Cheese, a revolutionary digital banking and social cause platform, announced its brand launch today. Cheese will serve primarily Asian-Americans and immigrants in the U.S. providing customers accessible, zero-fee, rewards-based banking while simultaneously giving them a seamless way to support Asian-American and immigrant-owned businesses, at-risk communities, and charitable organizations with each purchase.
There are nearly 21 million Asian Americans in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau. They represent the fastest growing, most affluent and educated of any racial or ethnic group in the country. Despite this, Asians often have been subject to discrimination and an unequal playing field in America, facing challenges in securing basic banking services due to a lack of credit history and language barriers.
As an immigrant and international student in the U.S., serial entrepreneur and Cheese Co-Founder and CEO Ken Lian experienced these issues firsthand.
“I had paid thousands in unnecessary bank fees and been declined multiple times for basic bank accounts, even with an 800+ FICO score. I have always envisioned launching a digital banking platform that someone like me could easily access but also serves a deeper purpose, with the power to positively impact Asian communities. Cheese is that banking platform.”
Kicking off its launch, Cheese has pledged $100,000 to the Cheese Giveback Fund, a hundred percent of which will be donated to nonprofits and community service programs in support of Asian neighborhoods and businesses hardest hit by violence and economic hardship during the pandemic. Initial efforts will focus on San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City with plans to expand to other cities.
To help drive its social impact efforts, Cheese has partnered with actor, musician, and host Jimmy Wong, a well-known advocate for Asian rights. Wong will serve as its Chief Community Ambassador and lead other high profile Asian celebrities, community leaders, and influencers to assist Asian businesses and communities on an ongoing basis and those currently suffering from racist attacks, violence, and discrimination.
“I am honored to join Cheese to help lead the way in protecting and revitalizing the incredibly diverse Asian communities across this country. It is beyond important to us to create sustainable and lasting change. The team at Cheese genuinely believes in using their business and platform for good, and I passionately agree with that philosophy,” said Jimmy Wong, Chief Community Ambassador.
Cheese is donating $10,000 of the $100,000 to nonprofits Asian Pacific Fund, Welcome to Chinatown, AAPI Women Lead, and Southwestern Chinese Students and Scholars Association on March 10th, 2021 while cardmembers can make an impactful and lasting change simply by signing up for a card and making purchases. Starting today:
- For each user that signs up for the Cheese debit card between now and June 10th, Cheese will make a $10 donation to the Cheese Giveback Fund up to $90,000 of the overall $100,000 donation
- All new users will receive a $5 sign up bonus and can choose to keep the cash or to donate it to the Cheese Giveback Fund
- A donation will be made to the Cheese Giveback Fund every time a cardholder makes a nonrefundable purchase
The platform provides the Cheese’s Debit Mastercard, which is available to those with no credit history and cardholders can begin to use virtual cards instantly through their mobile wallets. Cheese accounts are open to all US citizens aged 18 and over. It offers advance pay up to two days early with direct deposit, a 3% deposit bonus for referring friends, 0.3% Annual Percentage Yield (APY) and up to 10% cash back on purchases at over 10k merchants. Customer deposits are FDIC insured by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The card offers advanced security features with Mastercard’s Zero Liability and Identity Theft protection while the platform provides multi-factor authentication and 256-bit encryption bank-level security. The Cheese Debit Mastercard is issued by Coastal Community Bank, member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International.
To date, Cheese has raised $3.6 million in seed funding from lead investors Ifly.vc and Amplify with additional participation from Adam Nash, former CEO of Wealthfront, Zillow Cofounder Spencer Rascoff and venture capital firms Wedbush Ventures, Idealab, and Operate Venture Studio.
To sign up, download the app from Apple’s app store, or to learn more about Cheese, visit www.earncheese.com
Our mission is to empower people with financial freedom and to provide a platform to affect real improvement in their communities. The company offers competitive banking solutions with cashback, deposit bonuses, and zero fees. In the app, Cheese uses industry-standard security, encryption and authentication practices to safeguard your data and personal information. Cheese accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.