CALIFORNIA (September 15, 2021) – The National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) and Talino Venture Labs, working jointly as NAAC-Talino Finance, won the market readiness category of the tech sprint organized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) entitled Breaking Down Barriers: Reaching the Last Mile of the Unbanked. The tech sprint aimed to explore new technologies and techniques to help banks meet the needs of unbanked consumers.

A solution ready for rollout in the US

FDIC tech demonstration

An evaluation panel reviewed team submissions under the following criteria:

  • Creativity: How new or different was the Team’s approach and to what degree did the approach introduce a potential paradigm shift in how financial institutions serve the unbanked?
  • Effectiveness/Impact: To what degree did the approach have the potential to make a practical and concrete improvement to the number of unbanked or the existing relationship between the unbanked and their financial institution? In addition, how did the approach add value for a variety of stakeholders, such as the unbanked, consumers, and banks?
  • Market Readiness: How long would it take to bring the approach to market and have users adopt the solution?

Available for rollout by the end of 2021, NAAC-Talino Finance’s intuitive and mobile-first digital social borrowing platform gives small businesses access to much-needed credit at more affordable rates while allowing them to build up their credit scores and become more responsible borrowers. This platform is inspired by a tried-and-tested model popularized by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dr. Muhammad Yunus in the 1970s, and now uses technology to introduce financial literacy along with ease of use.

peer-based borrowing circle

Fintech social borrowing

Commenting on the win, Talino Venture Labs CEO Winston Damarillo said, “Social borrowing circles have been tried and tested in emerging markets for half a century now, popularized by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and scaled worldwide. We’ve also proven it to work in the Philippines, where repayment rates average 99%, aided by a strong social network and now accelerated by technology. NAAC-Talino’s win in the market readiness category shows that our work in emerging markets can also address the financial inclusion gap in the US, given that we have 68 million unbanked and underbanked adults closer to home. While we’ve been exporting ideas from Silicon Valley out to the world, there’s also an opportunity for us to bring in ideas from emerging economies to enable economic inclusion and mobility for more Americans.”

App from NAAC and Talino LabsA dynamic partnership serving the underserved

“We are truly honored to be partnered with the National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) under the leadership of Faith Bautista, who have been working tirelessly for decades to give financial access to minority and underserved communities. This win, under no less than the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), affirms NAAC’s mission and validates our concept of using group credit scores to bring more underserved communities closer to credit-worthiness. This is certainly a mission worth innovating for,”  Damarillo added.

NAAC President and CEO Faith Bautista said, “It has been my mission for twenty years to create a solution to help the unbanked and underbanked. We all know that it is expensive to be poor. Bringing this proven concept to life in the form of a digital social borrowing platform for micro-to-small businesses can ultimately address a wide portion of the remaining seven million unbanked households in America.”

The NAAC is a US Dept. of Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and a HUD-Approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit Housing Counseling Agency providing its services to over 18,000 minority families in diverse communities throughout California by preparing clients for mortgages and becoming sustainable homeowners. As an approved SBA Microloan Intermediary Lender and IBank-guaranteed lender, NAAC is a resource by qualified small businesses and non-traditional borrowers for access to capital and other financing options to assist underserved communities.

Meanwhile, Talino Venture Labs is a global venture studio for inclusive fintech that is on a mission to bridge financial inclusion for over 1.7 billion people around the world. It uses the successful venture studio model to build repeatable, scalable, and profitable fintechs that empower underserved, underrepresented groups around the world with financial access and mobility. Its award-winning startups currently serve at least 10 million customers between the United States and Asia, and these have been recognized by global institutions such as UNICEF and the Asian Development Bank.

Thinking out of the box to meeting the needs of the unbanked

FDIC’s tech sprint brought a diverse set of stakeholders (e.g., banks, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, private sector companies, members of the public) together in collaborative settings for a short period of time to intensely focus on challenges of importance to the FDIC. It challenged participants to identify better resources and tools to help banks bring unbanked consumers into the banking system and to sustain those banking relationships over time.

For more information on the FDIC’s tech sprint, visit this press section on their website.


The National Asian American Coalition (NAAC) is a US Dept. of Treasury Certified CDFI and a HUD-Approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit Housing Counseling Agency providing its services to over 10,000 minority families in diverse communities throughout California by preparing clients for mortgages and becoming sustainable homeowners. As an approved SBA Microloan Intermediary Lender and IBank-guaranteed lender, NAAC is a resource by qualified small businesses & non-traditional borrowers for access to capital and other financing options to assist underserved communities.

Talino Venture Labs is a global venture studio for inclusive fintech that is on a mission to bridge financial inclusion for over 1.7 billion people around the world. It uses the successful venture studio model to build repeatable, scalable, and profitable fintechs that empower underserved, underrepresented groups around the world with financial access and mobility. Visit www.talinolabs.com for more information.

This article was originally published in the Blog Section of the Talino Venture Labs website last September 15, 2021.