Betterment, SoFi, and Others Form FinTech Equality Coalition

Over the past few months, conversations about race and equality have permeated throughout the nation. Now, in an effort to bring these issues to light in the financial technologies community and seek reform, several startups have signed-up to form the FinTech Equality Coalition.

The Coalition is being spearheaded by the robo-advisor Betterment but other founding members amount to a “who’s who” of FinTech. This includes real estate investment platform Cadre, free credit score site Credit Karma, cashback app Dosh, lender turned neobank SoFi, and neobank turned real bank Varo among many others. Additionally, the Coalition says that other companies will have the opportunity to join in the future.

In a statement, the FinTech Equality Coalition laid out a number of issues and resolutions that pertain to the world of finance and to the financial technology community specifically. For example, noting how the Black community is underserved when it comes to financial services, the Coalition promises to look for partnerships and outreach opportunities that help ensure that their products remain accessible. Elsewhere, the statement goes on to pledge to advance recruiting outreach in order to hire, mentor, and grow Black team members. Additionally, in the interest of accountability, each participating company will publish its initial plans and follow up with regular progress reports.

Commenting on the Coalition and its initiative, Cadre co-founder and CEO Ryan Williams said, “I know firsthand how critically important it is that we seize this moment of social awakening to implement long-term, systemic change that creates access rather than obstacles. Those of us in the financial services technology industry have a special understanding that social and economic justice go hand-in-hand, and I’m pleased to join the Fintech Equality Coalition’s collective commitment to lead the way with scalable change and solutions.” He added, “These initial efforts are the first steps on the long and essential journey towards economic equity for all.” Betterment CEO Jon Stein also spoke to the intent behind the Coalition’s formation, stating, “Change is needed across the board and that includes our own industry. If we aren’t changing these inequalities, then we’re just perpetuating them. Creating this coalition is the first of many steps needed to enact real, and much-needed change.”

Notably, this isn’t the first time that several FinTechs have come together to self-regulate their industry. Take, for example, when companies such as LendingClub, Funding Circle, and others joined to form the Responsible Business Lending Coalition. Obviously the focus of the FinTech Equality Coalition is quite different but is just as notable and important. With that in mind, as the nation’s conversations on race continue, we can expect to hear more from the Fintech Equality Coalition and their efforts for change.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

Other Articles by Jonathan Dyer

Bilt Rewards Launches Travel Portal with Benefits for Cardholders

Last year, the startup Bilt made a splash when it announced a new service that would reward users for paying their rent. That premise was then expanded upon with the launch of the Bilt Mastercard, which is issued by Wells Fargo. Now, continuing to capitalize on both the hype of their product and the demand for travel, Bilt has debuted another new offering for customers. This week, Bilt Rewards announced...

Cash App Introduces Round-Up Investing Feature for Debit Card

Debit card customers looking to grow their investments gained a new, automated option today as Block Inc. (formerly Square Inc.) officially announced a new feature for its popular Cash App. Now, customers with the Cash App Cash Card can opt into Round Ups as a means of growing their investments. When this feature is toggled on, Cash App will round up debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and invest...

Marqeta Expands Credit Program with New APIs and More

A FinTech that specializes in creating credit card experiences is rolling out some new features. This week, Marqeta announced what it calls a "significant expansion" of its credit platform. This includes more than 40 new credit APIs that will further help clients craft and launch their own credit card products. Additionally, the company notes an updated intuitive dashboard. Using this platform, businesses can create unique card options that can not...