“…people send money to their families and everything else. But if you start talking to them: “Tell me about how you get your income, where do you get paid? ”, they will tell you: “It is very difficult to open a bank account as an immigrant in the United States; I have to transact with a lot of cash”… Then the more we started to think about it, if you try to solve the problem of remittances, which is not serious, it’s more symptomatic – the root cause is financial access. So we moved towards that and that’s how Waya was born.
They approached Chanthavong with this idea and he had seen the effects of these obstacles in his work. “In terms of context, working for the United Nations Federal Credit Union and the World Bank, I was able to see that essentially the guidelines or the rules that were given, in terms of loans or lending, were not were not really suited to low levels of funding. low-income or low-income immigrants like us,” he says. “I have worked with foreigners who come from all over the world on visas and earn excellent salaries, but because they don’t have the right documents – a social security number – they can’t open a bank account . It became a perfect solution when David mentioned it.