Greenwood is a Fintech Company, Not a Bank

Greenwood is not a bank, it's a fintech much like Chime that offers banking services that include checking and savings accounts.

Greenwood is an online-only financial technology company, not a bank, offering checking and savings accounts with no monthly or overdraft fees, early paycheck with direct deposit, and free access to over 100,000 Allpoint and MoneyPass network ATMs.

In this Article

What kind of bank is Greenwood bank?

Greenwood is not a Black-owned bank, it's a fintech company offering a digital banking platform designed to meet the unique banking needs of Black and Latino individuals and businesses.

Black and Latino households tend to rank among the highest unbanked households despite the overall number of unbanked households being the lowest (4.5 percent) since 2009.

While some in these groups state they don't trust banks, others have experienced issues with ChexSystems or Early Warning Services (EWS) that prevent them from opening a bank account.

Who is behind Greenwood bank?

Greenwood was founded in 2020 by Civil Rights Leader Andrew J. Young, rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render, Ryan Glover, and Dr. Paul Judge in the wake of the protests over the murder of George Floyd.

Is Greenwood banking legit?

Yes, Greenwood is a legitimate digital banking platform that partners with Coastal Community Bank to provide checking and savings accounts that are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor. The status of Greenwood is the fintech continues to grow with a customer base of 500,000 members due to the May 2023 acquisition of Kinly, a fintech also aimed at growing wealth and providing financial services to Black customers.

Pros and Cons of Greenwood


What we like about Greenwood
  • Free checking
  • No hidden fees
  • Early direct deposit up to two days
  • High-yield savings account earns 4.15% APY
  • Instantly block your debit card in case of fraud
  • Apple or Android mobile wallets
  • Meals donated for every new account opened


What we question about Greenwood
  • It can be expensive to deposit cash
  • Premium checking at $10 per month1
  • Elevate Membership at $200 per month2
  • No checks or check-writing capabilities

Greenwood account basics

Here’s a closer look at Greenwood’s account options.

  • Spending Account. Greenwood isn’t set up like a traditional bank. The spending account is an online checking no monthly fees. It comes with a free Mastercard® debit card for purchases, withdrawals, deposits, and transfers. When you open a new Greenwood Spending Account, the equivalent cost of five meals is donated to Goodr, a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding people experiencing food insecurity.
  • Savings Account. You must open the Greenwood Spending account to get the Greenwood high-yield savings account that earns 4.15% APY. This account doesn't charge monthly service fees and has a $0 minimum opening deposit. High-yield savings accounts can grow your money much faster with compounding interest.
  • Premium Membership. The monthly fee is $10 with benefits that include additional security and greater value on your spending account like travel perks and discounts at golf courses.
  • Elevate Membership. The monthly fee is $200 with exclusive benefits that include lifestyle and career experiences. Members get exclusive access to professional networking opportunities, access to events like the Super Bowl and NBA All-Star Game along with membership to “The Gathering Spot”, a private membership network with physical clubhouses in Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles.

Recently, Greenwood was in the news due to a lawsuit over the acquisition Atlanta's popular Black-owned private club, The Gathering Spot (TGS).

Greenwood acquired TGS for $50 million in cash and stock in April 2022. Since then, Ryan Wilson and T.K. Petersen, co-founders of The Gathering Spot sued Greenwood claiming they are entitled to $7.5 million in connection with the acquisition.

Greenwood, in response, refuted these allegations and countered by asserting that the TGS founders knowingly distorted the financial statements, resulting in a discrepancy exceeding $28 million.

The matter has since been settled with Wilson and Petersen holding an online town hall answering questions from concerned TGS members about the reasons for selling TGS to Greenwood.


Greenwood is best for customers who want to maximize savings account interest, are paid by direct deposit and don't deposit cash often.

However, if you want to support a Black-Owned bank, we recommend you review OneUnited Bank that's available online across the United States, or consider a Black-owned bank or Black credit union near you. These financial institutions are actual banks that can provide full-service, FDIC-insured or NCUA-insured banking where deposits go to directly to customers for funding mortgage, business and personal loans.

Reasons behind our recommendation

Greenwood is backed by Coastal Community Bank, a mainstream bank in the state of Washington. This partnership provides FDIC insurance which guarantees the safety of customers funds within the Greenwood framework.

But this also means Greenwood’s customers' deposits help provide banking services for Coastal Community Bank customers who may not necessarily be part of the Black and Latino demographic Greenwood purports to serve.

You have to understand that the primary purpose of a bank is to take in deposits then pool those deposits to provide mortgage, personal, business and sometimes student loans to customers.

Our top concerns with Greenwood:

  • Banks are intermediaries between depositors (who lend money to the bank) and borrowers (to whom the bank lends money). Greenwood cannot provide lending services to its customers.
  • Since Greenwood does not directly manage its customers' deposits there is no direct benefit to Greenwood's customers beyond transactional checking services and earning interest on savings accounts.
  • Greenwood serves an honorable purpose in providing banking services to a traditionally underserved demographic, but it's not a full-service Black-owned bank that helps to keep funds circulating in Black and Latino communities.
  • We're not sure why Greenwood did not partner with a Black-Owned Bank that offers FDIC-insurance coverage instead of a mainstream bank?

When dollars circulate in a community, financial development is enhanced by funding real estate purchases, business development and other financial projects that build wealth for a community.