The Project Phoenix, making 100+ million people currently unbanked in US positive participants in economic activities via banking innovation
By implementing revolutionary innovative new banking model, we are to make 100+MM people positive participants to economic activities.
Mifi Bank Global Banking Service Market Positioning
New Mifi Bank Central Clearing House Core Bank System Components
Collective Financial Service toward achievement of Collective Financial Inclusion Goal
Yes, I fulfill all of the eligibility criteria.
Initiative's representative name
Atsumasa Tochisako, President & CEO Asiembra, Inc.
Initiative's representative date of birth
April 28, 1953
Initiative’s representative gender
Which eligible market are you based in?
Where are you making a difference?
Website or social media url(s)
When was your organisation founded?
September / 2013
Helping people adapt to technologies of the future
Financial skills and capability
Reskilling and upskilling the workforce
Creating digital tools
Start-Up (first few activities have happened)
Growth (have moved past the very first activities; working towards the next level of expansion)
Yearly Budget: How much capital do you need to accomplish your proposed project?
The project's total funding plan is to raise up to $50.0M in equity including small bank acquisition
The innovation works best under banking license. Partnering with a bank is realistic option
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this to succeed
In 1980, working with Bank of Tokyo, Ltd. I was transferred to Guanajuato, Mexico as a Trainee studying at Universidad de Guanajuato with no knowledge about Spanish. I saw in a rural town, people's deadly suffer and struggle being poor due to no availability of opportunities. I was a strong believer that bank's principal role was to provide such opportunity to people in need. I worked in 4 Latin America Countries over 12 years and I saw everywhere the same suffer of people. In 2003, I resigned Bank and came to Washington DC to make the most needed innovation. I found why banking service not working here. No Evolution Change in Banking was the cause. Now I work on a project which is never-allowed-to-fail for the future of banks & people.
2. The problem: What problem surrounding employability or financial capability are you helping to solve?
Banks' principal role is to work as a heart of economy and society by delivering blood to every corner of society. But today it is not working at all by leaving 100+ million unbanked people in US. Making evolution change in banking model shall enable banks to serve those currently untapped market and make banks sustainable. Once this revolutionary change takes place, 100+ MM people become positive participants to economy. 2 problems to be solved.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Enhance the capacity of banking model through innovative system/mechanism change, and diversification of service menu not only in transaction service but also lending and other new service is the key. The banking market has not experienced any evolution change/improvement in accordance with emerging needs of people/business in the new technology era. Following approaches shall be taken by "Project Phoenix".
1. Implementing an industry new, "Real-time regulatory compliance verification and fully automated monitoring/reporting system" in all transaction payment area including Domestic/International remittance.
2. Implementation of world-new "Real-time Global Payment Transaction Fund Settlement Mechanism". This new mechanism and system shall make the bank as Central Clearing House Hub of all type payment transactions and help dramatically evolution of FinTech companies' lead for next generation of e-payments.
3. Under a newly modeled bank, new service menus shall be added and implemented for globally bank-networked service.
- Credit History Building Micro Loan
- Cross Border Education Loan
- Cross Border Repatriation Insurance
- Lowest Cost Money Transfer(s)
4. How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solving the problem?
Today, Banks do not equip with any of fundamentally needed transaction fund settlement mechanism implemented other than legacy 1) Swift, 2) FedWire, 3) No centralized fund settlement mechanism other than traditional "Correspondent Bank network fund settlement". All of them are too outdated to catch up recent needs of various transaction fund settlement needs. Thus, FinTechs and other payment service providers developed independent network and technologies to make their approaches prevail in the market (mobile pay and similar others including bitcoins) leaving banks far behind. However, all such approaches fall into "illegal" category because of LAW and Regulations.
And pure Fintech led payment means leave currently unbanked people behind.
5. Employability: how is your organization or project teaching people to develop the skills that they need to survive in the future job market?
