OneUnited Bank is America’s largest Black-owned bank and first and only digital bank. The FDIC is insured and designated by the US Department of Treasury as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). OneUnited Bank has long recognized that community banking would be disrupted by technology that provides consumers with better organized and effective banking services utilizing apps on their smartphones and other devices.
OneUnited has evolved into a financial technology company that has a bank charter. It is the only Black-owned bank with a national customer base and grew by over 150% last year during the pandemic. The company utilizes state-of-the-art technology such as artificial intelligence and big data analysis to provide the type of financial services consumers want in today’s marketplace. “We believe AI and other consumer-driven technologies are critical to providing the frictionless transactions expected in today’s marketplace,” said Kevin Cohee, CEO of OneUnited Bank. “For example, the company’s customer service centers in Miami and Los Angeles incorporate both AI and community-driven self-service. We also provide state-of-the-art services to meet our customer needs, such as BankBlack early pay and our secured credit card program.”
The company’s utilization of technology to drive social media-driven campaigns has created extraordinary growth in both retail and corporate relationships. As a result, OneUnited is the fastest-growing Black-owned business in America.
“We have built the company to scale through brand recognition and the utilization of social media technologies,” said Cohee. “In addition, the company’s leadership role in the social justice movement in America uniquely positions the company to drive sales and loyalty because of the important role it plays in eradicating issues such as the racial wealth gap and Anti-racism campaigns. ”
“We disrupt by being unapologetically Black and offering superior technology and customer service. We disrupt by actively supporting social justice movements including #BlackLivesMatter, #TakeAKnee, the #1619Project, and the incredibly successful #BlackOutDay2020,” he said. “The Bank has consistently encouraged the Black community to use its considerable financial resources to more purposefully sending a message that is part protest, part progress. “
And now the bank is disrupting again with their OneTransaction conference. Disrupt Magazine’s Olivia Liveng sits with Kevin Cohee to chat about exactly what this is about.
OL: What is the goal of the OneTransaction conference?
KC: The goal of the one transaction Campaign & Conference is to educate our community about the core transactions necessary to build wealth. Then, use technology to inspire and motivate individuals to complete the transactions and make financial literacy a core value of Black America by influencing group behavior nationwide.
OL: Tell us about the conference?
KC: The free state-of-the-art virtual financial conference is focused on closing the racial wealth gap and will be held on June 19, 2021, or Juneteenth, a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Over 30,000 have already registered for the conference. The All Star list of presenters include Emmy award-winning actress and author Tiffany Haddish and experts in business and personal finance, including Tiffany Aliche, The Budgetnista, New York Times best-selling author of “Get Good with Money”, Professor Mehrsa Baradaran, author of “The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap”, Chris Browning, podcast host and producer of the award-winning Popcorn Finance, Lori Anne Douglass, estate planning attorney and founding partner of Douglass Rademacher LLP, Sharon Epperson, senior personal finance correspondent for CNBC, Karen Hunter, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of The Karen Hunter Show on Sirius XM Urban View, Daymond John, globally recognized from ABC’s Shark Tank, founder and CEO of FUBU and a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, Ross Mac, Revolt TV Maconomics creator and personal finance expert, Calvin Martyr, founder of #BlackOutDay2020, #BlackOutDay2021 and I Am We Global, Everett Sands, founder and CEO of Lendistry, a Black-owned SBA Preferred Lender, Michelle Singletary, personal finance columnist and author of upcoming book “What To Do With Your Money When Crisis Hits”, Bola Sokunbi, certified financial education instructor and founder of Clever Girl Finance and Kemberley Washington, CPA and tax analyst with Forbes Advisor.
OL: Will this be an annual event? If so, where do you see it in 5 years? 10 years?
KC: Yes, the OneTransaction Conference will be held annually and probably quarterly over the next 5-10 years.
We expect the program to produce the following results over the next 10 years:
- 100,000 new loans and investments to Black Consumers, Businesses, Homeowners and Affordable Housing Projects
- 1,000,000 new bank accounts created by Black Americans
- 10,000,000 new participants in financial empowerment programs like OneTransaction
OL: Why is it so important that this conference has come into fruition a year after racial injustice has finally been highlighted in media?
KC: This conference is an outcry from the Anti-racism movement in America to leave the negative impacts of systemic racism, such as poverty, in the past and forge a future that includes wealth-building passed from generation to generation.
OneUnited Bank is designed to empower Black America and its allies by garnering their collective spending power and re-channeling it back into communities in need to create positive social and economic change. The opportunity is greater than ever before because the advent of the internet allows Black America and its allies to understand events occurring on a national basis and ensure that social justice is achieved throughout our society.
Technology has created an unprecedented opportunity for Americans to perfect our democracy by making core values, such as “all men and women being created equal with the opportunity for liberty and justice for all,” a reality.
OneUnited Bank is positioned to be a leader in this important social movement. Banks’ products and services benefit from how consumers purchase financial services in the emerging cashless society.