SAN DIEGO – The National Bankers Community Alliance (NBCA), a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Bankers Association (NBA), has partnered with the San Diego-based financial wellness education company iGrad and the HBCU Community Development Action Coalition (CDAC) to launch a financial wellness program intended to help more minority communities close the racial wealth gap.
Thirteen of the NBA’s member Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) will participate in NBCA Powered by Our Money Matters pilot, an artificial intelligence-driven platform powered by iGrad’s Enrich™ that supports knowledge exchange, positive financial behaviors and mainstream banking engagement.
Our Money Matters is an innovative financial wellness hub and digital platform originally developed to equip HBCU and Minority Serving Institution students and community residents with the skills to reach financial freedom.
The NBA’s member banks will use the platform to provide in-person counseling, online programming and support services to convert learners to customers and to help them manage their finances through improved banking and financial behaviors. It was funded through a $500,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
“For 95 years, members of the National Bankers Association have worked hard to strengthen the financial health of minority communities,” said Nicole Elam, president and CEO of the National Bankers Association and executive director of the National Bankers Community Alliance. “As banking and financial services evolve, customers have a greater need for innovation and for information to help them manage their finances. NBCA and HBCU CDAC share common interests in the promotion, advancement and well-being of underserved communities and the advancement of wealth creation through actionable financial wellness training.”
This pilot supports NBCA’s Financial Wellness pillar, which seeks to deliver programs, training and services to underserved households to support asset accumulation and sustainability.
“Our partnership with the National Bankers Community Alliance is a mutual commitment to further promote the importance of financial wellness and financial confidence for America’s underserved communities,” said Sharon Kent, Our Money Matters program director. “This is an opportunity to significantly improve the financial health of minority communities and younger consumers to close the racial wealth gap.”
According to recent reports by the Federal Reserve, 40 percent of Black households and 30 percent of Hispanic households are unbanked or underbanked, compared to 12 percent of white households.
A McKinsey Global Institute report also estimated that nearly 20 percent of Black families have a negative net worth.
NBCA, HBCU CDAC and iGrad are also committed to reaching Gen Z, a particularly challenging market of individuals in the 18-25 age range who primarily use mobile banking and money-transfer fintech applications over building relationships with community bankers.
“Minority depository institutions are critically important in communities of color and can directly support the financial health of communities where typically there are gaps in banking services,” said Bonnie Wallace, head of Financial Health Philanthropy for Wells Fargo. “We’re excited to help NBA member banks advance their digital transformation and expand access to digital financial wellness tools that can help people and families reduce debt, save for retirement, or reach other financial goals.”
iGrad is a San Diego-based financial technology company that offers artificial intelligence-powered financial wellness solutions to more than 600 colleges and universities, more than 20,000 employers and more than 300 financial institutions. iGrad’s Your Money Personality™ was recently recognized by the Institute for Financial Literacy with the 2020 Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Adults’ Education Program of the Year award. iGrad is one of three 2020 honorees in the inaugural Barron's Celebrates: Financial Empowerment, after being selected by a team of judges for its contributions to improving the financial health and security of Americans. iGrad also received the 2022 Eddy Award for Financial Wellness by Pensions & Investments for its Enrich platform. For more information about the iGrad platform, visit https://www.igradfinancialwellness.com. For more information about the Enrich platform for employers and financial institutions, visit https://www.enrich.org.