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On Your Side: Online bank offers seniors early access to monthly Social Security payments

On Your Side: Bank offers seniors advance on Social Security payments
On Your Side: Bank offers seniors advance on Social Security payments 01:43

A new online bank is catering to seniors and advertising an advance on monthly Social Security payments, without any extra fees or charges. 

About 40 percent of seniors live exclusively off their Social Security. That payment comes the second, third or fourth Wednesday of the month, depending on their birth date. Now one locally founded start-up is offering seniors a way to get that money sooner, without any additional costs.

"Charlie" is an online platform that offers FDIC-insured banking for seniors, many of whom live on a limited income. It launched back in May. Charlie offers seniors an advance on that monthly Social Security payment.

"With Charlie, a member simply needs to send over their Social Security Direct Deposit to their FDIC-insured Charlie account, and then once we receive it, in future months, on or after the first of the month, they can simply come to Charlie and request that money with no fees and no interest," said Charlie Co-Founder Kevin Nazemi.  "It's as simple as that."

Charlie also offers U.S.-based customer service, something Nazemi says seniors they polled asked for, as they can often find it tough to communicate with agents oversees.

Charlie also touts fraud protection that is geared toward the spending habits of seniors, with 24-7 real-time monitoring that looks for changes in where they pump their gas, shop for their groceries and how often they leave town.

If a charge occurs at 2 a.m., that would likely be flagged for a fraud alert, as most seniors aren't out at that hour.

So how does Charlie make its money? The bank gets a portion of the fees merchants pay when you use a debit card.

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