chief marketing officer for five years before co-founding Junio with his former colleague Ankit Gera in 2020, says the idea for a kid-focused pocket money app occurred to him while observing his 12-year-old daughter.

“Children of the modern age are doing transactions online. But for the majority of transactions, they are still reliant on their parents’ payment instruments,” Nath explained.

According to Nath, the epidemic and going cashless have fundamentally altered the piggy bank concept “Most importantly, pocket money, according to Nath, offers a youngster a sense of independence, which is a valuable life lesson.”

Shankar Nath feels that is crucial to make your children learn the importance of money and its management. The Junio app is accessible for both Android and iOS, and either the parent or the youngster can sign up using their phone number. As Nath stated, Junio makes it simple to create the child’s virtual prepaid card with little KYC verification.

According to Nath, the bank and the backend are the RBL. Powered by RuPay, once the card is created, a parent can top it up with, say, Rs 1000, and the card can then be used for online purchases.

A real card can also be created, which will arrive in two to three days and can be used anywhere, including restaurants. A notification will be sent to the parent’s phone each time the card is used and money is spent. In the event that the card is lost or misused, it can be disabled by following a few simple steps on the app.

The card is essentially a prepaid card, and because the bank account is not linked, the risk level is far lower than with typical debit or credit cards. “Rs 10,000 is the card’s maximum exposure,” Nath said.

The virtual card has a two to three-year validity period that can be extended in a few simple steps. Although Junio was just released a few months ago, it has already had over a million downloads on both the Android and iOS platforms in less than a year.

In fact, the card is used for nearly 10,000 transactions per day. Over 600,000 people have signed up for the Junio card as of today, with approximately 300,000 of them being youngsters.

In terms of the business model, Nath receives Rs 99 each time a user orders a physical Junio card. Junio also makes money when the card is used to do the transaction.

In the future, Nath will collaborate with one of the major Ed-tech providers to offer discounts on a curated educational package in order to grow revenue streams. This will occur once the target of 500,000 children signing up for the Junio card is met.

The goal is also to provide savings accounts for older children, for which Nath’s Junio will partner with a big bank on the backend. If everything goes as planned, Junio will also partner with a renowned online brokerage business to educate teens on the way the stock market works and the risks associated with stock investment.

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