Updated: Nov 9, 2019
When Black people are spending their money, businesses will always survive. The Black community has an annual buying power of $1.3 trillion, having a large influence on economies across the world. The downside of this fact is that with all this influence and money power, we are not very educated on how to take full advantage of our money.
The nations largest Black bank, OneUnited Bank is here to help with the issue Blacks have to help tackle the existing wealth gap that exist within America and to encourage financial literacy. OneUnited has launched the BankBlack X campaign to teach us how to use our spending power and using it in Black communities to build our businesses, create and growth wealth, and to increase longstanding generational economic power. The campaign has a goal of encouraging and empowering Black consumers in the country by creating many educational initiatives and features that can take banking black to the next level.
The president and COO of OneUnited Teri Williams said, “We’re offering improved services based on feedback that we received from our customers. One of the most impactful is that we now pay two days early. So if people have a direct deposit from us or to us, whether it’s Social Security or a paycheck, if they have a regular direct deposit that comes into a OneUnited Bank checking account, we will pay that that deposit up to two days early.”
The bank has also introduced their BankBlack Card, which is the first of its kind. The card boasts a simple design, differing from their previous cards that featured images projecting positive and powerful Blackness. Williams said, “Some of our customers love our images (see at end of article). Others wanted something that was a little more basic and classy—though we think all of our cards are classy. So we introduced an all-black card.”
Even with the new card, the most exciting thing is the educational content that will come from the campaign which will focus financial literacy. Williams said, "A lot of the things that we’ve been taught about black people and money have been wrong. These untruths are incorrect and to be honest, racist. We’ve been taught that we’re not good with money. We’ve been taught that if we would spend less, we would be able to build wealth. We’ve been taught that we spend money on the wrong things.” To put an end to myths about Blacks and money, One United will be publishing articles and providing financial literacy training to inform the Black community on the true power and influence of the Black dollar. Since we have 400 years to rebound from slavery to reconstruction to Jim Crow era, the education to reverse the wealth gap is needed. The company was also featured on Sirius XM radio during a town hall from the New York Times 1619 Project to provide an overview of Black wealth and to give the listeners an idea of how much economic power Blacks truly have.
Williams closed her interview by saying, “We’re really only one transaction away from closing the wealth gap. Just one transaction, which is amazing given that we’ve been discriminated against for 400 years and have only been legally free for 50 years or so. That one transaction could be buying a home. It could be starting a business. It could be investing in the stock market. It could be even insuring that are our parents or grandparents have wills and have a way to pass down some of the assets that they’ve accumulated. But we truly are just one transaction away from closing the wealth gap, regardless of the negativity that you hear about our people.”
If you are interested in learning more about OneUnited's BankBlack X campaign, visit their website.