Tokyo-based Estonian entrepreneur launches mobile neobank for migrant workers in Japan

Image credit: GIG-A

Talinn-based G-Bank Technologies OÜ and Tokyo-based GIG-A, the two companies run by Estonian entrepreneur Raul Allikivi, jointly launched a multilingual mobile financial service called GIG-A on Wednesday. GIG-A enables its users to open bank accounts, manage deposits, and money transfer in Japan based on API integration with UI Bank, a subsidiary of Tokyo Kiraboshi Financial Group (TSE:7173)

For the time being, it is available only on Android and based on invitation only. The service is available in Vietnamese, English, and Japanese. By appointing an agent, it allow yoou to handle UI Bank’s account opening/closing, deposit/withdrawal, and domestic remittance.

In the West, neobanks dealing with financial services for immigrants are gaining momentum. Well-known examples include Y Combinator-backed Moneco in Switzerland (for imigrants from Africa working in Europe), HSBC-backed Monese in the U.K., BNP Paribas-backed Rewire in Israel, and Majority in the U.S. (for imigrants from Latin America working in the U.S.), and Moneytrans in Belgium. Against this backdrop, GIG-A is designed as an optimal banking service for the growing number of foreign workers in Japan.

GIG-A was founded in 2021 by Allikivi and his team. Prior to the business, he joined the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communication after completing his master’s degree at Waseda University in Tokyo in 2005 followed by serving as Deputy Director General of the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communication from 2007 to 2012.

Subsequently, he was a government-certified auditor for Estonian Airways from 2010 to 2012 to help the airliner’s restructure. Currently living in Japan, he has founded ESTASIA (consulting firm introducing Estonian administrative systems to Asia), BIIRU (Japanese craft beer importer for Europe), and co-founded IoT startup Planetway.

via PR Times