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How Kinly can help Black Americans build generational wealth

Kinly is a modern banking platform designed to meet the unique financial needs of Black Americans.

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After the protests following the murder of George Floyd, Donald Hawkins began looking into modern banking platforms for the Black community. He found that there was close to none in his search. That revelation sparked Hawkins’ desire to start a banking platform of his own. One that could serve a more meaningful purpose for Black communities.

In 2020, Hawkins founded Kinly, a financial services company that intends to help Black America build generational wealth. The banking services company officially launched in June 2022 and has hit the ground running. It is improving financial livelihoods through financial education, Black-focused spending, and long Y wealth building.

Kinly and Haven Life recently partnered to offer affordable term life insurance to Black Americans directly through Kinly’s app. We invited Hawkins to answer a few questions about Kinly and its key services. He also explained how Kinly can help Black Americans meet their financial goals and close the racial wealth gap.

Here are his responses:

In this article:

What is Kinly?

“Kinly is a financial technology company that proudly serves the unique needs of Black America and allies. Kinly’s goal is to empower members to take control of their finances by providing access to financial education, saving and investing tools.

“The Kinly app helps members manage day-to-day finances by offering early access to direct deposit funds, no hidden fees, overdraft protection, access to over 55,000 ATMs worldwide, and the Kinly Visa® Debit Card.

“Our app is a gateway to managing your finances with transparency and quick access to your funds through digital banking. We’re embarking on an ambitious journey to be the trusted financial partner for Black America and for those who want to support Black-led institutions.”

How can people use Kinly to improve their finances?

“Kinly focuses on improving financial outcomes through many of its company benefits. It offers financial education, saving and wealth building, early access to paychecks, overdraft protection up to $100, no overdraft fees, no monthly fees and no minimum balances, and the company has members covered with the Kinly Visa Debit Card. Kinly also has fee-free ATM service at over 55,000 AllPoint locations, and FDIC insured deposits.

“Kinly has created an affiliate marketplace, partnering with mission-aligned organizations in giving our members access to a broad range of financial services solutions to aid in their financial journeys.”

How does Kinly benefit future generations of Black Americans?

“Given the fact that around half of Black America is unbanked or underbanked, the importance of developing a consistent and reliable wealth building platform cannot be emphasized enough. A staggering 18% of African Americans do not have any relationship with banks at all.

“Phase one for us is to make that connection, build the relationship. As we continue to scale and grow as a company, we definitely want to get involved in many other solutions for the community, whether that be high-yield savings accounts, business banking, credit lending, and the like.”

What else should people know about Kinly?

“We recognize that it’s not enough for people to just say, ‘Hey, great, you look like me, I trust you.’ So we’re actively doing things within the community, and also through the features we provide to ensure that we help develop that trust.

“That’s why we provide a lot of those fee-free options, and no hidden fees, and no minimum balances. That’s an investment that we make in the community. And we hope the return on that investment is a more financially savvy customer.”

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About Nicole Dieker

Nicole Dieker has been a full-time freelance writer since 2012, with a focus on personal finance and habit formation. In addition to Haven Life, her work regularly appears at Lifehacker, Bankrate,, and Vox. Dieker spent five years as a writer and editor for The Billfold, a personal finance blog where people had honest conversations about money, and is the author of Frugal and the Beast: And Other Financial Fairy Tales.

Read more by Nicole Dieker

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer-centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our editorial policy

Haven Life is a customer centric life insurance agency that’s backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). We believe navigating decisions about life insurance, your personal finances and overall wellness can be refreshingly simple.

Our content is created for educational purposes only. Haven Life does not endorse the companies, products, services or strategies discussed here, but we hope they can make your life a little less hard if they are a fit for your situation.

Haven Life is not authorized to give tax, legal or investment advice. This material is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or investment advice. Individuals are encouraged to seed advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

Our disclosures

Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (DTC and ICC17DTC in certain states, including NC) issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001 and offered exclusively through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC. In NY, Haven Term is DTC-NY 1017. In CA, Haven Term is DTC-CA 042017. Haven Term Simplified is a Simplified Issue Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC19PCM-SI 0819 in certain states, including NC) issued by the C.M. Life Insurance Company, Enfield, CT 06082. Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Our Agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas 100139527.

MassMutual is rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of Aril 1, 2020 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.

Haven Life Plus (Plus) is the marketing name for the Plus rider, which is included as part of the Haven Term policy and offers access to additional services and benefits at no cost or at a discount. The rider is not available in every state and is subject to change at any time. Neither Haven Life nor MassMutual are responsible for the provision of the benefits and services made accessible under the Plus Rider, which are provided by third party vendors (partners). For more information about Haven Life Plus, please visit:

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