Think about the last time you stepped into your bank’s local branch. Was it sometime this month? Or even this year? The world of banking is becoming more and more digital every day, but this online shift has left some banks behind: community banks and credit unions.
There are over 10,000 community-based financial institutions in the U.S. with under $10 billion in assets. That may sound like a lot, but it’s very small compared to the $1.9 trillion that Wells Fargo has, or Chase Bank’s $4 trillion in assets. These huge banking institutions have the resources to transform their services to digital banking tools and compete with rising fintechs and neobanks that provide great online banking services.
Fifty percent of new bank accounts that are opened are with fintechs or neobanks, and community banks just can’t compete.
That’s exactly why Michael Duncan and Weiwei Duncan founded Bankjoy.
Bankjoy provides out-of-the-box white label banking solutions for community-based financial institutions and credit unions. Their technology helps these small banks offer great online banking tools for their customers. Today they serve over 70 financial institutions that manage $100 million to nearly $800 million in assets.
It’s a full ecosystem of solutions: mobile and online banking, loan applications, online account opening, conversational AI, and financial literacy tools.
“We believe that when people experience financial difficulties, they experience less joy,” says Mike. “We want to help people with financial wellness and ultimately feel more joy.”
Does your bank bring you joy? Maybe not.
Large U.S. banks rake in over $15 billion in overdraft fees every year — a third of that sum comes from Wells Fargo, Chase, and Bank of America alone. Often, overdraft fees target the bank's poorest customers: people who don’t have a lot of cash in the bank and are forced to overdraft just to feed their families or pay for a child’s medical bill. Other predatory banking practices include exorbitantly high interest rates, abusive loan terms, and excessive fees. None of these practices benefit the customers or promote financial wellness.
Credit unions and community-based financial institutions, which are not-for-profit and often member-owned, serve individuals and small businesses in ways that aren’t predatory and put the customer’s financial wellness first.
“Community-based financial institutions are so much more values-driven, and those values align with the communities they serve,” says Mike. “They want to provide products that aren’t predatory but are making a difference for the people they serve.”
Bankjoy is helping these purpose-driven banks do just that.
“Across the ecosystem, we want to build layers of value for both individuals and the small businesses that sign up to do their banking with these institutions,” says Mike.
To help banks provide this value to their customers, Bankjoy’s technology makes it easier for people to get a full picture of their finances. They can see all of their accounts in one place, use budgeting tools, and take care of their debt, all in one place. It provides better visibility and management, right there in the app.
“Our mission is to uplift these communities by partnering with them to deliver tools to help them understand better financial wellness. It’s an entire paradigm shift from what the major banks do,” Mike says.
Scaling remotely, with purpose
Mike and the Bankjoy team dramatically scaled their team and operations during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so, they hired remotely, to find the best talent they could to join their team.
“We’re really intentional about making sure the work you do every day is purpose-driven.”
Now, the company, though founded in Detroit, remains remote-first. Their secret to success? Hiring for purpose.
“Our shared mission is really important,” says Mike. “We have a clear why at Bankjoy, and we take this mission quite seriously.”
That’s exactly why all of the company’s long term goals are aligned with that mission: to help people experience joy from financial wellness and community-driven banking. To help them achieve this, all OKRs ladder up to those long term, mission-driven goals. And every employee partakes in that mission.
“We don’t just want to provide the services. We’re creating partnerships and truly understanding what the values and goals are of the financial institutions we work with,” Mike says. “It often boils down to making a positive, transformative difference in the lives of our end users.”
Purpose-driven to its core (one of the reasons why the company took the 1% Michigan Founders Fund pledge), Bankjoy is very intentional about making sure every employee feels that impact in the work they do.
“We’re really intentional about making sure the work you do every day is purpose-driven,” Mike says.
If you’re looking to join a mission-driven, remote-first organization, Bankjoy is hiring! The company values communication, transparency, and empowering employees. They’re not too big and not too small, so there’s a lot of opportunity to grow and advance your career. Learn more about working at Bankjoy and explore its open opportunities.