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Wells Fargo Aims To Alleviate Financial Barriers For The BIPOC Community, And Black-Led Fintech Startup MoCaFi Is Helping To Make It A Reality

A Black dollar is a powerful tool. From the popularity of fashion items in culture to the work to overcome systemic barriers, the Black community works in various ways to build, accumulate, and maintain wealth. But in the words of Langston Hughes, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” Black people have not always had the luxury or ease of access to the tools and resources necessary to build wealth. Because of the historical and present systems that impact the ability to build wealth, there is a lack of trust in traditional banking systems. This lack of confidence has caused many Black people to be considered “unbanked,” ultimately leading to a significant disparity in financial equity. The folks at Wells Fargo have taken particular notice of this disparity. As a part of its Banking Inclusion Initiative, the bank partnered with Black-led fintech startup MoCaFi to help alleviate the financial barriers for BIPOC community members. AfroTech had the opportunity to speak with the CEO...

Aug 24, 2022

Wells Fargo Rejected Almost Half Of Black Applicants Seeking To Refinance Homes, Bloomberg Study Reveals

Black Americans were short-changed amidst a promising time for refinancing home loans. According to Bloomberg’s analysis of federal mortgage data, Wells Fargo rejected nearly half of Black applicants who were looking to refinance their homes. Worsening matters, the banking giant approved applications for more lower-income white applications than the highest-earning Black applicants. Engineer Mauise Ricard III experienced Wells Fargo’s rejection firsthand after paying $560.43 to refinance his home in the suburbs of Atlanta. Richard was married to a doctor and had a credit score boasting over 800. The loan officer affirmed he could qualify for a fast-track appraisal. Yet, what should have been a clear green light turned into a string of issues. Bloomberg reports, Richard’s former home was in a predominantly Black neighborhood and he was told by the loan officer “perhaps the area is not eligible” for fast-track appraisal. Later, the loan officer told Richard his rate would increase by...

Mar 14, 2022

SoLo Funds Becomes The Only Black-Owned Fintech Startup To Acquire B Corp Certification

SoLo Funds is a capital marketplace reimaging how traditional lending platforms should operate in communities. Founders Rodney Williams and Travis Holoway created a solution to financially empower underserved communities. The fintech company was launched after witnessing the economic hardships of close peers and family members that arose during an unplanned emergency.  In fact, most Americans can not afford a $1,000 surprise expense, according to a new survey. For cash-strapped Americans who do not have aid from family members or access to financial solutions, the founders pondered, “Where can they go for assistance?” This question served as the premise for SoLo Funds’ inception in 2015. The company prides itself in offering equitable solutions to build minority communities. Now through the company’s mobile app, individuals looking to acquire emergency capital can acquire a loan in less than 30 minutes. “For us, this is huge. I think about what the community bank is supposed to do...

Dec 2, 2021

Neobanks Are On The Rise In The Global Black Community, Here's What You Need To Know About Them

The global neobanking market is expected to reach an estimated $723 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research. As more people handle their finances online, the neobanking industry has been getting a lot of love, but what are neobanks anyway? Neobanks are digital-only financial institutions that operate similarly to traditional banks, but without physical branches, The Balance explains. You typically access neobanks through mobile applications and online platforms. While neobanking can be convenient, have lower costs and are more easily accessible, they don’t have the same accreditation as traditional banks and are regulated much less. Above all, neobanking requires access to technology and internet, a luxury that not everyone has. Another thing to think about with neobanking is that even with access to technology and internet, consumers have to be comfortable and trust tech in order to invest in using online-only banking systems. Some neobanks like N26, Atom Bank and Monzo...

Apr 14, 2021

Execs From Arlington's Ingenious Financial Are Raising $10B To Provide Tech To Unbanked Communities

Some executives at Arlington, Virginia-based Ingenious Financial are planning to raise $10 billion to provide more tech to unbanked and underserved communities. Ingenious Financial Founder Darnell Parker and COO Derek Taylor are leading this investment, the company shared in a press release. The pair decided to raise this capital after finding that many Black residents across the nation still don’t have access to computer tech in their homes. This technology gap leads to more financial insecurity, so Parker and Taylor are raising  $10 billion through the private Federal Reserve corporation emergency lending program to serve unbanked and underbanked communities. “All relevant policy narratives point towards an inclusive environment,” said Taylor in a press release. “But you cannot have an inclusive environment without African American controlled businesses and ownership.” Once they’ve raised the funds, Parker and Taylor plan to disperse the capital across four main initiatives: $4...

