Our Story: Team Jiko is back
Written by Team Jiko
Oct 28, 2019
Team Jiko is back with a growing network, an innovative product, and some exciting news on the horizon.
Jiko was founded in 2016 by a group of purpose-driven engineers, creatives, and finance industry veterans.
Our vision was simple. We wanted to bring a better kind of financial service to ordinary people across the US. We wanted to connect savers more directly to money and products that were transparent and easy to understand. We envisioned a network of financial products and services that could be distilled into a single mobile app.
To get there took planning and discipline. (And a lot of air-miles.)
Step one: Dig the foundation.
In 2017, we established our first office in the San Francisco Bay Area and began building in earnest. Those early days served as the cornerstone for every action we’ve taken as a company.
Who was Jiko? What were our values, and how did we intend to live them? What did “better” financial service mean?
And what kind of engine was required to deliver it?
That year, we founded our dev team in Iceland and began to engineer the secure core of the Jiko network – an integral part of our leadership’s commitment to running Jiko “clean,” “full-stack,” and “whitespace.”
In layman’s terms, it means we created the Jiko network from the ground up, tech and licenses both. The end product was a new method for delivery that could stand on its own and integrate with other platforms.
That’s been a recurring motif at Jiko from the beginning. Liquidity or investment? Security or connectivity? Data privacy or third-party integration? Community values or innovative technology?
In our opinion, there was no reason our members shouldn’t have it all.
Step two: Build the actual network.
How did we do it? In 2018, Team Jiko went dark to focus on getting some key pieces in place.
First, we initiated a partnership with Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank,1 a respected institution with a 60-year legacy of serving its community. Through our relationship, we’ve been able to deploy the Jiko network under Mid-Central Federal Savings to offer financial service directly to the public.
For those of you keeping score, that’s native deployment of full-stack technology without any legacy integrations.
The rest of 2018 was a whirlwind of activity. In August, we joined FINRA and the SIPC as a broker-dealer member.2 We continued to secure funding. In between, we made visits to regulatory agencies in San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Washington, DC. We achieved certification as a Discover® core processor.
In December, the Jiko network executed its first customer trade.2 We didn’t have it framed – but only because we’re a green office and didn’t want to waste the paper.
Step three: Dot the i’s and cross the t’s.
By early 2019, our app had entered pre-beta testing.
That meant it was time to invite the auditors and regulatory agencies to visit. Some days it seemed like we guided one set of auditors out the door, Jiko t-shirts in hand, only to find the next team ringing the bell to be let in.
The result was worth it.
As of Q4, the Jiko app has safely entered full-fledged beta. Early access members have been invited to experience the first offering on the Jiko network: auto-investment in low-risk US Treasury Bills.3
And Team Jiko is back with big plans for the future.
Keep an eye on this blog for sneak peeks, news, and official announcements as we work to make the Jiko experience even better.
1Jiko, owned and operated by Jiko Technologies, Inc., makes available a unique combination of financial services provided by Jiko Technologies and its affiliates, Jiko Securities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer, and Jiko Bank, a division of Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank.
Banking services provided by Jiko Bank, a division of Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank. The Jiko Solid debit card, when available, will be issued by Jiko Bank, a division of Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank and can be used anywhere on the Discover, Pulse and NYCE networks.
2Jiko Securities, Inc. is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”), and acts as the principal carrying firm. All your securities and funds are held in an omnibus account at Apex Clearing Corporation, pursuant to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c3-3 customer protection rules.
SIPC protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at the SIPC website.
3US Treasury Bills are securities and, as with any investment, could lose all or part of your investment in your account. Your investments are subject to certain risks. Learn more here.