Challenger Bank Cheese To Accept Alternative Forms of Identification

Move Expands Financial Access For All Americans, Including Immigrants

PASADENA, Calif.--()--Cheese, the revolutionary challenger bank and social cause platform, today announced it is expanding access to its banking services by offering alternative methods of identification to open an account for customers without social security numbers.

As an alternative to sharing a social security number, Cheese will also consider applicants who provide a current visa and valid passport as alternative identification along with a valid established U.S. address. Prospective customers can offer one of the seven valid visas if they do not have a social security number.

“I am so proud and gratified to be introducing a digital banking platform that can be accessed with alternative identification. This has been the number one priority for Cheese since our inception. As an immigrant who came to the U.S. with a student visa, I have experienced firsthand how requiring a social security number means a lot of people who get shut out of financial services. Providing a platform that welcomes immigrants as well as non-immigrants opens the doors for everyone,” said Ken Lian, CEO and co-founder of Cheese.

There are approximately 45 million immigrants in the United States accounting for $1.3 trillion in spending power, according to the bipartisan research firm New American Economy. Many have been unable to open bank accounts because they lack a U.S. issued social security number, a concept originating in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act. Social Security numbers, intended to track income over an American’s lifetime to determine retirement benefits, have had the long-term effect of locking out, especially immigrants, from securing basic banking services.

Lian added, “Fintechs generally don’t offer banking platforms without requiring social security numbers because it’s a very complex process from both a regulatory and technological standpoint. We moved mountains to make this happen but did so because it’s a crucial step forward in the next generation of financial access if it’s going to be truly inclusive and reflect today’s global community. To that end, providing more accessible credit and lending is next on our list.”

Cheese launched in March this year. By using either the Cheese physical or virtual debit card, Cheese users can earn up to 10% cash-back at over 10,000 retailers or restaurants, including many Asian-owned restaurants and businesses. And through its social cause platform, customers are able to be part of a larger movement to support Asian-owned businesses and communities. Any customer may donate their $5 sign up bonus or any portion of their cash back funds to the Cheese Give Back Fund, which gives all its proceeds to organizations like Welcome to Chinatown, AAPI Women Lead, the Asian Pacific Fund, and other nonprofits. So far more than $33,000 has been donated by Cheese customers.

Actor Jimmy Wong, Cheese’s Chief Community Officer and the son of immigrant parents said, “We want diaspora communities across any background in the United States to know that they may find a challenger bank in Cheese. They will not be denied financial access or assistance because they do not have a social security number.”

To learn more about Cheese or to sign up for an account, visit earncheese.com and https://www.earncheese.com/termsconditions. Cheese does not charge fees. Third party fees may apply.

About Cheese
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.

Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC. The Cheese debit card is issued by Coastal Community Bank, member FDIC pursuant to license by Mastercard International. Cheese accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

Contacts

Media
Bevel
Jeanne Yurman
cheese@bevelpr.com

Release Summary

Challenger bank Cheese will now accept alternative forms of identification.

Contacts

Media
Bevel
Jeanne Yurman
cheese@bevelpr.com