The “For Members Only,” or FMO credit union was recently established by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and is now the first Black-owned, women-led, sorority-based digital banking financial institution in American history.
With nearly 500,000 members worldwide, the AKAs are one of America’s oldest service organizations – founded in 1908 by college-educated African American women at Howard University.
In an interview with ABC 7, Danette Anthony Reed, international president and CEO of AKA Sorority, said, “Everyone doesn’t understand the impact we make financially, so you have to start doing things so folks know we know how to control our money.”
The National Credit Union Administration will oversee and insure FMOFCU. The primary banking services will be available to the distinguished organization’s members, their families, AKA staff, and credit union employees.
The sorority’s sisterhood and mission to be of “service to all mankind,” supports the specialized fully digital service. FMOFCU worked together with Aurora Advantage, Powered by CSPI, to create their digital objectives and service provision.
In a statement, CSPI’s CEO and President, Brad Epple said, “It’s been evident as we’ve navigated the implementation process the past six months that FMOFCU has a strong and purpose-driven leadership team committed to ensuring a successful launch. We believe in their mission and are fully committed to growing this vision with their team by staying connected and engaged through each step of their digital journey.”
The official opening of the credit union took place in Chicago, the location of the AKA’s global headquarters, during their annual sorority leadership conference.
According to AfroTech, early plans to establish a credit union placed a strong emphasis on assisting women of color in achieving financial security and economic health. This is a result of the six ongoing projects of the AKA, one of which is the growth of economic prosperity.
When the FMO credit union’s doors opened on Wednesday, July 12, members rushed to get in line to open accounts.
Monica Teal, a member of the sorority, said, “It’s just awesome to know we’ll have the opportunity to actually do something financial.
Deardra Hayes-Whigham, an FMO board member also disclosed, “We want to invest in what we own,” outlining the factors that led her and her family to choose to sign up as founding subscribers.