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Investment Apps and Websites

Your Comprehensive Guide In Managing Family Finances

Managing family finances has all sorts of challenges — from budgeting to savings goals, loans, debt management, and more. However, with the right knowledge, you will surely get through it.

Guide in Managing Family Finances

According to a consumer survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, it was found that 59% of the 300 adult respondents (aged 35 to 65 years old) do not track their spending, while two out of five never had a budget.

Meanwhile, in a Gallup poll, it was found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

Furthermore, the same poll revealed that only 30% of Americans prepare a long-term financial plan outlining their savings and investment goals in detail, while the 2020 ‘Financial Planning’ Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha reported that 49% of Americans expect to live paycheck to paycheck in 2020.

In another study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation entitled, “The 2018 National Financial Capability Study,” it was found that over 53% of American adults feel anxious thinking about their financial situation. Forty-four percent even find it stressful discussing their finances.

The above-mentioned surveys and studies are just some of the many that are available out there.

Unfortunately, all of these show how badly Americans (particularly adults) are when it comes to their personal finances, which, in effect also affects how they handle their family finances.

However, this does not mean American people cannot change when it comes to how they handle their money – be it their personal, business, or the family’s money.

We believe that while change does not happen overnight, it will, eventually, for as long as there is a will.

Also, apart from that, proper knowledge, understanding, and guidance by experts are also essential to there can be a shift in how the American people handle their money.

With that said, in the next few sections, we are going to share with you some of the most important information you need to know when it comes to handling family finances.

From personal finance management to savings goals, loans, debt management, etc. – we got you covered.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • About Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Online Trading
  • Life Insurance
  • Investment Platforms
  • Loans
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Online Fund Transfer
  • Personal Finance Management Tools

ABOUT BANKING

Generally, banking refers to the act of accepting as well as safeguarding money owned by individuals, group of people, or entities, and then lending it out to make a profit or to cover operating expenses.

Banking also refers to the industry that handles cash, credit, as well as other financial transactions.

Banks refers to the physical structure that provides a safe place to store both cash and credit.

Banks offer a number of products and services, which include savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit. Some banks also offer loan products and services.

In the U.S. economy, banking plays a very important role. In fact, it is one of the key drivers that keep the economy going.

When it comes to handling your personal finances or family finances for that matter, it is important to know and understand what banking is all about, the available products and services offered, how banking actually works, and how it will help you in your financial journey.

Banking is basic yet the most essential aspect of your financial journey. Needless to say, it is the most convenient and most accessible way to keep your money.

To help you understand better what banking is all about, and it is important in your overall financial journey, here are some references that you may check out:

MOBILE BANKING

Investopedia defines mobile banking as “the act of making financial transactions on a mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.)”.

Banking has never been so easy, simple, convenient, and accessible with the rise of the mobile banking industry.

In today’s digital age, it is not surprising that more and more banks (both old and new) are offering online services. After all, the number of people using online or mobile banking is impressively increasing over time.

With mobile banking, you can deposit a check, pay for merchandise, as well as transfer funds to a family member or a friend anytime and anywhere for as long as there is a secure internet connection.

Indeed, mobile banking has changed the way banking works.

If you want to know more about what mobile banking is all about, check out the blog posts below:

Mobile Banks for Personal Use

There are a lot of mobile banks out there, and choosing one can get a little challenging especially if you are new to mobile banking.

To help you choose the one that fits your needs and preferences, you may check out these mobile bank reviews:

Mobile Banks for Students

Meanwhile, if you are a student who wants to start early when it comes to financial management, or you are a parent who wishes to teach your kid about financial management through banking, here are some blog references for you:

Mobile Banks for Businesses

Mobile banks are not only available for personal use. In fact, even businesses can take advantage of what mobile banks have to offer.

There are a few mobile banks for businesses out there, and NorthOne is one of them. Know more about this mobile bank and what it offers in the blog below:

ONLINE TRADING

NerdWallet defines trading as the act of buying and selling stocks regularly in an attempt to time the market.

