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USA | Jan 9, 2022

WiPay CEO establishes neobank in America

/ Our Today

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Aldwyn Wayne, CEO of WiPay Caribbean. (Photo: Caribbean Power Lunch)

WiPay founder and CEO, Aldwyn Wayne has established a neobank, named Colour Bank in America.

A neobank is regarded as a banking institution without physical branches that is driven by technology and artificial intelligence and offers customers lower-cost services than traditional banks. Colour Bank targets the Caribbean and African Diasporas in America, promising potential customers the ability to open a bank account without a social security number.

In addition to a banking account, customers will receive a free MasterCard debit card. Colour Bank would also allow Caribbean students in universities across the United States to have their own bank accounts and a free debit card, which would make it easier for parents to transfer monies to them.

Colour Bank took four months from conception to materialise with the idea of a neobank targeting the Caribbean and African Diasporas being so compelling-that Wayne attracted two of the top partners in the fintech start-up space. He enlisted one of the largest venture capital companies in the world and Bancorp, the US bank that specialises in providing banking and technology solutions for non-bank companies ranging from entrepreneurial start-ups to those on the Fortune 500.

Targeting partners for the venture

Wayne negotiated the investment from the venture capital company’s Latin America fund and got Bancorp to serve as Colour Bank’s custodian bank and also as the entity to set the guidelines for the onboarding of customers. So far Colour Bank has raised US$20 million in seed capital, which means its initial value now is about US$75 million.

Colour Bank will begin accepting deposits after its official launch at the end of March 2022. Wayne and WiPay Holdings will be majority shareholders of the Colour Bank.

The WiPay CEO’s business partner, Miami music mogul, Ted Lucas, who is the CEO of Slip-n-Slide Records, is also one of the initial shareholders of the neobank. A Grammy-award winning Caribbean artiste has signed on as Colour Bank’s brand ambassador.

Wayne said his goal is for Colour Bank’s valuation to grow to US$1 billion in five years, thereby achieving unicorn status. The WiPay CEO has a five-year plan for Colour Bank and it includes the listing of the company on the New York Stock Exchange, which is normally done by CEOs of companies after initial public offerings (IPO) of shares.

Speaking with Trinidad Sunday Express Wayne explained that, “The goal is to become a unicorn. Not a Caribbean unicorn, but an American unicorn.”

In interviews last week, Wayne said the drive behind his establishment of Colour Bank is the same as the thinking that led to the setting up of WiPay—to improve financial inclusion as a means of increasing the wealth of Caribbean people.

According to him “My dream is that if you give everyone access to fair and equal banking services, then the opportunity that comes from that will be a better society. Colour Bank will provide access to financing where access was not available before.”

The fintech executive said this access to financing means that Caribbean people living in the US will be able to get loans from Colour Bank, using Caribbean assets as collateral. Wayne sees this as a significant opportunity for advancement.

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