Keeping the Black dollar in the Black community
The situations that transpired last year has our community advocating for “All Black Everything”. Among the various causes and movements that are widely spreading across the Black Community, one of the largest is the movement to get our funds in order. With an increasing desire within the Black community for new financial solutions that give us convenience and flexibility, along with more ways to circulate the Black dollar within the community, Urban One, Inc. stepped up to the plate.
Urban One, Inc., the largest Black-owned media company in the U.S., launched ONE VIP, a digital financial solution with a rewards product designed with their consumers in mind. The company, typically known for its TV and radio brands, is entering the financial space to give their listener and viewer base a new way to spend and a new way to give back.
Their ONE VIP Rewards program gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent as part of their Buy Black, which includes 25 select Black-owned brands like Black Girl Sunscreen, Scotch Porter, The Honey Pot, Mahogany Books, Curlbox, Hanifa, and more.
And if you’re into subscription services, you can earn 1 point for every $2 spent on everyday purchases and earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent at your favorite brands like Netflix, Uber, Sephora, and reward points never expire.
Additionally, the ONE VIP card provides an opportunity to give back when you spend.
Points can be redeemed either for cashback or used as a donation to the Urban One Community Works Foundation (U1CW). U1CW will use the donations to support selected charities supporting people of color such as The Innocence Project for criminal justice reform, the National Black Justice Coalition serving LGBTQ/SGL communities, the Tom Joyner Foundation, National Action Network, NAACP, and Howard University. Urban One will donate $10 per account, per three-month period for every cardholder who maintains a ONE VIP account for three consecutive months and meets loading/spending requirements.
In a press release, Alfred C. Liggins III, Chief Executive Officer, Urban One, says, “For 40 years, Urban One has led the way, representing Black culture in the USA, seeking to inform, inspire and entertain Black America. Today, I’m proud that Urban One leads the way again with another first; ONE VIP, a current financial product intrinsically designed to address the very needs of our audience. This marks the first step by Urban One to financially include and empower, with financial products designed for the Black community.”
The new card also benefits the unbanked, or underbanked, giving them a rewards-earning aspect, they typically aren’t eligible for. According to a 2019 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. survey on the unbanked, 7 million don’t have checking and savings accounts. Even more, 14% of Black households and 12% of non-white Hispanic households don’t have bank accounts, compared to 2.5% of white households.
Cardholders can manage their account online or with the ONE VIP mobile App and make cash withdrawals, retail and online purchases with the premium, matte Black prepaid debit card, that rewards them for a life well spent.
After the reignition of the Black Lives Matter movement, Black businesses experienced an unprecedented flurry of support that gave them a boost through the summer. With a continued interest in Black-owned brands, there are new opportunities for companies to create more financial products and initiatives with Black consumers in mind.