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New Banking Service Launched to Address LGBTQ Issues

Daylight co-founder Billie Simmons talks the platform’s queer-friendly features.

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Daylight founders Paul Barnes-Hoggett (l), Robert Curtis, and Billie Simmons (l).

The LGBTQ+ community in America has $1 trillion spending power yet, 53 percent struggle to maintain regular savings. They also often face discrimination in securing loans based on bias. Last year, Daylight—the first and only LGBTQ+ digital bank in the United States—was launched by three queer millennials to address the specific issues faced by the community. 

“It was really important to have the community input,” says co-founder and COO Billie Simmons. As a trans woman, she knew well the struggles of transitioning. Even though she had legally changed her name and gender marker after transitioning, she still had to log in to her old online bank accounts using her dead name. At Daylight, you get your chosen name on your card and account regardless of what your legal ID says. “It’s all about bringing service to our traditionally underserved community,” she adds. 

Join the waitlist today and you’ll be entered to win a $2500 account deposit towards your first Daylight Savings goal.

Daylight also offers specific savings goals for needs such as surrogacy, gender affirmation surgeries, or even just a trip to Palm Springs. The online platform has analytics to show you just how queer-friendly your spending is and connect you with other folks to share your goals and get authentic advice.

All of Daylight’s founders and employees identify as LGBTQ or allies. Two years ago, Simmons met Daylight co-founder Rob Curtis, an entrepreneur and formerly managing director of the Gaydar gay dating site and cofounder of the LGBTQ+ mental health platform Helsa.

“I met Rob at a Google panel two years ago when we were both involved with other startups,” Simmons recalls. “Later he approached me with the idea that would turn into Daylight, and I had a light bulb moment. Here was a way to provide financial services to our community that other banks were not meeting.” Daylight’s third co-founder and CTO is Paul Barnes-Hoggett, a technology leader with a master’s degree from The University of Edinburgh.

Forbes has called Daylight “a new way of banking for the LGBTQ+ community – one that has never been seen before.” Neobanks, or virtual banks, such as Daylight, partner with traditional banks. Daylight partners with Visa as part of the company’s Fintech Fast Track program, which gives tech-driven finance startups access to its global payment network, explains Simmons.

Daylight also offers up to 10 percent cash back when you shop at thousands of businesses and a special 10 percent cash back for spending at queer bars and LGBTQ+ aligned businesses. They also donate $10 to LGBTQ+ charities for every eligible account who signs up for an account. Plus, you get all the regular banking features you would expect. With Daylight, you get a full-functioning debit card connected to a mobile-first banking platform and an FDIC-insured banking account. You get integration with mobile payment platforms such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as a free ATM withdrawal every month. The platform is secured by 256-bit encryption, bank-level online protection. There are no minimum fees, and they offer early direct deposit.

Unlike some major institutions that “rainbow wash” while investing in projects and politicians that work against the community, Daylight provides all of your financial needs while specifically catering to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. They are welcoming to everyone, although they won’t tolerate any hatred towards the community. 

“So far, the response from the LGBTQ+ community has been amazing,” Simmons says. “I am constantly touched by the stories of how Daylight has benefitted their lives.”

 For more information on Daylight visit joindaylight.com.

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