Coming to America: How Fintechs Like MAJORITY Are Financially Empowering Migrant Communities

At a time when concerns about illegal immigration have complicated the mostly positive attitude most Americans have toward immigrants in general, it is heartening to see that innovators and entrepreneurs in the fintech space are finding ways to bring vital services to those fleeing often-horrific conditions to find better lives in another land.

One such company is MAJORITY, a U.S.-based, mobile banking service designed specifically to serve the migrant communities in the States.

Founded in 2019, MAJORITY offers a banking app that provides an no-overdraft-fee, FDIC-insured bank account, a debit card with community discounts from local merchants, no-fee remittances, and “at-cost” international calling. The app is available for $5 a month. Company founder and CEO Magnus Larsson said that MAJORITY already has saved its Cuban members $21 a month on average and its Nigerian members $10 a month on average thanks to its “cost-efficient service offerings.”

MAJORITY also offers members the services of its hundreds of local advisors who help onboard and support new customers in their native languages. And while MAJORITY’s banking services are available in all 50 states, the company’s advisors are currently operating only in Texas and Florida.

Larsson explained the utility of the company’s human advisors in a conversation with TechCrunch. He described how a MAJORITY customer could meet up with an advisor outside of a grocery store and, within minutes, have their bank information, a Visa debit card, and the ability to use that grocery store to send money to another country.

“Migrants, by their very definition, are the most ambitious people in the world, striving for success in a new country – but they are lacking the necessary tools,” Larsson said. “Migrant-relevant financial services come with extensive fees that feel overwhelming for all people, but even more intimidating for those trying to navigate an unfamiliar system. At MAJORITY, we seek to remove the uncertainty that comes with international financial services and do our part to better facilitate a world where people are valued on their positive impact, not their country of origin.”

MAJORITY estimates that there are more than 258 million migrants worldwide, with nearly 50 million migrants in the U.S. – who are under-banked, un-banked, or otherwise experiencing “insurmountable barriers” when it comes to financially integrating into their new country. And courtesy of a $27 million investment MAJORITY announced last week, the company now has new resources to help.

“Our mission, as a migrant-led company, has always been to serve the migrant communities with the unique resources they need—financial and otherwise—and this latest funding will help us continue to perfect our services and support this community that is the backbone of America,” Larsson said.

The Series A round was led by Valar Ventures and featured the participation of Avid Ventures, Heartcore Capital, and a number of Nordic fintech founders. MAJORITY now has $46 million in total funding, which includes $19 million in seed funding the company raised earlier this year.

Accompanying its funding news, MAJORITY also announced that it is introducing a new feature that will enable migrants to sign up for a bank account without requiring a social security number. Instead, applicants will be able to use a government ID from any other country and proof of U.S. residency to access MAJORITY’s banking services.

“A bank account is the starting point to so many other things for someone moving to a new country, and American bureaucratic delays and backup shouldn’t prevent people from being able to establish themselves here,” Larsson said. An immigrant himself from Sweden, Larsson is currently waiting for visa approval in order to move from Stockholm to Miami, Florida, to further build out MAJORITY. He also looks forward to being able to grow the company from its current 65+ employees in Sweden and the U.S.

Photo by Romina Ramat from Pexels