Aren't there regulations that make this illegal? Surely current online banks would let you open an account without an SSN if they were allowed to.
It looks like you basically combined FDIC-insured bank accounts with Venmo-like payment functionality and some other stuff? That seems pretty useful.

But currently Latinos mostly use Whatsapp for payments? Is that right?

I remember back in 2016 when I traveled to the US to get my master's (proud latino over here).

It was cold af, but the college experience was awesome: met a lot of different cultures, made some great friendships, and learned a lot... But...

As every new person to a new country (in a foreign language), there are many hurdles, and it's impossible to forget how painful it was to open a bank account.

It took me a painful 3 hours and several voodoo tactics with a relative to finally open a checking bank account within Bank of America.

No SSN, no credit score, no records; it was as if I didn't exist. I needed the bank account because it was how I was supposed to receive my funds and live!

Finally... just finally after that awful experience was over, it went buttery smooth. Love the technology that US banks provide

Nonetheless, after 2 years, my study period was over and I left the US (I do visit it yearly for tourism), and left my BofA account opened with some $.

As it was normal, my debit card expired, and I had to issue a new one to access my account! BoFa requires you to use your debit card PIN as a 2FA step.

The problem is that the only address I have is a courier. And while I can receive almost anything, I don't know why, even after verifying my address, it never seem to reach it.

Therefore there's no way to get back to your account, unless you spend 1 hour of your day dealing with customer support.

In addition, BoFA has geoblocking outside the US. I have to connect through a VPN and use Google Hangouts (to prevent expensive international calls) to reach them.

Just plain awful.

If you asked me I do miss having a US card because there are sites that only allow you to use US issued cards. For one, I couldn't buy AppleCare for my father's MacBook because Apple wouldn't allow me to use foreign cards.

I have no idea whether this service (Pana) would do any justice, but if it works as well as the founders are envisioning to, then have my blessings.

We all need to be represented when we travel abroad, especially the marginalized Latino community.

Funny you mention scotiabank in the caribbean/central america. I specifically signed up for them so I could use them in that region, they told me yeah you're good to go for your account services there by the people at the bank in Canada... NOPE, can't even make a deposit or anything with this card, the banker in Canada was wrong. Oh well at least there's no transaction fees on the card whenever I use it.

So my question about your company is this (Great idea by the way) - How well do your accounts work for travelling outside of the USA?

Not wanting to sound negative but can you explain how you are not going to shutdown in a year.

Cheese recently announced the closure of all accounts by the next month. It has the same ideas as your startup (except it’s targeting Asians).

This is a great endeavor! I add 1 extra “niche” for you there in case it helps. People working remotely, but want to have a US bank account.

It happens A LOT with freelancers from Argentina/Uruguay. If you live in Arg, but work for a US company, you want to use a US bank account.

A lot of people I know are now transitioning to Wise.

What makes Pana specific to Latinos? It sounds like this product is relevant to pretty much any immigrant who's struggling to set up banking in the US while occasionally exchanging money with folks back home. I can imagine folks from every ethnic background and 6 of 7 continents using this product.

I guess it's a market focus thing -- appeal specifically to Latinos to build a small, dense network before you branch out to other backgrounds?

Just feels a bit weird to claim to be "inclusive" when you also claim that you're for one specific ethnic group.

I think you may be conflating a few things here.

Being Latino and not being eligible for a social security number (and by extension having a bank account) are different things.

There are millions of Latinos that are citizens, some others are permanent residents, temporary workers, fiancees or otherwise people eligible for a SSN... Some others are refugees under TPS, some others are in DACA, and so on and on.

To conflate Latino and undocumented immigrant is upsetting as fuck, it reinforces negative stereotypes that already cause significant problems like citizens being assaulted, insulted, discriminated against, kidnapped by ICE, harassed by TSA, CBP and other agencies.

Conflating undocumented immigrant and Latino is a disservice to the community at large.

Another thing is: how do you guarantee your service won't be used to finance or otherwise facilitate human trafficking, smuggling, prostitution, extortion or any other illegal activity? Will your service adhere to the Bank Secrecy Act and other regulations?

Good luck with your launch! As a latin in south america, can I open an account in your bank? Do I risk getting blocked if I deposit through crypto exchanges? My country is in ruins and using local banks just means we lose all our money really fast, we have crypto as an alternative but I want a bank I can trust.
social/chat based finance seems ripe for fraud to me. Imagine if a facebook worm had access to your finances. How do you overcome this concern?

EDIT: I guess messenger does have it's own payment system too... which seems crazy to me.

Surely you mean Latinx? This post title completely erases non-binary, trans and 2 spirit people
Hmm… people living in the country and getting paid without a social security number? Could there not be another term for this group?

I’m thinking that a certain political party would make this whole thing unviable outside of a few cities.

Quite an interesting solution for such a big market, as Latinos we have so many obstacles to have access to finance services when we have just migrated. This can change all of that
Why focus on race? Why not a compelling solution that is inclusive of everyone? I guess that's marketing these days.
Vamos Pana!
Best of luck for you guys. This project will be a success