The chief executive officer of digital bank Paybby, Hassan Miah, testified about banking inclusion on a hybrid hearing held by the US House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion, which is entitled, “The Legacy of George Floyd: An Examination of Financial Services Industry Commitments to Economic and Racial Justice”.
The hearing was held on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 at the Rayburn House Office Building. Vice President of Bank Policy Institute, Fabrice Coles, Vice President of National Urban League, Donald Cravins Jr., Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at The New School, Darrick Hamilton, and Senior Director of Policy at Business Roundtable, Jonay Holkins of also appeared at the hearing. The full hearing can be found at https://financialservices.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=407754&fbclid=IwAR3sQ7_XqSappk6xxNv8rqQlk3_YFO9ehcOCGK8C9cRfYYg9AbCVhgVu8c0
The hearing will examine the extent to which banks, public companies and other financial services industries have delivered on their promises to black communities and businesses, and what steps these institutions have taken to achieve sustainable racial equality within their organizations.
Organizations across the financial services industry have made pledges to invest in people of color and communities after the killing of George Floyd and countless other incidents of racism and police brutality from January through August of 2020. For example, the Bank is committed to closing the racial wealth gap by supporting minority savings institutions and community development finance institutions, especially those that help black communities and provide down-payment assistance to potential black homeowners.
“The current approach taken by Banks and corporations to support Black Banks and MDIs can only have limited impact,” said Hassan Miah, the CEO of Paybby. “Fintechs are creating a transformation of banking and financial services, and similar to other industries, tech-driven companies are designed to scale and efficiently build new models to support the market.”
Paybby is a Fintech company that provides financial services to empower Black and Brown communities to build wealth and gain full access to the benefits of banking through its digital bank, Wicket. Its clients will receive a personalized banking experience to build savings automatically and make better financial decisions all administered through the mobile app.
“Traditional companies and banks generally do not have the skills or focus to manage the change to a tech-driven economy,” said Miah. “There are several small community banks that have become “Fintech” banks by offering a platform for companies to offer financial services as a technology company, the this has not included the Black banking sector.”
According to Miah, the key to closing the racial wealth gap and support racial equity is greater direct investment, recirculation of capital and a reduction of the excessive banking costs incurred in the Black community. Paybby is a supporter of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to develop alternative systems that will increase Black participation in the Banking system. “AI is a very important development, but it must have the full participation of Black financial institutions and technology people or will lead to another form of systemic racism. Currently, since no major Fintech has Black participation, the industry is headed in the wrong direction” says Miah.