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Published 10/12/2020 | Reading Time 2 min 44 sec
ATLANTA, Ga. — Greenwood has secured $3 million in seed funding from private investors as the first digital banking platform for Black and Latinx people and business owners. Greenwood features best-in-class online banking services and innovative ways of giving back to Black and Latinx causes and businesses.
The Greenwood bank was founded by Andrew J. Young, a civil rights legend, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and former Mayor of Atlanta, Michael Render, aka Killer Mike, rapper and activist in Black financial empowerment, and Ryan Glover, Greenwood Chairman and founder of Bounce TV network.
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” said Chairman Glover. “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. 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.”
“Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” said Michael ‘Killer Mike’ Render. “Moreover, a Black person is twice as likely as a white person to be denied a mortgage. This lack of fairness in the financial system is why we created Greenwood.”
Greenwood’s executive leadership includes Aparicio A Giddins, President & Chief Technology Officer (previously of Bank of America and TD Bank); David Tapscott, Chief Marketing Officer (previously of Green Dot and Combs Enterprises); Andrew “Bo” Young, III, Board Member (managing partner, Andrew Young Investment Group); Dr. Paul Judge, Board Member (co-founder of Pindrop and TechSquare Labs) product.
Greenwood’s initial products are savings and spending accounts that come with a stunningly designed black metal debit card for customers who sign up by the end of the year. Advanced features like Apple, Samsung, and Android pay, virtual debit cards, peer-to-peer transfers, mobile check deposits, and free ATM usage in over 30,000 locations are offered with no hidden fees. Customers who invite their friends to open accounts receive cash awards as a thank you from Greenwood. All deposits are FDIC insured by a partner bank.
Additionally, Greenwood plans to work with brick and mortar minority-owned backs to provide deposits to help strengthen historically black banks.
“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 Ambassador Andrew 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 has three key avenues to support Black and Latinx causes and businesses: For every customer sign-up, Greenwood will provide five free meals to a family in need. Every swipe of a Greenwood debit card will prompt a donation to UNCF for education, Goodr to feed the hungry, or NAACP to support civil rights. Every month, Greenwood will provide a $10,000 grant to a Black or Latinx small business owner that is a Greenwood customer.
The Greenwood bank’s name pays homage to the prosperous “Black Wall Street,” the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the early 20th Century — a center of African American enterprise, entertainment, skills, wealth and investment capital. Though it was destroyed by a White mob in 1921, the Greenwood District remains an enduring symbol of the economic potential of community solidarity. The new Greenwood neobank takes inspiration from the entrepreneurial and empowering spirit of the Greenwood District where a dollar typically circulated 36 times – and for up to a year — within the Black community. The new Greenwood also is proud to be a backer of the contemporary Greenwood Culture Center in Oklahoma.
To sign up for a Greenwood account, visit www.bankgreenwood.com.