Master Your Card, a community empowerment program sponsored by MasterCard has formed a new coalition that will work to help financially underserved African Americans build financial strength and gain financial inclusion through the effective use of electronic payment technology.
The Master Your Card advisory board is comprised of current and former African American political, labor, academic, business and civic leaders from across the United States. Members will provide input to help Master Your Card better understand the needs of financially underserved communities and small businesses. The board will also assist in the development of strategies, education and technology solutions to meet those needs.
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) “2013 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households,” more than half of all African American households are financially underserved, meaning they have little to no access to traditional banking services. Instead, they often rely on check-cashing centers, payday lenders and other costly alternative financial services.
On average, a financially underserved household spends 9.5 percent of its income on fees and interest for these services, according to the 2014 white paper “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved,” released by the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General.
Electronic payment technology saves consumers time and money, and is safer and more convenient to use than cash.
To date, Master Your Card has gained input and provided education to the African American community through its work with the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) to create educational materials for young people and students; a partnership with the National Urban League; participation and sponsorship with the Congressional Black Caucus; and work with the Minority Business RoundTable to highlight how business owners can accept cards and help grow their business.
Members of the Master Your Card African American advisory board include:
Donnel Baird, CEO and founder, BlocPower
Rev. David Chapman, executive minister, Baptist General Convention of Virginia
William Coleman, mayor, Columbus, Ohio
Rev. Floyd Flake, pastor, Greater Allen AMC Cathedral
Stephen Gilchrist, president, South Carolina Black Chamber of Commerce
Lorretta Johnson, secretary-treasurer, American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO
Sabrina Lamb, founding CEO, World of Money
Charles R. Lowery Jr., interim director, NAACP Financial Freedom Center
Fred Mason, president, Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO
Cy Richardson, senior vice president, Economic and Housing Programs at the National Urban League
Elinor Ruth Tatum, editor and publisher, NY Amsterdam News
J. Phillip Thompson, professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Pastor William Smart, president, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of California
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