Cheese, a recently launched digital banking and social cause platform, will serve Asian-Americans and immigrants in the US, providing customers with accessible, zero-fee, rewards-based banking whilst simultaneously supporting Asian-American and immigrant-owned businesses, at-risk communities, and charitable organisations with each purchase.
According to the US Census Bureau, there are nearly 21 million Asian-Americans living in the United States. 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 US, 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 bank that someone like me could easily access, but one that also serves a deeper purpose, with the power to positively impact Asian communities. Cheese is exactly that digital bank.”
Kicking off its recent launch, Cheese has pledged $100,000 to the Cheese Giveback Fund, which is to be donated to nonprofits and community service programs in support of the Asian neighbourhoods and businesses hardest hit by the economic hardship of the pandemic. Initial efforts will focus on areas within San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City, with plans in the future 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 honoured to join Cheese to help lead the way in protecting and revitalising 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.
Investors in the scheme include Adam Nash, former CEO of Wealthfront, Zillow Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff and venture capital firms Amplify, Operate and IdeaLab.