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Google Cloud enables inclusive financial services with Black-owned business initiative

In June of 2020, Sundar Pichai outlined a number of commitments Google will make to racial equity, starting with the Black+ community in the United States. As part of this initiative, we formed a team at Google Cloud to help black entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses with cloud technology. 

Racial equity is inextricably linked to economic opportunity. According to McKinsey, advancing racial equity would create new oppor­tunities for participation in the economy for underrepresented individuals, resulting in significant benefits to businesses, families, and communities across the country. Black-owned financial institutions play a vital role in closing the racial wealth gap by providing greater access to financial products and services to historically underrepresented and underserved communities. 

That is why we decided to focus our initial efforts on empowering Black entrepreneurs and Black businesses in the financial services industry.   

Together with partners like Uncommon Impact Studio, World Wide Technology, and Zencore, we aim to bring data, technology, and marketing capabilities that are uniquely Google to Black-owned banks and fintechs. By implementing cloud technologies, seven Black-owned financial institutions have been able to accelerate their digital transformation, scale their business, and connect their products and services to people that need them most. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into a few companies that are part of the initiative:  

BetaBank: Improving access to capital for small businesses 

BetaBank recently announced its FDIC application to become one of the first digitally native banks built from the ground up on Google Cloud. BetaBank founder Seke Ballard recognized early that the financial lending system was broken, and he identified technology as the key to removing bias from small business lending. Ballard created an AI algorithm to weigh risk and calculate qualification of an SMB loan application with more accuracy, speed, and at a lower cost than traditional banks.

BetaBank’s mission is to provide small business owners equitable access to financial services. 

Ballard and his team selected Google Cloud as the cloud infrastructure on which to build, run, and manage BetaBank. Google Cloud will provide a scalable, secure infrastructure  to grow BetaBank’s business and networks, and the tools to support regulatory compliance, fraud prevention, and overall security. 

OneUnited Bank: Delivering personalized customer experiences 

OneUnited Bank is one of the first and largest Black-owned digital banks in the United States.   OneUnited Bank worked with Google Cloud to implement Contact Center AI, a Google Cloud platform that enables companies to leverage AI to transform the performance of its call centers. The company also implemented Google Ads Search campaigns to connect with new customers.

We recognize that there are things we can do that will 10x this company and there are ways that Google can help us Jim Slocum
CIO One United

OneUnited paired Contact Center AI with its existing technology, and leveraged DialogFlow, Google Cloud’s conversational AI natural language understanding platform, to create a more personalized customer experience and scale their contact center interactions.  

The success of the deployment was revelatory to OneUnited as to what cloud and AI technologies can do for them and their customers. 

First Independence Bank: Modern infrastructure for better community lending 

First Independence Bank is the only Black-owned bank headquartered in Michigan and has been serving the local community in Detroit for over 52 years. To ensure the bank could compete in the future, its legacy systems needed a digital upgrade. 

In September 2021, First Independence Bank partnered with a digital lending platform for business banking, to speed up its digital federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application process  as a convenience to its PPP loan applicants. 

As part of this partnership, First Independence Bank has committed to migrate onto Google Cloud to create a more efficient lending process for customers.

Data Capital Management: Harnessing the power of AI

Data Capital Management(DCM) is a digital investment research, services and advisory firm whose CEO and Co-Founder Michael Beal knew early on the power that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can bring to the fund management industry. 

DCM worked closely with Google Cloud engineers to enhance its current offerings of DCM AI models (“AI Traders”) that investors can leverage to manage their stock holdings and digital wallets. Training AI models requires massive amounts of data and compute power. As the firm’s operations grew, the opportunity to optimize performance with Google Cloud was a primary factor for the decision to migrate DCM’s investor portal and all supporting investment research, execution, and reporting features from their legacy provider to Google Cloud.  

What’s next? 

Building on our commitment to increase racial equity through technology, we are expanding this program beyond financial services to bring the full value of Google Cloud to other industries including education, entertainment, healthcare, and clean energy. 

If your company is interested in getting involved, please fill out this form.

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