Updated: Jun 24, 2019
Will Smith wants to help your teen(s) get in control of their finances early on in life, so that when they are older, their finances will be less of a problem to manage. Through his Dreamers Fund, the actor just became an investor in the fin-tech company, Step. Step is a mobile-based banking service app for teens. Step allows teens to easily send and receive money from their family and friends, get real-time notifications. One thing that teenagers do not have to deal with using Step are overdraft fees and minimum balances to maintain that traditional banks would make clients have. Will Smith joins rapper, Nas as another Black financial backer of the brand.
Step's CEO, CJ MacDonald told TechCrunch, “We want to be teenagers first bank accounts with spending cards, but we also want to teach financial literacy and responsibility. Banks don’t tailor to this, and we want to be a solution for teaching the next generation of adults to be more responsible with money in the cashless era. It was easy with cash to go to the mall but now everyone is using their phone for Uber and more.”
The Will Smith's Dreamers Fund will allow Step to bring their first product offering to market, bank accounts with payment cards connected to the accounts. Mastercard and Evolve are helping to push and develop the products. The funds from Will were definitely needed, as there are over 500,000 people waiting to access the platform.
While Step is nowhere near the first company with this idea, they are the first to give teens ownership over their financial lives. The teens have control, but their parents have access, a reverse of what the industry has seen in the past. Teens under 18 can also sign-up without a parent or guardian's approval, but the app will give them restrictive functionality. The mission of the app is to empower teenagers financially.