Below is our recent interview with Khalid Parekh, CEO & Founder at Fair:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Far too many families face significant barriers to reaching financial freedom and building generational wealth. Fair, a multilingual digital bank and ethical financial services platform, was created to help close those opportunity and wealth gaps with banking, lending, investment and retirement services.
More personally, I founded Fair to help solve the challenges I faced as an immigrant entrepreneur and the challenges I see other communities face in traditional banking systems. Homeownership is on the decline, people are paying thousands of dollars a year in hidden bank fees, the majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Plus, these problems are exacerbated for people of color. Fintech has the power to solve these barriers, but only if it’s ethical, equitable and accessible.
Our aim is to meet Fair members wherever they are in their financial journey and provide access the opportunities they need— whether that’s buying a home with a no-interest loan, sending money to family overseas without fees, saving for retirement, starting a business, investing their money in ethical ways or just daily, transparent banking.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We are proud to be built by the communities we aim to serve. We recently shared 90% of our investors are people of color, 80% are immigrants and many are first-time investors in fintech. I took a grassroots approach to funding because I did not want the big banks and venture capital funding to have control over our platform. Now that a group of individual investors has raised the funds, we will launch our neobanking services this spring.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Our features are built with our members’ needs in mind. Data tells us that building generational wealth is more than just having a secure place to hold your money— it’s about having tools to build a healthy financial future for yourself and your family. That’s why Fair will provide members banking, lending, investment, and retirement services.
Some key features will include:
• No-hidden-fee banking
• No-fee international money transfers
• No-interest home, auto and small business lending
• High-yield dividend savings accounts with up to 2% returns, ethical investments
• Buy Now Pay Later interest-free microloans
• Up to 2-day early access to direct deposit funds
• Socially responsible investing (SRI) and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investing measures
• Investment advising
• Retirement planning
• No-fee access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
• Debit cards and debit cards for kids
To provide these features and more, Fair will run on a transparent membership model, similar to how Costco or other wholesale retailers charge a set fee to unlock premium, discounted access.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: We are fully focused on building and improving upon our platform to best serve our members. This spring, Fair will launch its neobanking services for members. By the end of 2021, we plan to launch additional financial services.
Q: What is a great thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: I created Fair as a way to pay it forward. I am so fortunate to have built multi-million-dollar IT firm AMSYS Group from the ground up. With this infrastructure in place, I personally funded the technology investment for Fair and had a group of individual investors, also passionate for this cause, raise funds to launch our platform. Giving back is incredibly important to me and our team. It’s why I will not draw a salary from Fair. It’s also why, to meet our promise of stimulating financial opportunity and closing inequitable wealth gaps, 2.5% of our profit will go to economic equality initiatives and refugee missions and causes.