Killer Mike is hoping to break barriers in the finance world with the launch of a digital bank for minority communities.
The entrepreneur noticed there was a dearth of Black-owned banks recognized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, so he decided to partner with former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young and Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover to start what they hope will be the first digital bank for Black and Latinx individuals and businesses.
The bank, Greenwood, is named after a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma — formerly known as the Black Wall Street — that housed some of the highest performing Black businesses in the U.S. before it was burned down by a white mob in 1921.
“We needed to create a new financial platform that understands our history and our needs going forward, a banking platform built by us and for us, a platform that helps us build a stronger future for our communities,” Glover said. “This is our time to take back control of our lives and our financial future. That is why we launched Greenwood, modern banking for the culture.”
Greenwood hopes to attract a wave of new customers with online courses about basic finances, a black metal debit card, low fees to open up an account and a monthly $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx small business owner that uses their services.
The company will also offer more typical features like savings and checking accounts, Apple, Samsung and Google Pay, mobile checking deposits and access to multiple ATMs.
The hope is that Greenwood will help in the growth of entrepreneurial activity in Black and Latinx communities.
“The work that we did in the civil rights movement wasn’t just about being able to sit at the counter. It was also about being able to own the restaurant,” said Young. “We have the skills, talent and energy to compete anywhere in the world, but to grow the economy, it has to be based on the spirit of the universe and not the greed of the universe. Killer Mike, Ryan and I are launching Greenwood to continue this work of empowering Black and brown people to have economic opportunity.”
Greenwood will begin servicing people next year, but is currently accepting account applications. Donations will be made to a food insecurity every time a new member registers with the bank.