Giving people access to bank's financial service will be the biggest boost to let customers learn and become motivated to participate in job market. Also, working with banks will be incomparable learning opportunities to become prepared to get jobs graduating from unemployed situation.
Once the MIFI Bank is born, all such community focused Financial Inclusion service will be fully loaded and implemented to help currently inactive individuals learn, motivated, and given chance to participate in working-hard community.
5a. Please describe which future-oriented skills your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress
Giving financial opportunities to those currently unbanked individuals is the first priority to get them fully prepared to enter into job market. Through on-site branch and community orientation, people shall be coached and educated how to work with bank firstly in preparation for future entry to respective work place. Measurement shall be made through, 1) Number of people who were given any credit, 2) Number of people who were given financial education/consultancy, and 3) How many people actually got jobs in new place after having received 1) and 2) above.
6. Financial capability: how is your organization or project creating innovative solutions that arm people with ability to optimize their current and future financial health
By introducing first time ever in banking service history many new services with advanced technology that shall bring the most affordable and economical cost services, and custom made new credit services easy to use and useful to utilize such as "Credit History Building Loan", "New arrival settlement loan", etc., we shall educate people what are needed to learn to live in US and job market.
Working closely with such "Warm Heart Bank" that knows and understands what are exactly customers' need is the very key. Arrogant and unfriendly service by banks simply break the hopes of motivated individuals. Bank's service mindset change is another key important challenge when it comes to provide services to a new customers at different social layers.
6a. Please describe what aspect of financial capability your organization is focused on fostering and how you have measured / plan to measure progress.
Same as above.
Number of new customers participated in new bank's service who were traditionally unbanked or least served by other banks is the first measurement. Beyond this, how many new customers were contacted and communicated, or made consultancy on financial education will be the second measurement.
7. Marketplace: Who else is addressing the same problem? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
There is nobody in market place other than my project.
The service market is highly separated and detached among, 1) Banks, 2) Money Service Businesses, and 3) Mobile based (Or FinTech led) payment services, etc. Every single provider today has significant level of regulatory compliance problems and conduct even abusive services to customers by charging exponential expensive service fees. This market behaviors must be corrected asap by implementing a truly authentic and fully regulatory compliant services under bank license.
8. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
In my previously founded company, Microfinance International Corporation which was my testing environment of market behavior prior to founding a new banking model, we had made significant innovations.
1. Introduced the lowest cost money transfer in the industry (Prevailing rate was $30 per remittance, but we changed it to $8.00 flat for any amount per transaction)
2. Introduced the first time ever a real-time fully automated regulatory compliance verification system to prevent service company/bank from unexpected involvement in money laundering and other prohibited transactions. This system was adopted and used by Federal Reserve Bank for its National Project, "FedGlobal"
3. Introduced the first time in the US, microloans for immigrants helping their life path such as "New arrival settlement loan, and "Credit History Building Loan", etc. Number of customer reached to 285K in 5 states
9. Financial Sustainability Plan. Can you tell us about you plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
The original funding plan was to raise up to $50.0MM in equity. As the original plan included to acquire/succeed a small existing bank as a base of innovative transformation and new system implementation, approx. $20.0MM was budgeted for it. As initial funding, I have used my $3.5M private fund to start the project and all necessary project process had been carried out till 2016 seeking additional investor who would clearly understand the importance of the project. However, because of financial crisis taken place in 2008-2010, we are unsuccessful to raise additional fund to the project because general impression of investors was negative for the future of "banks" as symbolic existence of "falling industry". Finding right partner is KEY.
Because of long lapse of unfunded situation, I need to rebuild a new management team.
Currently I have following persons in team.
1. Atsumasa Tochisako, President & CEO and lead manager of project
2. Alok Mahapatra, COO and technical project lead
3. Luis Pablo Martinez, General Manager Latin America, leads business development
4. Hugo Mena, IT Development Manager, leads system development
Once funded properly, the new team shall be enhanced to add CFO and formed a Board of Directors
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