This fintech company helps cities bridge the financial services gap

It aims to counter the predatory financial services which have extracted wealth from Black & Brown Americans for generations...

Predatory financial services have extracted wealth from Black & Brown Americans for generations. Black Americans expect to earn up to $1 million less than white Americans over their lifetimes, are likely to live in neighborhoods where banks require up to 60% of their paycheck to be deposited without fees, and have a median household wealth that is 1/10 of the median white household.

There is a need for new systems, new products, and new ways of thinking for this underserved community to get a fair shot at wealth and prosperity. And that’s what the fintech company called Mobility Capital Finance, Inc. (MoCaFi) is all about – to provide the financial infrastructure for cities to create an equitable government.

That infrastructure includes a multifunctional city card that provides users with access to emergency disbursements, banking for the unbanked, transport, libraries, local discounts and more.

Some of the places where a MoCaFi-enabled program has been implemented include:

  • Los Angeles: Sidewalk Vendors received rebate payments from the city of LA through MoCaFi Immediate Response Incentive cards.
  • Brooklyn: Bed-Stuy Restoration Corp distributed over $200,000 in COVID relief to eligible families via MoCaFi Immediate Response Incentive Cards.
  • Honolulu: Honolulu Immediate Response Incentive Cards issued to 4,000 residents with $500 loaded for purchase at grocery & convenience stores across O’ahu island.
  • Newark: Offers MoCaFi Immediate Response Incentive Cards to participants of the city’s Universal Basic Income (UBI) program.
  • Miami: Back to Work Program issued $250 Immediate Response Incentive Mastercards to eligible residents for financial assistance during COVID-19 pandemic .
  • Atlanta: Greater Atlanta Builds Credit delivers Rental Payment assistance and financial coaching to Atlanta families.
  • New Orleans: The Crescent City Card Program involves a series of initiatives and products to offer financial inclusion, access to emergency disbursements, incentives to drive economic growth, empower underbanked residents, and provide better access to City services.

In addition to providing credit/debit cards, the company’s offering also includes the MoCaFi Bill Pay that lets users add Billers and issue checks to pay them from the app without logging into separate websites or writing physical checks. This is important as rental payments made by check to the landlord are eligible to be reported to Equifax and TransUnion as a way to boost one’s credit score with a positive payment history. Rent funds are immediately debited from the user’s account and the check is mailed in 1 business day. New payment history is added to the credit profile in 30-45 days.

Takeaway

MoCaFi is a new kind of fintech company, created with the goal of providing the financial infrastructure for cities to create an equitable government.

That infrastructure includes a multifunctional city card that provides users with access to emergency disbursements, banking for the unbanked, transport, libraries, local discounts and more. Said card is already offered or announced in a few places in the United States, including Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Honolulu, Newark, Miami, Atlanta and New Orleans.

Additionally, the company also offers other services, such as MoCaFi Bill Pay that lets users add Billers and issue checks to pay them from the app without logging into separate websites or writing physical checks.
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Action point

FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS:
If you work for a municipality where predatory financial services are still extracting money from black and brown Americans, you can contact MoCaFi and explore a partnership under which you would end up offering the city-branded card that could include additional services to the mix. These could be discounts or rebates from local stores, a more affordable or even free access to city services, and more. This way, you get to earn political points while doing something good for the community. It's a clear win-win.

FOR BUSINESSES:
MoCaFi may have a great offering but they could need some help in connecting different services across municipalities. That, perhaps, may be your chance - to serve as a middle man that could help local businesses connect to MoCaFi's platform to offer their products and services at a discount. At the same time, you could pitch local governments on the benefits of adopting MoCaFi's program - as it could help bridge the financial services gap in their municipalities. As far as we can tell, there's gotta be room for an opportunity for your business in this setup.