Charlie, the new standard for 62+ banking services, launched nationwide in the U.S. Charlie helps retirees and soon-to-be-retirees make the most of their limited resources with features including faster access to their Social Security check, competitive 3% earnings on average balances and no monthly fees or minimums, as well as US-based customer service, and a simple, transparent digital experience designed for their needs. Charlie is on a mission to transform financial services for the 62+ community and provide peace of mind around their financial present and future.
“In the United States, the 62+ community has never had financial services designed for their unique needs. Charlie was created to change that,” said Kevin Nazemi, co-founder and CEO of Charlie. “Charlie is designed to meaningfully address the challenges retirees and soon-to-be-retirees face financially: shifting from accumulating assets to deaccumulation, the struggles regarding transparency and trust in the financial services world, and a lack of options to help them make the most of their limited resources to enjoy life. We look forward to serving this community and giving them the peace of mind they deserve.”
Over 50% of the 73 million seniors in the United States do not feel prepared financially for retirement, but few banking solutions are designed for their unique needs. Up until the moment someone retires, they are accumulating assets. However, when they retire, they go into deaccumulation mode, having to make the most of the limited resources they have, such as a small pile of savings, their Social Security check, and their home. Around 52% of seniors do not feel prepared for the asset deaccumulation challenge ahead of them. Nearly all financial services products are designed for those working full-time and generating income. And unfortunately, most features built for 62+ Americans come with high fees or unexpected expenses.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated tech adoption amongst older adults, with 44% saying they view tech more positively than pre-pandemic. Already, their online banking adoption is nearly the same as younger groups. With high cost of living and lack of cash flow being two of the top three concerns of retirees and soon-to-be retirees, along with their rapid adoption of technology, this population is in need of a new type of banking solution.
Charlie is offering something different: banking services designed for the unique needs of the 62+ community. At launch, the following services will be available and will be greatly expanded upon in the coming months:
• Social Security: In an industry first, Charlie will enable its customers to withdraw their Social Security benefit up to four weeks early, with no fees and no strings attached. For the millions who live paycheck to paycheck, this flexibility will allow them to deposit the money they need, exactly when they need it.
• United States-based customer service: Charlie believes that the online banking experience doesn’t have to be challenging and can feel as personal as being in a physical branch. As such, Charlie is committed to providing stress-free, U.S.-based customer service to all customers.
• Fraud prevention: Charlie maintains dynamic transaction monitoring, partners with best-in-class compliance and security providers and allows customers to easily freeze and unfreeze their card if they have any concerns about activity.
• 3% Earnings on Average Balances: Charlie is offering customers 3% earnings on average balances, well above the national average, and will always maintain a competitive earnings rate.
• All deposits are held at Sutton Bank, member FDIC, and are insured up to $250,000.
• A network of 55,000 ATMs, including major retailers like CVS and Walgreens.
• No monthly fees and no minimums.
• Your account goes wherever you are, with Charlie available on iPhone, Android, and desktop.
And this is just the start. Charlie will be rolling out several industry-first, innovative features throughout the coming months.
Charlie also took into account how the 62+ community utilizes technology and built transparent and controllable services and support for retirees to manage their financial future.
• Intuitive: Easy-to-use design with accessibility in mind. Font size, color contrast, and clear navigation were all built to make the interface user-friendly for those with visual or physical limitations.
• Focus: The product is built to reduce distractions and provide a streamlined experience.
• Transparent: Charlie is clear about options, fees, and charges. There are no hidden costs or information buried in small text.
• Control: Charlie doesn’t assume what’s best but presents multiple settings to let users tailor the service to suit their needs.
Charlie was co-founded by Kevin Nazemi, who serves as CEO. A veteran of the technology and healthcare sectors, Kevin previously co-founded two companies in the healthcare technology space—Oscar Health and Renew Health, a technology-driven health platform focused on retirees. Through both personal and professional experience, Kevin gained an intimate understanding of the challenges retirees and soon-to-be-retirees face, with companies, products, and services not designed for their needs and even simple things like product design and customer service not optimized for the 62+ community. Along with two of his closest friends and two industry veterans, Kevin began to consider how they could tackle the challenges this group faces financially, ultimately founding Charlie in 2021.
Charlie has raised $7.5 million from investors including Better Tomorrow Ventures, Expa, Ayokunle Omojola, and Gokul Rajaram.