The Jiko Way: Our Guiding Values and Principles
Written by Team Jiko
Dec 3, 2019
We started with the premise of radical inclusion. Our mandate was this: Engineer a network to deliver financial service to ordinary people in innovative ways.
From our years on Wall Street, we experienced firsthand the complex array of products and services offered to large accounts. Businesses and institutions had access to financial products that offered stability, liquidity, and returns to support their money management goals. That's a level of control and collaboration most people can't imagine.
We know – we've been customers of banks too. We know what it's like to count it as a big win if our bank offers no-fee ATM withdrawals. We've scoured financial advice blogs to find the credit cards with the best interest rates. We've read the articles telling us how much we should have saved for retirement and compared it, despairingly, to our bank balances. We've gotten busy with work and family and school, only to realize that we've forgotten to transfer money from savings to checking to pay the rent. Congratulations on a $15 overdraft penalty.
We've been there too.
The Jiko network stands for direct connection to financial products and services.
Fast forward to 2019. We could have launched the Jiko network years ago, but we decided to build the network the right way: clean, whitespace, and full-stack. That meant engineering tech infrastructure that would provide data safety and security to our members. It meant securing a broker-dealer license and a partnership with Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank, a respected community institution for more than 60 years.
It also meant working closely with a host of regulatory agencies.1,2 Why bother with regulation before we'd even launched a product? In order to connect our members directly to investment products, we needed a network that could store money in-house.
Jiko in 2019: Giving members direct access to investment in US Treasury Bills.
This past summer, we quietly rolled out the private Jiko beta program to a community of early access members. Using the Jiko beta app, our members were able to access the Jiko network's first product: government-backed US Treasury Bills.3
Why T-Bills? Knowing that Jiko members value stability and safety, we chose investment in T-Bills instead of ETFs or even more complex wrappers and derivatives. Just as cash is issued by the US Treasury, T-Bills are short-term bonds backed by the "full faith and credit" of the US federal government. Each T-Bill comes with a set of fixed terms, including a maturity date and face value to be repaid.
Known as “zero-coupon bonds,” T-Bills provide returns based on the difference between the purchase price at auction and full par value. The deeper the discount, the greater the return. In times of economic volatility, investors may even pay a premium for the right to stabilize their portfolio with a safe investment backed by a more than 70-year history of successful repayment.3
Our decision to do things the right way brought us to where we are today: with an app in full-fledged beta and a network that's expanding every day.
Thank you for being part of the Jiko community. We look forward to seeing you on the network.
Keep an eye on this blog for sneak peeks, news, and official announcements as we work to make the Jiko experience even better.
1Jiko 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 US Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c3-3 customer protection rules.
2SIPC protects securities customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims for cash). Explanatory brochure available upon request or at www.sipc.org.
3Your investments are subject to certain risks. US Treasury Bills are securities and, as with any investment, you could lose all or part of your investment in your account. Learn more here.