During their decades in banking, the founders of Viva First identified several cultural, behavioral and trust barriers that prevented Latinos from enjoying the financial services that were readily available and utilized by most Americans. This is why VIVA First created a revolutionary mobile banking platform designed to put Latinos first. It was built from the ground up to integrate top-of-the-line banking features with the respect and cultural celebration the 62 million Latinos in the U.S. deserve.
A recent Bankrate survey found that among races, Hispanics reported paying the highest average in total banking fees - three times higher than their white counterparts (1). Hidden fees, language limitations, and a general feeling of being unwelcome have alienated the Latino community from the conveniences of mainstream banking and driven many to rely on high-cost alternative financial services (2). The 2020 Federal Reserve Board's Survey of Economics and Decision-making (SHED) report found that 9% of Hispanic adults were unbanked and 21% were underbanked (3). The 2020 SHED also found that Hispanic adults were more likely to not have a bank account than were adults overall (4). Furthermore, this report found that Black and Hispanic adults were disproportionately affected in experiencing a problem when using banking services, including unexpected fees, delays, and problems with customer service (4).
We are committed to earning and keeping your trust with no hidden fees, easy-to-navigate features, and friendly customer service. Come experience a bank with culture. Our culture. Latino First. Bank Second. It’s who we are!
At VIVA First, we are rethinking the Latino banking experience. With our easy–to–navigate free mobile app and Visa™ debit card, we are committed to helping our customers bank to the beat of their lives!
But our technology isn't the only thing that sets us apart. It's our people who truly make the difference!
With their decades of experience, our team understands the cultural barriers that have kept Latinos from banking with confidence, and they work to remove those barriers every day through their empathy, expertise, and exceptional customer service.
Have you met them yet? Don't wait any longer! Here are the faces of VIVA First.
Originally from Abilene, Texas, Tony came to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University in 1996. With a heart for servant leadership, he could not pass up the opportunity to join the VIVA First family just over 2 years ago.
Tony McGriff has more than 18 years of experience delivering banking systems and products. Previously he served as an SVP, Enterprise Solutions Manager, and Co-Founder of the Strategic Innovation Office at a west Texas regional multi-billion dollar bank.
Tony holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from Texas Tech University in Business, Marketing, and MIS (Management Information Systems). Today he focuses on enabling his teams of engineers, bank operations and support staff.
In his downtime, Tony enjoys spending quality time with his family, quick getaways to Ruidoso, and watching Dallas Cowboys and Texas Tech Football.
Known for her effervescent personality and love for Latino flavors in food, music, and life, Natalia Muñoz-Moore is VIVA First's Chief Experience Officer. Born and raised in Guatemala, Natalia has lived in the U.S. since 2001. Her academic background is in International Relations and Business Administration, but her true strengths lie in communication, problem-solving, and relationship building.
Natalia joined the VIVA First family in 2019 and her focus is on delivering a superior banking experience that puts Latinos and their needs first. On any given day you can find her working on perfecting our UX and UI design, strategizing customer communications and marketing, giving interviews, or handling our merch at our sponsored events. In her spare time, she can be found cheering on her children at their various sports activities.
Mona Lopez is a native of Lubbock, Texas. She has been with VIVA First for a little over two years and serves as the Business Operations Manager where she oversees account opening, account management, customer service, and BSA/AML responsibilities. While attending college, she joined the workforce and chose a career in banking.
She began a position as a retail service representative for a community bank where she later advanced to a bank officer, then ultimately landed in an assistant vice president position. After 20+ years in a "traditional bank" setting, Mona was presented with an opportunity to help build the first Latino-motivated banking app in the U.S. VIVA First's concept thrilled her because it resonated deeply with her.
During her spare time, Mona loves hanging out with her closely-knit family and their three fur babies. Her favorite pastime includes going out to dinner or the movies, dancing, watching her favorite football teams play, and experiencing new adventures.
Kimberly Saenz is a Customer Support Specialist for VIVA First and has been with the company for nearly two years. She was born and raised in Lubbock, TX, and is proud of her heritage. Kim is dedicated to helping customers resolve issues by providing sincere and friendly support.
She loves working for VIVA First because she enjoys maintaining positive interactions with our customers and keeping them happy. Aside from enjoying her work life, Kim's greatest joy comes from her family. Nothing brings her more pleasure than spending time with her grandsons who keep her busy during her free time.