Seniors today have a variety of options when it comes to how they manage their finances. These days, security, ease of access, and the ability to find a financial partner they can trust matter just as much as competitive rates. Thankfully, there's a local community bank, SouthEast Bank, which provides the peace-of-mind, protection and financial options that Chattanooga-area senior are looking for.

What sets SouthEast Bank apart can be summed up in four key areas: Seniors can find special products designed for them — Case-in-point, SouthEast Bank launched a new senior-focused product, Thrive Checking, to address their unique concerns. The Thrive Checking account goes one step further for seniors by giving them unexpected perks, like free cashier's checks, a credit towards safe deposit box fees and may qualify for an extra bump in CD rates, which could result in customers earning above the posted market rate. It's Thrive Checking accounts like this that can help those on a fixed income stretch their dollars further. 

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"I love that we listen to our customers' needs and give them options to earn money and save money based on the feedback we receive," explained Juli-Ann Morgan, Vice President and Branch Manager for SouthEast in Chattanooga. "It's wonderful to work for a bank that continues to nurture and expand relationships with the senior age group and offer products that make them feel valued." 

Protection against fraud and scams — Fraud is on the rise and is targeting seniors across the globe, both online and on the phone. Seniors need to have a financial partner they can call and talk to before giving out their information. SouthEast Bank customers should remember that the bank will not call them or email them and ask them for their account details or access to their account passwords. If they are concerned at all, they should hang up and then call their branch. Fraudsters try to create a false sense of urgency to make people give up their information. If you are uncomfortable, hang up immediately and call the bank directly. It's not rude, in fact, SouthEast Bank employees prefer customers take this approach because it means you're playing an active role in keeping your finances safe. 

"Some of the most common scams we see are fraudsters impersonating the IRS or Social Security office with threat of arrest if they don't 'pay what is due,'" Morgan shared. "This scare tactic is often frightening enough to cause people to give over their confidential information or actually send funds to the criminals. We make sure our senior clients know that these scams are out there and to never give their personal information to anyone over the phone." She went on to say that at SouthEast Bank, they work to stay extra vigilant at the branch level and educate all bank employees on red flags for elder abuse. "We make sure that all of our customers have a direct contact at the bank they can reach out to if they are ever suspicious that they are being targeted for fraud," she said. 

Technology and People — It's the best of both worlds. SouthEast Bank has invested in building innovative, easy-to-use technology that benefits the senior population. This includes mobile and desktop banking, access to 55,000 fee-free ATMs coast-to-coast and friendly, local staff members to help you if you have questions about your account or how best to use our mobile app. 

"While we recognize that technology is not a selling point to everyone, we still love doing business the old-fashioned way too," Morgan said. "For customers that still desire face to face interaction, we have a beautiful new branch downtown with complimentary parking. Our branch staff is equipped to help seniors with not only setting up accounts but also switching direct deposits and ACH payments. Customer service is at top of mind for us at all times." 

Communication — SouthEast Bank's is ready to help customers find the banking, checking or CD account that is right for them and to help them get the most out of banking. They are dedicated to making opening an account easy to do and hassle free, helping you to understand how to use their online banking products and to keep you safe. 

"We have two convenient branches in the Chattanooga area: one in the Liberty Tower downtown (complimentary parking next door under the Republic Centre building) with Monday – Thursday hours 8:30-4:30 and Friday 8:30-5. Our Ooltewah branch is located at 9218 Lee Highway with Monday-Thursday hours 8:30-4:30 and Friday 8:30-5," Morgan added. 

The relationship between banker and customer is an important one, so it pays to make sure the products, security, technology and communication you receive support you and your personal financial goals. To learn more about SouthEast Bank and Thrive Checking, contact the local branch nearest you, or find them on Facebook @yoursoutheastbank. SouthEast Bank is Member FDIC. 

Contact SouthEast Bank for Thrive Checking limitations and details.