Traditional banks and financial products weren't necessarily created with a diverse audience in mind — these apps and accounts take more of a "one-size-fits-all" approach. But more and more start-ups are looking to democratize the space with more specific products for specific audiences. One of the newest companies aiming to disrupt the financial world is Daylight, the first digital banking platform in the U.S. that’s specifically designed for the LGBT+ community by the LGBT+ community.
The platform aims to help LGBT+ people navigate their finances and prepare for their futures through products and content designed specifically for their unique needs — whether that’s saving up for an emergency fund, to start a family or for gender transition surgery.
“Outside of media, dating and apparel brands, there’s little focus on the adult lives of LGBT+ people,” Rob Curtis, CEO of Daylight, tells CNBC Select.
But with an estimated 30 million people in the U.S. identifying as LGBT+, it's a hugely underserved community, says Billie Simmons, Daylight chief of staff.
Daylight will begin operations in mid-December with an invite-only beta phase for a few hundred people and an initial focus on consumers in California and New York. The company plans to expand from there. To request an invite, visit joindaylight.com.
Here’s what you can expect from Daylight:
Daylight will offer a wide range of products, including the Daylight Visa® Prepaid Card. There's also an app that offers tools and advice to help the LGBT+ community expand their financial skills and plan for their future. Key benefits include:
Daylight is backed by Marqeta, a global card issuing platform, and Visa, one of four major credit card networks. While there’s currently no card loyalty program, Curtis mentioned there are plans to explore programs down the line.
Daylight joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program as the first LGBT+-focused fintech. As a part of Fast Track, Daylight can leverage the reach, capabilities and security of Visa’s global payments network, VisaNet. Beyond Daylight's consumer offerings, the company will work with Visa to build and advocate for more inclusive financial systems for LGBT+ people around the world.