Episode 92: Breaking Impact: Migrant-Led Financial Services

How do you define a community-led approach to helping recent migrants? What are the needs and context of each specific migrant and destination? What level of preparation, financial security and conditions does one have in order to be prepared? Nina Mohanty is no stranger to these important issues – being the founder of Bloom herself, and next week – she takes the lead in both hosting Tori Samples (Leaf Global) and as a guest together with our co-host Meaghan Johnson – in a wide discussion for our new installment of Breaking Impact.

Meet the guests:
Tori Samples – Co-Founder and CTO, Leaf Global Fintech.
Tori has a background in technology and fifteen years of personal experience working with resettled refugees in the United States. As a Data Architect at HCA—a Fortune 75 healthcare company in the US—Tori developed products on some of the largest datasets in the world and helped manage sensitive clinical and financial data for 33 million patients. In addition to designing Leaf’s technical system from the ground up, Tori has lectured on blockchain systems in university, corporate, and professional association settings. She has an MBA from Vanderbilt University and is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda leading Leaf’s in-market team.
Leaf is a blockchain-based, digital wallet that provides cross-border financial services on a mobile device—no smartphone required. With Leaf, customers can store, transport, exchange, send, and receive money digitally. Leaf targets the nearly 500 million cross-border traders across Africa and 79.5 million forcibly displaced refugees and migrants, though anyone can use Leaf. Leaf Wallet is live in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, available both on USSD and as a smartphone app on Google Play and the App Store. Leaf has processed over 100,000 transactions since going live in September 2020 and has been recognized by the Vatican, the US National Science Foundation, the United Nations, and Fast Company.

Connect with Tori: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tori-samples-a0b85055/
Leaf: https://leafglobalfintech.com

Nina Mohanty – Founder, Bloom Money
Nina’s interest in digital technology stems from her childhood growing up in the Silicon Valley, where she was surrounded by tech Giants such as Apple, Facebook, and Google and grew to recognize the awesome opportunities for technology to improve processes, functions, and more importantly – lives. This was confirmed during her time on the Digital Payments team at Mastercard, with a focus on digital payment acceptance. While at Mastercard, she was able to see how powerful small changes to a user experience can transform the way people interact with their money. Her time at Starling Bank further solidified the possibilities for tech to help people live healthier financial lives. Since then Nina worked at London-based Open Banking start-up, Bud, to build out a financial marketplace and rethink the way we interact with financial services. Today, Nina works with the magnificent team at Klarna, making payments smooth. Nina is a fiercely passionate feminist and vocal advocate of diversity (of all kinds) in the workplace. She volunteers for organizations including I Can Be, a charity whose goal is to share non-stereotypical careers with underprivileged school girls in London as well as Ada’s List, a community of women working to advance women in technology. She is a member of FemTech Global and Tech Ladies, both international communities for women working in technology. Nina is also a mentor to students from her alma mater, the London School of Economics and regularly volunteers her time as a guest lecturer or panelist at LSE events. She is also a regular public speaker at events hosted by Money20/20, Innovate Finance, General Assembly, BrightTalk, Salesforce, and more speaking on topics ranging from payments, ethical AI, diversity, the future of work, and tech for good.
Bloom Money is an app built to help people borrow and save money in a simple, transparent way, built by migrants for migrants. Bloom started with a simple question: How can financial services better serve migrants? The best place to start was by asking our customers. And they told us they want fair and transparent financial services that they can share with their friends and family. That’s why Bloom is a community-led approach to financial services, building upon tried and tested ways of borrowing and saving money that is currently used around the world.

Connect with Nina: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ninamohanty/
Bloom: https://www.bloommoney.co/about

CEO, Bloom Money
About the Author
Nina Mohanty is the founder and CEO of Bloom Money, an app that provides migrants with familiar financial services. Before leaving to found Bloom Money, Nina worked with the magnificent team at Klarna making payments smoooth and reimagining a better way to pay. Prior to Klarna, Nina worked at London-based Open Banking start up, Bud, to build out a financial marketplace and rethink the way we interact with financial services. She has been a steadfast believer in delivering technology that can better customer’s financial lives and financial literacy since her days at Starling Bank and Mastercard. She is a three time winner of the Innovate Finance Women in FinTech PowerList Rising Star Award and a recipient of the TechWomen 100 award. Nina is a fiercely passionate feminist and vocal advocate of diversity (of all kinds) in the workplace.