“Schools don’t teach kids about money.” Such is the straightforward problem statement of CJ MacDonald, CEO of a new app that’s secured $22.5 million in funding from a who’s who of celebs and business tycoons. Among the famous names: Will Smith, Nas, Ronnie Lott, and Kevin Gould.
So what’s all the excitement about? An app called Step, a mobile bank for teens that’s entirely app-based and completely free of overdraft fees and monthly fees. Among the biggest investors is Square, the payment processing company behind Cash App and the Squarespace website brand. As the CEO told Black Enterprise, “We want to be their first bank accounts with spending cards, but we also want to teach financial literacy and responsibility.”
It seems they’re onto something. Since its soft launch in January, the app has built up a waitlist of 500,000 wannabe users. Talk about demand.
Buzz around the app’s launch drives home just how big a need exists among teens on the topic of money. While the Motley Fool reported that teens earn an average of $465 per month, 60% don’t follow a budget. Even more shocking, Fox Business puts it more simply: 83% of teens don’t know how to manage money.
We’re rooting for Step’s success. Anyone who joins the cause of spreading financial literacy among teens is a hero in our book.