14 September 2022 |

S3 E1: How Vrinda Gupta is Building Financial Equity Through Sequin Finance


When you’re rejected by the financial product you’re helping to build, you know you need to learn (and change) the system. Find out how Vrinda is doing just that.

Welcome to season 3 of Humans of Fintech, the show that brings you the stories of diverse leaders and how they’re transforming the industry from the inside out.

Nicole and Vrinda get into how it felt watching her mom live in fear of being financially frozen out, what it was like to be denied a credit card from the company she was working for, and how Sequin is bringing financial equity and education to a system very much not designed for minority women.

You’ll also hear Vrinda’s plans for the future of Sequin and how she’s helping minority women obtain the knowledge she wasn’t taught at school.

And if you love listening to Humans of Fintech, please leave me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast: https://ratethispodcast.com/humansoffintech

Thank you so much!

Follow Vrinda:

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vrindag

You can keep up-to-date with everything Humans of Fintech at https://workweek.com/brand/wtfintech/

And if you’ve enjoyed Humans of Fintech why not try: Chicks of FinTwit, Tech Unlocked, Breaking Banks or Fintech Insider


00:00 Introduction

02:48 Lessons From Mom

07:21 Writing The Rules

08:10 Rejected By The System You Helped Build

10:00 Taking Back Control

13:51 Finding The Rot

18:25 Redesigning Opportunity

24:22 What it Feels Like to Be The Changemaker

29:51 Education For The Win

34:26 Embodying Confidence

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and respond to financial concepts and opportunities in your life. This includes having knowledge about how money works, how to make the most of your salary, and how to make sound financial decisions. 

And while this all sounds laudable for many in society, access to financial education and the power to make their own financial decisions is woefully inadequate.

More often than not, skills around managing and maximizing financing are not taught in school and if, for example, English is not your first language, the possibility you might encounter discrimination and lack of opportunity is worryingly high.

 Financial literacy isn’t just about having a bank balance that is healthy. It’s also about feeling confident in your financial decision-making and understanding your rights as a consumer.

Why is Financial Literacy Important?

Literacy opens the world to you. It can help you land a job, move up in your field, find new friends, and understand that you have power and options in more ways than you thought possible.

Financial literacy is the ability to understand money. It means having the knowledge and skills that you need to make the most of your finances. People who are financially literate are more likely to make smart financial choices. They understand how to manage their money and how to make it work for them. 

In today’s world, almost everyone has to make financial decisions. When you understand how to make these decisions, especially if you’re in a system that is in no way designed for you as a woman or person of color, you become more financially literate—and you can make better choices for your future.

How to Become More Financially Literate

Becoming financial literate is never easy, but it doesn’t have to be impossible.

Accessing free resources that empower you, like Sequin Financial, is a sold step. Here are five more:

  • Build a budget: A budget is the simplest way to take control of your money. A budget allows you to see where your money is going and make adjustments where necessary. 
  • Invest in yourself: Investing in yourself is the best way to ensure that you are financially literate and able to navigate your way through each month. Investing in yourself can include learning about savings, investments, taxation, and your rights as a consumer by reading books and blogs written by financial experts. 
  • Save: The earlier you start saving, the better. Save as much as you can while you’re young so that you can invest it and see it grow. – Make sure you have insurance: Make sure that you have the right insurance for your life, such as car and health insurance. 
  • Pay off your debt: Debt can be a dangerous thing. It can affect your credit score, cause stress in your life, and have a negative impact on your future.

Credit, Savings And Investments

Knowing your credit score gives you the basics to build. Your credit report contains information such as how many credit accounts you have, the amount you owe on each account, when you last made a payment on each account, and whether you have any unpaid bills. 

Credit reports are created by the three major credit bureaus in the United States: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These bureaus collect information about your financial activities, including your loans and payment history, keeping track of it all in one place.

When it comes to savings, the best way to save is to create a budget where you set aside money for your savings every month, transferring it into a deposit account.

So many people feel excluded from the idea of investments. The jargon and bureaucracy can be a serious turn off for anyone wanting to make their money work a little harder. But it doesn’t have to be. Get advice from your financial advisor about some of the more low risk investments you can access and stop thinking investment is for the Wall Street bros.