Member Exclusive, New banks

The first LGBTQ digital bank launches in the U.S.

  • The LGBTQ community in the US is estimated to include 30 million people with $1 trillion in spending power.
  • Underserved by incumbent banks, Daylight launches to better serve the needs of the LGBTQ community.
close

Email a Friend

The first LGBTQ digital bank launches in the U.S.

Daylight is the first LGBTQ digital bank in the U.S. 

The new challenger bank provides its LGBTQ customers with benefits like Visa-branded cards in their preferred name (and not necessarily their legal name), a network of finance coaches, unique personalized feeds on financial advice, tools to monitor and improve spending habits, along with a space for donations to LGBTQ charities. 

Daylight, which was known as Be Money before it took on customers, will offer consumers benefits such as money management on LGBTQ specific life events such as gender transitioning, having children and retirement.

The launch and rebranding comes at a time when the worldwide pandemic has severely strained the financial health of LGBTQ people in the U.S. Poverty, unemployment and discrimination underscore some of the harsh realities facing LGBTQ Americans since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Human Rights Campaign’s recent research brief found that 20 percent of LGBTQ people in the U.S. believe that their personal finances are worse off than they were in the previous year. 62 percent of LGBTQ Americans reported facing financial challenges as a consequence of their gender identity or sexual orientation, according to Experian’s 2018 LGBTQ Money Survey. The community on average carries higher debt and less insurance. 

Although there are an estimated 30 million LGBTQ Americans with $1 trillion in spending power, the community still feels underserved within the incumbent financial industry. 

SPONSORED

“LGBTQ people still face systemic discrimination from incumbent and challenger banks alike, including lower mortgage approval rates, higher fees or risk assessments, impersonal and insensitive services,” said Daylight’s CEO Rob Curtis. “For example, when addressing a gay man ‘sir, what does your wife do?’ or misgendering a trans person. The financial system has had a long time -- and an incumbent advantage -- to address these issues and has failed. We are taking matters into our own hands.”

Many traditional banking services pigeonhole transgender and non-binary consumers into 'deadnaming' themselves by having them verify themselves through their birth names. This poses considerable security and mental health risks. Daylight customers can choose a name for their debit card that they’re comfortable identifying as, making it easier to authenticate when they make a transaction. 

“Traditional banks need to go further by addressing the systemic issues faced by the community, offering real and meaningful support for the 20 percent of LGBTQ people who are unbanked or underbanked,” said Daylight’s Co-founder Billie Simmons, “Daylight is different. Rather than address the symptoms of the problem, we are looking at the root cause. For example, we aim to redefine the traditional Know Your Customer process so that trans people with mixed forms of identity are not subjected to higher rates of false positives for identity theft and subjected to longer SLAs for account opening and approvals.” 

Visa and Marqeta partnered to launch Daylight, which will soon grant public access to its services.  “We’ve heard from over 1000 LGBTQ people and many in our community feel in the dark about their finances. We believe Daylight reflects our commitment to shining a light on LGBTQ money and being positive, affirming champions for members of the community to reach their goals, whatever they may be,” said Simmons. 

Daylight is part of the Fast Track Program, Visa’s accelerator that offers fintechs tools and guidance to quickly get up and running on the Visa payment rails through its large global network and digital payment solutions. The program has around 140 international fintechs, like Australian based Airwallex and Columbian multivertical company Rappi. 

“Fintechs play a critical role in bridging financial gaps and expanding access of financial services to diverse communities around the world,” said Terry Angelos, senior vice president and global head of fintech at Visa. “By partnering with companies like Daylight, we are working to create a more inclusive and accessible financial ecosystem, and will remain committed to creating offerings for those who have long been underrepresented in this sector.”

This isn’t the first time Visa has collaborated on a project to address the LGBTQ community. The company has partnered with Out and Equal, an organization that works towards workplace equality. Visa has also committed to the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for Equality Act, which is aimed towards workplace protection from harassment and discrimination.

0 comments on “The first LGBTQ digital bank launches in the U.S.”

New banks

Rebundling banking services: Are fintechs trying to be more like banks?

  • Why are fintechs that have grown to a certain size continuing to pursue a banking license?
  • Luis Trujillo, CCO at Alviere sheds light on whether acquiring a license guarantees a successful banking business model for fintechs and if it constitutes a threat to banks.
Sara Khairi | January 09, 2023
Banking as a service, New banks

The Big Bank Theory Conference 2022: All session videos

  • Tearsheet's Big Bank Theory Conference brings together the most innovative players changing the face of the financial institution.
  • Here are the videos from this year's conference, held in December online.
Shabih Rao | December 21, 2022
Modern Marketing, New banks

Embracing ‘side bank’ status: 5 questions with Aaron Wollner, CMO of Quontic

  • As a community bank turned digital bank, Quontic has its own unique challenges in sticking out of the crowd.
  • In this Q&A, CMO Aaron Wollner talks about what’s new in the digital bank’s campaign work and how it’s been shifting its messaging to fit the current financial climate.
Rivka Abramson | October 19, 2022
New banks, Sponsored

Creating a winning neobank strategy through differentiation

  • There is a notable opportunity for neobanks to fill gaps that currently exist in traditional financial services, especially since they are free of the restraints of dated technology.
  • However, to be effective, they must identify a primary differentiator or central mission and then build the user experience around that north star.
Praxent | October 18, 2022
Member Exclusive, New banks

Banking Briefing: Will WFH become a thing of the past?

  • Banks are pushing to get employees back in the office – but what will that do for their efforts to attract tech talent?
  • Meanwhile, gender inequality is alive and well in the banking industry. Here’s what one bank is doing to try and solve that.
Rivka Abramson | September 12, 2022
More Articles