Why PayPal just deposited $50 million in a small South Carolina bank
PayPal has just deposited $50 million in an account at Optus Bank, a minority-owned institution in Columbia, S.C., that has $155 million in assets. As unlikely as this pairing may sound, it happened relatively quickly. In June, PayPal announced a $530 million commitment to support minority communities and businesses in the U.S., especially those hardest hit by the pandemic, to help address economic inequality. Dominik Mjartan, Optus Bank's CEO, obtained a contact at PayPal through a friend and set in motion a conversation through which the San Jose, Calif., payment giant made Optus one if its recipients. In an interview, Mjartan told the story of how the new funding came about, what he intends to do with it and why so many financial hurdles still exist for Black-owned businesses.