Get to know Luke Bailey and Jackie Liao; they are the founders of Neon Money Club, a digital financial wellness and investment platform breaking barriers. The two entrepreneurs grew up in a single-parent home where money was tight, including food and clothes.
Coupled with that, they grew up with little financial knowledge, particularly on how to save money as there was no one there to teach them. They were often ridiculed and also struggled to fit in by wearing the right clothes and sneakers.
Due to their background, the duo made a conscious decision to work in finance to help set themselves up. Months into their corporate life, the two decided to change course, quitting their high-paying bank jobs to build a digital place where more people like them become financially educated in ways they understand. The goal was to make them all monetarily independent, hence the founding of the Neon Money Club.
“Coming up as a kid, me, Jackie, we come from very similar backgrounds, and we didn’t have sh-t,” Bailey, co-founder and CEO of NMC, told Complex. “I got into banking at 19. Before that, I was rapping. I was producing. I was on stage. [And then] I found out my daughter was on the way… and it’s like, ‘Oh, crap. I’ve got to get a real job.’ I almost cried going into banking because I didn’t want to do that. I had to cut my braids off. It was real. And my dad told me, he said, ‘Luke, you’re a creative. Don’t lose that. Let that be your secret.’ And it’s always been my secret for 18 years.”
Neon Money Club assists users in investing in the things that interest them most, from pop culture to sneakers, sports, and more.
Today, the company has launched the Neon Money Club Cream American Express Card, making it the first Black-owned tech company in the U.S. to launch an American Express card. According to a statement by the company, the Cream Card “lets you invest Neon Money Club’s reward points into the US stock market through Neon Money Club’s app, and earn bonus points with friends.”
“Members can earn up to 800 individual bonus points per month when they form crews by connecting with other Cream Card holders in the Neon Money Club app,” the statement added.
Bailey further explained that “Cardmembers will not only be able to buy-in to the experiences and brands they love as consumers; they can also become asset owners by using their rewards for stocks on the US stock market through the Neon Money Club app.”
William Stredwick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Network Services North America at American Express, said working with Neon Money Club to launch the Cream Card is another example of how American Express is empowering fintechs to innovate on its network.