Killer Mike's Black and Latinx Digital Banking Platform Already Swamped With Requests

Killer Mike
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Killer Mike of Run the Jewels performs onstage during day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 2 at the Empire Polo Club on April 23, 2016 in Indio, Calif.

Greenwood received thousands of requests during its first hours of operation.

Run the Jewels rapper Killer Mike has teamed with Bounce TV founder Ryan Glover to launch an online banking service, Greenwood, that aims to make it easier for consumers to support Black-owned banks and businesses. The majority Black and Latinx-owned and operated business announced on Friday in collaboration with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young is named after the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which was known as "Black Wall Street" in the early 1900s; the area was famously burned down by a white mob in 1921 in what became known as the Black Wall Street Massacre.

“Today, a dollar circulates for 20 days in the white community but only six hours in the Black community,” Mike said in a press release announcing the bank, which will officially launch in January. “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 will offer savings and checking accounts to customers who sign up before year's end and has pledged to donate five free meals to a family in need for every new customer who joins. Every swipe of a Greenwood debit card will also result in a donation to the United Negro College Fund, Goodr and the NAACP, with one $10,000 monthly grant disbursed to different Black and Latinx small business owners.

According to CNN, the platform -- which Glover has been working on for more than a year-and-a-half -- was revealed last week after the founder secured more than $3 million in seed funding in June. Glover noted that interest spiked in the project after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which inspired a drive to support Black-owned businesses and financial institutions. Since the launch of the Greenwood site last Thursday, Glover said there is already a waiting list for those hoping to open an account.

"I will say we're in the tens of thousands," Glover said of sign-ups in the first few days. "That number is increasing by the day." In addition to offering mobile deposits and peer-to-peer transfers like similar services (Chime, Vero, Money Lion), Greenwood will also offering a global ATM network, as well as Apple and Android Pay services and two-day advances on paychecks for customers with direct deposit.

The focus, though, will be on offering financing for Black and Latinx entrepreneurs who typically have difficulty obtaining loans from mainstream commercial banks. "In order to build wealth, you need bank capital," Glover told CNN. "We will identify qualified entrepreneurs, business owners and creatives to equip them with the capital needed to make their dreams a reality."

Watch Mike discuss the project below.

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