Published in


Rewards for Paying Taxes?

It’s time to rethink debit.

Update: With the extended tax season ending on May 17th, the virtual Debit Card for Tax Payments will no longer be offered after May 28, 2021.

Tax season is rarely a time of celebration, which is likely why Jiko got attention this week for giving one member a very good day. This member paid personal federal income taxes due to the IRS via the Jiko Virtual Debit Card for Tax Payments program, and received a $47,000 cash back reward in return.

Receiving 1% cash back on your IRS tax payment may sound like a lucky loophole. In fact, it is one of many user-driven services Jiko provides to our members. Fortune describes us as a “most unusual challenger bank” but in truth, our goal is simple: we operate in service to our members. We work closely with them to do more with their money, and in this case, we answered their demand to create a safe debit card number with high limits, accessible via the Jiko app, designed for paying personal income taxes due to the IRS. Members who take advantage of this feature pay their personal federal income tax — from the thousands to the millions — for a one-time flat fee (usually less than $3) convenience charge.

Will this opportunity last? Knowing what we know about how financial intermediaries operate and when they step in, it’s not likely — so if you’re interested, I recommend downloading our app and making it happen as soon as you can. But will Jiko continue to work with members to find new ways to do more with their money? Absolutely.

To better understand what Jiko is doing for our members, let’s think about your transactions today. You use your name, some numbers… maybe a magstripe or a chip. You swipe or you type and you’ve paid.

Somewhere, money moves to a merchant’s bank. If you’re using a credit card, you’re likely receiving a reward — perhaps cash back or airport lounge access — and you’re receiving fraud protection. But what else are you getting? In the case of most Americans, sizable debt — not to mention the risk of activating astronomical fines and fees over time.

A determined group of people avoid debt by using debit cards that simply access their own money. There’s no risk of reaching beyond their means. But there are no great rewards, either.

Why do credit cards offer rewards? It’s because of the profits they are making off of your money in exchange. But here’s a secret. Debit cards generate money from your transactions too, and it’s not nothing.

At Jiko, we know this, because we’re a bank. But instead of pocketing the money we make off of your debit card transactions, our unique, subscription-based business model allows us to give it right back to you — 1% of every qualifying purchase. We also employ the strong security features you’ve come to expect only from credit card purchases — and more. For example, our physical cards don’t show your debit account number at all.

At Jiko, we’re adding and improving features for any and all types of customers on a regular basis. What do you want Jiko to do for you? Become a Jiko member today at jiko.io, and help us shape the future of banking for you.

It’s your money. Let’s make it count.


Co-Founder & CEO