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Pasadena-Based Cheese Bank Promotes Asian-Owned Businesses During AAPI Heritage Month

Published on Thursday, May 13, 2021 | 11:35 am
Cheese co-founders from left to right: Zhen Wang, Ken Lian, Qingyi Li. (Courtesy image)

A new digital banking platform based in Pasadena and designed primarily to serve Asian and immigrant communities is commemorating AAPI Heritage Month by expanding cash-back offerings when customers use their debit accounts at Asian-owned businesses across the U.S., the company announced Thursday.

Cheese emerged in March as a “first-of-its-kind” online banking service with a special emphasis on social causes, representatives said.

Using either physical or virtual debit cards, customers already received cash-back rewards of up to 10% at more than 10,000 retailers and restaurants, including many that are Asian-owned, Cheese said in a written statement.

To mark AAPI Heritage Month, “Cheese has identified and teamed up with additional independent Asian-owned businesses and restaurants in American cities that need added orders and foot traffic, offering 5% cash back to customers who support those businesses,” the statement said. “The cities include Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Chicago.”

Cheese co-founder and CEO Ken Lian said the AAPI community is in particularly need of support at this time.

“This time during COVID has been especially hard on Asian businesses and restaurants. They’ve been battling a double crisis between racially motivated attacks plus the overall drop in activity that so many American businesses have experienced,” he said. 

“We want to urge our customers to help them by going out and supporting local Asian-owned restaurants with their purchases,” Lian said. “With the 5% cash back, they’re able to do this and earn a little for themselves as well.”

Customers have the option of donating any amount of their rewards to charitable efforts.

Although it specializes in serving Asian and immigrant community, Cheese is available to anyone in the U.S. over 18 years old, representatives said.

More information is available on the company’s website at


Digital Banking Platform Serving Asian Americans Launches in Pasadena

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