Michael “Killer Mike” Render is a longtime advocate of supporting Black-owned banks. The rapper/activist/entrepreneur has now banded with civil rights icon, former United Nations ambassador, and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young as well as Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover for a new venture.
Render, Young, and Glover are launching an online banking option specifically for members of the Black and Latinx communities. They have already secured $3 million in seed funding from private investors for the Greenwood service.
“Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” said Killer Mike. “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 offers savings and spending accounts that come with a black metal debit card for people who sign up by the end of the year. Additionally, additional 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. All deposits are FDIC insured by a partner bank.
“It’s no secret that traditional banks have failed the Black and Latinx community,” said 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.”
The Greenwood Gives Back initiative includes:
- 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.
Plus, customers who invite their friends to open accounts with the bank will receive cash awards as a thank you. Greenwood also plans to work with brick-and-mortar, minority-owned banks to provide deposits to help strengthen those historically Black financial institutions.
“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 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’s executive leadership consists of President & Chief Technology Officer Aparicio Giddins (previously of Bank of America and TD Bank), Chief Marketing Officer David Tapscott (previously of Green Dot and Combs Enterprises), Board Member Andrew “Bo” Young, III (managing partner, Andrew Young Investment Group), and Board Member Dr. Paul Judge (co-founder of Pindrop and TechSquare Labs).