Farukh Kitchlew | Nov 29, 2023 | 0
Maza, a fintech aimed towards undocumented immigrants says no SSN, no problem
In a world where access to financial services is increasingly crucial, a significant portion of the population remains underserved due to various barriers, particularly undocumented immigrants. Recognizing this pressing need, Maza, a pioneering fintech startup, has emerged with a groundbreaking approach to providing financial inclusion to undocumented immigrants, disregarding the traditional requirement of a Social Security Number (SSN). Maza’s mission is to empower this marginalized population by removing one of the most significant obstacles they face when seeking financial services.
Luciano Arango, CEO and Co-Founder of Maza said, “As descendants of Latin American immigrants, my co-founders and I are building the company our parents needed.”
Unlike traditional banks, Maza operates as a fintech company rather than a bank. However, through strategic partnerships with Visa and Blue Ridge Bank, Maza can offer its financial services to undocumented immigrants without needing a Social Security Number. By leveraging these collaborations, Maza ensures its customers can access various payment functionalities and integrations with popular platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, and CashApp. Additionally, Maza prides itself on providing competitive checking account interest rates, aiming to assist its members in growing their wealth over time.
Undocumented immigrants often encounter immense difficulties accessing mainstream financial services due to their legal status. The lack of an SSN, a widely demanded form of identification in the United States, poses a significant hurdle. Financial institutions typically require an SSN for identity verification and to establish creditworthiness. This exclusionary practice leaves many undocumented immigrants financially vulnerable, relying on cash-based transactions and informal networks for their financial needs.
Attaining success in the U.S. takes more than residency; the key is actively participating in the free market. With Maza, we believe immigrants can finally forge a solid financial footing to foster a prosperous life in America.” said Seema Amble, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz.
Maza sets itself apart by reimagining the process of financial inclusion for undocumented immigrants. By eliminating the SSN requirement, they open doors to a previously untapped market, acknowledging the unique circumstances faced by this population. Through this revolutionary approach, Maza seeks to provide comprehensive financial services to empower undocumented immigrants and promote their economic well-being.
To overcome the absence of an SSN, Maza likely employs alternative methods to verify its customers’ identity and financial history. Such methods may include accepting passports or individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs) issued by the IRS to individuals who are ineligible for an SSN but must fulfill tax obligations. By leveraging these alternative forms of identification, Maza establishes a secure framework for assessing creditworthiness and enabling access to financial services.
In their pursuit of providing financial services to undocumented immigrants, Maza operates within the boundaries of the law. They will likely collaborate closely with regulatory bodies like the IRS and other financial governing entities to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines. Maza’s adherence to robust compliance measures protects its customers’ interests and fosters trust in its operations within the financial industry.
Maza, the innovative fintech startup, is pioneering a new era of financial inclusion for undocumented immigrants. By shattering the SSN barrier and leveraging alternative identification methods, Maza aims to provide a comprehensive suite of financial services to empower this marginalized population. Through their commitment to compliance and a customer-centric approach, Maza demonstrates how fintech can address the unique challenges undocumented immigrants face, fostering economic stability and opening pathways for a brighter financial future.