The Hustle

Is it possible for banks to have a conscience? Good Money thinks so

Good Money is an online banking platform with a plan: to successfully run its for-profit business model much like that of nonprofit credit unions. But can it be done?


December 13, 2018

On Monday, Good Money, an online and peer-to-peer banking service, announced it raised $30m in Series A funding — so another online banking platform raised some cash. Big whoop, right?

Yes. For once it actually is a big whoop.

Good Money is the first-ever digital banking platform to be owned by its customers — when a new customer signs up, they’re given an equity share of the platform — the ultimate goal being for customers to eventually own as much as 70%.

Taking neo-banking to a whole new level

Credit unions, AKA nonprofit financial institutions owned and operated by members, have existed since the mid-1800s, and it’s that same cooperative philosophy that served as Good Money’s inspiration, according to its founder, Gunnar Lovelace. 

But Good Money isn’t a nonprofit, which makes this business model even more uncommon as the company offers its members some of the similar financial perks that credit unions subscribe to — like no ATM or overdraft fees (customers paid big banks over $30B in overdraft fees last year).

For-profit doesn’t have to be a bad thing for the people

Of the profits Good Money makes, it funnels impact investments and charitable donations toward the planet, all of which are voted on by the customers/partial owners.

With the platform, Good Money hopes to change the way people view for-profit financial institutions, by making them more transparent, and by putting its customers at the forefront.

Because, according to Lovelace, at the end of the day, “Money is actually just energy.” OK, take it easy, Lovelace.

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