Record numbers of interested bankers for Greenwood digital bank shows there is big business in meeting long-time, neglected banking needs of communities of color.
For years, raptivist Killer Mike advocated for the support of Black-owned banks. Now, he opened one with Bounce TV founder, Ryan Glover, and Ambassador Andrew Young, an iconic Civil Rights activist who is a former Atlanta mayor and US Congressperson. Including in Greenwood founders is Ambassador Young’s son, Bo Young.
Launched recently, Killer Mike made his rounds on popular hip hop podcasts, African American radio shows and TV shows, promoting a digital bank designed to cater to Black and Latinx bankers. In less than a week, 100,000 enrolled to set up an account with Greenwood bank during its official opening in January 2021.
“This milestone proves that there is a large demand for modern financial services that uniquely address the needs of Black and Latinx communities,” said the Greenwood Team in a message to enlistees.
With two main goals: modernizing banking for the culture, and implementing an easier method to recirculate wealth, a main component is to also assist Black and Latinx enterprises. Every month they commit to donating to a Black or Latinx business $10,000, and upon individuals setting up an account, $5 goes to Goodr, a B-corp that picks up unsold food from restaurants then redelivers it to families.
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Using an all-Black management team that collectively has decades of banking experience, Killer Mike told the Breakfast Club show hosts that “We’ve got many of the other brothers from the bigger banks.”
Greenwood digital bank gets its name from Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Greenwood District. Once an all-Black subdivision that grew so wealthy that one dollar circulated 36 times before it left the community, eventually, white domestic terrorists who grew envious of the townspeople’s blossoming prosperity bombed Greenwood in 1921.
“A dollar only stays in our community for six hours before it leaves,” explained Killer Mike on the Breakfast Club podcast.
Some of the features of the bank is there are no overdraft fees, peer-to peer transfers, and it is in a global ATM network. While Greenwood digital is not a member of the FDIC, it says that the banking services will be provided by FDIC-insured banks.
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