July 07, 2022
We had hoped to post this episode during Pride Month and didn’t quite make it, but, of course, the topic is timeless. My guest is Rob Curtis, CEO and Cofounder of Daylight, a fintech startup that focuses on serving LGBTQ customers.
In our conversation, Rob shares the story of why and how Daylight came to be. He talks about the stigma and bias encountered by LGBTQ people in seeking financial services; about the unique kinds of financial needs they experience in their lives; and about other challenges that affect them disproportionately. As an example of the latter, he notes that it’s common for people to struggle with gender identity issues well into adulthood, in ways that can delay or set back their financial stability and maturity, sometimes for a decade.
Daylight helps with these kinds of needs by offering a payments capability combined with budgeting and money management tools, delivered with specialized insight and sensitivity to its target market. This includes the ability to help people choose how to create and use an alternate identity, while still meeting KYC compliance requirements for anti-money laundering.
Rob shares his views on getting involved with crypto. He talks about how the current volatility in the fintech and venture capital worlds will impact fintech innovators, especially those who are trying to reach underserved markets. He also shares his advice on what regulators and policymakers should do to address injustice toward LGBTQ people.
I asked Rob what lessons they are learning that could be adopted by other financial companies that want to serve LGBTQ markets. You’ll be interested in his answer.
Rob Curtis is CEO and co-founder of Daylight, the first and only digital banking platform designed to improve the financial lives of the queer community. Rob comes from a rich background in financial services andqueer-facing consumer businesses. His passion for regulation comes from his early career as in the Australian Government, where he wrote the country’s Youth Employment Strategy. He brings this tapestry of experiences together at Daylight, which he created with a simple mission: to close the LGBTQ+ wealth gap.
We are officially halfway through 2022! My guests so far have been absolutely wonderful and I am excited to see what types of conversations lie ahead in the second half of the year. The lineup includes Sunayna Tuteja, the first-ever chief innovation officer of the Federal Reserve System; Jessica Renier, Managing Director at Digital Finance; Randall Quarles, the recently departed Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board; Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire back with us again; and the fascinating innovation team from the MSRB –the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
In June, I was happy to be traveling again! I had a very productive trip to Zurich to speak at the Point Zero Forum, hosted by the Swiss government and Elevandi. Elevandi is a nonprofit created by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to advance the global dialogue on the need to modernize financial regulation (I serve on its board.)
This month I’ll be speaking at an important conference of the National Fair Housing Alliance. In August I will be back in the air on my way to Aspen for the Moonclave conference, which will be tackling all the big issues emerging in crypto. In September I’ll be back at Compliance.ai. And we’ll of course be at Money 20/20 in the fall.
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