Rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render, civil rights activist Ambassador Andrew Young and media executive Ryan Glover have created the first digital bank geared toward Black and Latinx people and it will open in January 2021.
The trio raised $3 million in seed funding for Greenwood, a digital bank they hope will enable customers to more easily support Black and Latinx causes and businesses according to an Investopedia report
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” Glover told the news outlet. “We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward. This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future.”
The bank is named Greenwood for the “Black Wall Street” area of Tulsa, Okla.’s former Greenwood district that was destroyed by white mobs in 1921. Greenwood Bank will provide customers with spending and savings accounts, mobile deposits, and peer-to-peer transfers that will be fulfilled almost entirely online. The bank also will offer a global ATM network, Apple and Android Pay services, and physical and virtual debit cards.
Greenwood plans to support Black and Latinx causes and businesses in three key ways: for every customer sign-up, Greenwood will provide five free meals to a family in need; for every swipe of a Greenwood debit card there will be a prompt to make a donation to UNCF, Goodr, or NAACP; and every month Greenwood will provide a $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx Greenwood customer who owns a small business.
Greenwood also plans to help brick and mortar minority-owned banks to strengthen their position in the community. According to the National Bankers’ Association there are 23 minority-owned banks in the U.S. today.