Apr 6, 2021

NBA's Kevin Durant, Chris Paul, Baron Davis Invest in Banking App Goalsetter

There’s no age limit on when people can learn financial literacy, according to mobile banking app Goalsetter. The Black-owned kids and family finance app announced that it has raised a $3.9 million seed capital round and plans to use the funds to accelerate subscriber growth and enhance its ability to further expand its platform, according to a press release. The funding round was led by Astia, with participation from other companies such as PNC Bank, Mastercard, US Bank, Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures, Elevate Capital, Portfolia’s FirstStep Fund and Rising America Fund, and Pipeline Angels. In addition to those major investors, Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns’ guard Chris Paul, former NBA star Baron Davis, and ex-MLB player C.C. Sabathia all joined as individual investors in the revolutionary app. “We are proud to support Goalsetter in their mission to increase financial literacy in Black and Brown communities,” Durant shared in a statement. “Financial education is...

Jan 26, 2021

Cryptocurrency's Benefits Have Potential to Advance Black America

The digital revolution is upon us and the future of money as we know it could potentially involve a transition to digital currency. Cryptocurrency, the internet-based asset designed to act as a medium of exchange, is a fairly new concept we’ve been introduced to in recent years. It offers an alternative method of payment online that can be used to purchase goods and services. As the demand for virtual money increases, the Black community has an opportunity to get ahead and take advantage of its potential benefits. According to Investopedia , Bitcoin, a decentralized form of cryptocurrency without the use of a central bank between online users, is unique. Bitcoin helped usher new radical forms of digital money that can operate outside of corporations and the government. Its popularity rose in 2017 starting a trend of people buying bitcoin. Black Enterprise reported that author Isaiah Jackson published a book last July called “Bitcoin & Black America,” which delves into how Bitcoin...

Mar 19, 2020

This Founder Wants to Bring Banking to the Palm of Your Hand

Everyone doesn’t have the luxury of going to a local Bank of America to cash a check or a Chase Bank to create a savings account. In many rural communities across the U.S., there are significant hurdles to accessing banking services. Sheena Allen, a rural Mississippi-native and the founder of CapWay, wanted to bridge the gap for unbanked communities with her app. CapWay is a mobile banking service that allows users to cash checks, set up checking accounts, and send money straight from their phones. Allen knows from experience what it is like to live in a one-bank town. She attributes her life in Terry, Mississippi, a small town outside of Jackson, as the inspiration for her newest venture. “Jackson has some of the highest rates of unbanked residents in the United States,” Allen said. “I was very familiar with people not having fair or proper access to mainstream financial services and products.” It was common to see people in her community cashing checks at grocery stores and payday...

Dec 16, 2019

This FinTech Company is Launching A New WeChat Money Transfer Service

African fintech company SimbaPay and Family Bank Limited— a leading bank in Kenya— have teamed up to launch an instant money transfer service from Kenya to China through WeChat. The companies report that small Kenyan businesses already use WeChat to communicate with their suppliers in China— Kenya’s largest trading partner . The partnership will help boost trade between the two countries as the new service is designed to help vendors overcome barriers in sending money to suppliers overseas. SimbaPay co-founder Sagini Onyancha told Techcrunch a little more about the market his company is trying to get into. “Kenya imports about $4 billion goods from China. That’s the total market that we’re getting into. We’re looking at a single digit market share of the transactional volume around that.” SimbaPay and Family Bank project over 7 million customers and businesses in Kenya will be able to perform money transfers to WeChat Pay through Family Bank’s PesaPap mobile banking application and...

Nov 29, 2018

Ripple hires Kahina Van Dyke as Senior VP of Business and Corporate Development

Ripple is a blockchain company known for its campaign to persuade the financial industry to use XRP to facilitate cross-border payments. The team recently hired Kahina Van Dyke as Senior Vice President of Business and Corporate Development. The new role will see her focusing on driving new partnerships across the global finances industry. Van Dyke is a veteran in the banking industry with more than 20 years of experience at companies such as Mastercard and Citibank. She makes this transition from her most recent role as Facebook’s Global Payments Director. In an interview with Fortune, she stated that the international payment system’s web of “correspondent banks” needs to be shaken up, which aligns with what we’ve seen from Ripple. With experience at a fast-paced company like Facebook, Van Dyke should be able to help advance the financial industry while blockchain and cryptocurrencies are becoming more familiar.

Jul 16, 2018