Daylight launches first LGBT+ digital banking platform in the US

In partnership with Visa and Marqeta, online and mobile banking experience offers personalized financial services, tools and advice designed for and by the LGBT+ community.

Daylight, the first LGBT+ digital banking platform in the United States today announced its brand launch and participation in the Visa Fintech Fast Track program, which will allow Daylight to quickly access Visa’s global network and resources. Daylight's flagship products and lifestyle services will be designed to improve financial equality and inclusion for the estimated 30-million-plus Americans who identify as LGBT+.

Led by LGBT+ entrepreneurs and co-founders Rob Curtis, Daylight CEO, and Billie Simmons, Daylight chief of staff, Daylight will offer a holistic set of products, tools and advice to help the LGBT+ community simplify banking and prepare for the future faster. Daylight’s benefits for customers include:

  • Daylight Visa® Prepaid Cards in their preferred name, even if it does not match their legal ID
  • Financial tools to improve spending habits with the ability to customize goals and share them with the Daylight member community
  • A personalized feed of expert financial advice and resources unique to the LGBT+ community
  • Ability to access a network of financial coaches specializing in LGBT+ money management and life events
  • Opportunities to make direct donations within the platform to LGBT+ aligned charities

Rob Curtis, CEO, Daylight

The country is at a critical turning point where we’ve recognized companies and services have been performatively supporting the LGBT+ community versus serving its unique needs. We’re extremely honored to have the wide-reaching influence and resources of Visa and Marqeta in order to help our community prepare for the future faster.

Daylight's product is built on Marqeta's global modern issuing platform. In addition to Visa-branded cards, Visa will work with Daylight to bring financial literacy tools to more LGBT+ people around the world.

Coinciding with launch, Daylight joins Visa’s fintech Fast Track program as the first LGBT+-focused fintech. By joining Fast Track, Daylight is able to easily leverage the reach, capabilities and security that VisaNet, Visa’s global payments network, offers. Daylight joins a standout group of fintechs who are part of the Fast Track program, with many working to bring underrepresented communities access to digital payments, allowing them to pay and be paid in the most seamless way possible no matter where they live. Visa and Daylight’s relationship will also demonstrate LGBT+ inclusivity to the emerging fintech ecosystem.

“Fintechs are playing 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, 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.”

Why systemic discrimination extends to the LGBT+ dollar

Today’s LGBT+ community in America are the first generations to live openly, yet contend with financial challenges and higher barriers to entry in financial services. Overall, the community has accumulated higher debt on average due to pre-existing conditions, lower insurance levels, HIV management needs, and [gender] transition costs.

“While it’s wonderful that financial service companies join us in Pride marches, too few have absorbed our community’s critical challenges with banking or applied end-to-end systemic solutions tailored to the community’s unique life events,” said Rob Curtis. “Despite our community’s combined $1 trillion buying power, we’re still ignored—roughly 20% of LGBT+ people are unbanked or underbanked.”

Longer term planning has also become a hurdle. Specifically among LGBT+ Millennials, more than 63% want to expand their family, yet surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and adoption can cost more than $55 thousand per child. A full 50% of LGBT+ Millennials are more likely to work beyond retirement age than non-LGBT+, while one in four have lower financial literacy rates than non-LGBT+ Millennials. While the system has made the LGBT+ community feel invisible, Daylight commits to seeing the community and building banking products to affirm the community’s needs and desires.

Daylight offers full trans-inclusive support in a customer’s chosen name

Traditional banking services make it difficult for transgender people to live their life the way they deserve. Most banking services require transgender people to repeatedly “deadname” themselves with their birth name to verify identities.

Trans people’s safety is also at risk when shopping using a bank card that indicates the wrong gender; only an estimated 67% of transgender people have been able to update at least one identity document, and one-third have no identity documentation consistent with their gender identity and preferred names. While most financial institutions have a mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance policy that protects against identity theft, it often leaves trans persons vulnerable.

“Current trans-focused banking programs fail to go beyond surface-level identity verification and can result in high-level KYC failure due to multiple or incomplete credit reports under different names and genders,” said Billie Simmons, chief of staff, Daylight, who also previously founded a transgender-focused startup. “Some banks offer preferred names on cards, which are appreciated, but Daylight, in partnership with Visa, will go further by creating an end-to-end solution that holistically addresses pain points trans people still have to go through with incumbent services.”

Further, Daylight's financial coaches and peer-based platform will offer the most updated guidance and resources to gender confirmation procedures, alternative financing and legalities.

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