Banking Black: Killer Mike Latest Venture Propels the #BankBlack Movement

2020 has been a year to remember—from the killing of unarmed and innocent blacks by police, to the COVID craziness, to the election, and everything in between. One highlight has been the birth of Greenwood, a digital banking service founded by Bounce TV creator, Ryan Glover, former Atlanta mayor, Andrew Young, and Killer Mike.

Michael Santiago “Killer Mike” Render is widely known for his illustrious rapping and acting career and speaking out on political issues and social injustices, with an unapologetic disposition. Most recently, he has been making an even bigger impact with his words and actions by entering the banking world.

According to Killer Mike in a written statement, “…a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community, but only six hours in the black community.” Thus, the ultimate goal of Greenwood is to financially empower, inspire, and accommodate its minority consumers.

“In order to build wealth, you need bank capital,” Glover said in an interview with CNN Business. “We will identify qualified entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives to equip them with the capital needed to make their dreams a reality.”

Though Greenwood has been in the works since 2019, Glover said he was compelled to launch the black-owned bank especially after the public and senseless murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. He felt there was a call to action to not only support black-owned businesses but to push them to the forefront.

This collaboration could not have come at a better time and has garnered much support. In June 2020, it received over $3 million dollars in funding.

What makes the Greenwood banking experience so special? Here are some of its unique features:

  • Its targeted audience are the African American and Latinx communities, including specializing in supporting minority entrepreneurs who would have otherwise been unable to secure business loans
  • Almost all of its services will be conducted online, including peer-to-peer transfers and mobile deposits
  • Two-day paycheck advances are available for customers who sign up for direct deposit
  • It offers a global ATM network, as well as Apple and Android Pay services
  • Its name pays homage to the former Greenwood district of Tulsa, Oklahoma—the prosperous “Black Wall Street” community that was destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

By living up to its historic name, Greenwood promises to support the community in four ways:

  • Gifting $10,000 to a black or Latinx-owned business every month
  • Donating meals to a family with every account opened via Goodr
  • Supporting the Greenwood Cultural Center
  • Rounding up any change spent with Greenwood products and putting it towards HBCUs through the UNCF, supporting and reinforcing NAACP efforts, and other pay-it-forward initiatives

Greenwood will open in early 2021, but already has tens of thousands of people on its waitlist to open an account. Glover projects that those numbers will climb each day until its official launch. Its user-friendly and interactive website can be visited for more information – bankgreenwood.com.

-Olivia Shaw-Reel

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