Beta Financial Services, Inc. announced Thursday that it has submitted an application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to establish BetaBank. BetaBank is an all-digital, black-owned banking option for small and medium businesses. It’s built on Google Cloud and integrated with BetaBank’s proprietary cloud-based AI.
According to the press release, BetaBank will be one of the first digital banks in the United States built from the ground up on Google Cloud. Proprietary AI will be used to determine corporate loan terms, which traditional banks cannot do quickly and more accurately. The company said it would also be more cost effective.
BetaBank’s goal is to provide small and medium business owners with a more accessible and fair banking experience than traditional banks. Additionally, BetaBank seeks to provide underrepresented and underserved groups with more favorable terms. Underrepresented and underserved groups generally have a harder time obtaining capital for business ventures.
According to the company, 66% of Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) business owners receive at least a percentage of requested financing from banks, compared to 80% of white business owners. In addition, minority business owners who receive capital from traditional banks pay higher interest rates than non-minority business owners.
“As a child, I saw my father repeatedly abandoned by our financial system,” Seke Ballard, CEO of Beta Financial Services and founder of BetaBank, said in the statement. “He was a successful business owner in North Carolina, but when he needed capital to expand his business to neighboring states, he was turned down 13 times. Small business owners deserve a better way to do business. Bank transactions.”
Leveraging Google Cloud, BetaBank will have the necessary tools to support its long-term business. The digital bank will have access to advanced security and anti-fraud measures and can scale easily as the business grows.
“The combination of Google Cloud’s industry-leading infrastructure with BetaBank’s powerful vision and lending algorithm will enable the bank to provide its customers with access to the services they need in a safe and secure environment,” said said Janet Kennedy, North American vice president of Google Cloud. in the release.
Additionally, Ballard worked with Deloitte – a financial risk management and advisory firm – to build the BetaBank infrastructure to properly meet the requirements of a fully digital banking option. Deloitte also helped create BetaBank’s digital customer interface, and the company will continue to support BetaBank as it prepares to launch.
BetaBank is currently in formation and is expected to open to customers in early 2023. To register and join the waitlist, visit betabank.com.