Furthermore, the website explains that the goal of traders is to “capitalize on short-term market events to sell stocks for a profit, or buy stocks at a low. Some stock traders are day traders, which means they buy and sell several times throughout the day“.

Meanwhile, online trading refers to trading stocks using an online platform. Online trading has become increasingly popular among traders because it’s timely, convenient, and easy.

There are a lot of online trading platforms out there, and one of them is eToro. Know more about what this online trading platform has to offer in the blog post below:

LIFE INSURANCE

According to Forbes Advisor, life insurance refers to “a contract between you and an insurance company. Essentially, in exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company will pay a lump sum known as a death benefit to your beneficiaries after your death.”

Generally speaking, life insurance is essential especially if you have dependents (which normally refers to your spouse and child/children). It helps protect your dependents and allows you to leave them a non-taxable amount at the time of your death. Apart from that, life insurance can also be used to cover existing mortgages as well as personal loans.

There are a lot of life insurance companies out there to choose from. These days, life insurance companies can also be easily found online.

Over time, insurance companies have adapted to the changes brought by technology and the internet. So, yeah, if you are looking for life insurance company options, we recommend you check these blog posts below:

INVESTMENT PLATFORMS

Investing is an essential way to help keep your family finances on a positive note.

An investment platform refers to an online service that allows consumers to buy, sell, as well as hold funds.

Most investment platforms are on a non-advised basis, which allows you, the consumer to do everything on your own. However, there are also those that are on an advised basis wherein the consumer has the option to use a financial adviser who will invest on his or her behalf.

Online investment platforms have become very popular among consumers over recent years as it can be a tax-efficient way to hold investments.

With its gaining popularity comes a lot of choices. Yes, there are many online investment platforms out there for you to choose from.

To help you choose the right online investment platform, and to know more about investing, check these reviews and references:

LOANS

Investopedia refers to the term loan as “a type of credit vehicle in which a sum of money is lent to another party in exchange for future repayment of the value or principal amount”.

If you want to have a better understanding of what a loan is all about, we recommend you check these references:

There are different types of loan out there, but some of the most commonly offered by banks and lending companies are:

  • Auto Loan – Also known as a car loan, this allows you to acquire a vehicle. Normally, car loans or auto loans are collateral loans, which means the vehicle automatically serves as collateral in case the borrower fails to pay off the loan.
  • Business Loan – This type of loan is specifically intended for business purposes. You can use it to open a new business or for expansion of an existing one.
  • Home Loan/Mortgage – This allows the borrower to purchase his or her dream home. Home loans usually consist of an adjustable or fixed interest rate and payment terms.
  • Payday Loan – This refers to a short-term loan that can help cover your immediate need for cash. This usually comes with a higher interest rate.
  • Personal Loan – This is the most common type of loan out there. A personal loan can be used for almost any type of purchase — especially big ones. It usually comes with a lower interest rate as compared to credit cards.
  • Students Loan – This type of loan is specifically designed to help students pay for their education as well as other school fees and charges. It can also be used to pay for books and school supplies.

Know more about these types of loan in the blog posts below:

Personal Loan

Auto Loan

Business Loan

Home Loan/Mortgage

Student Loan

Payday Loan

Other Types of Loan

Apart from the above-mentioned loan types, there are less commonly known types of loans, which include:

Dental Loan

Emergency Loan

Point of Sale Financing

Tax Refund Advance Loan

Boat Financing

Loan Marketplaces

Loan marketplaces are online sites or platforms where you can easily find a lender for your loan needs.

While there are a lot of them out there, here are some of them:

CREDIT MONITORING

In this day and age, there are a lot of products and services that will help keep you on track of your family finances – one of them is credit monitoring.

According to an article published by CNBC, credit monitoring basically refers to what the name suggests — it monitors your credit.

These services help track your credit history as shown on your credit report and send alerts via email, SMS, or phone call in case changes transpire. This helps hinder potential fraud, should there be any.

Furthermore, the article says, “credit monitoring services provide an automated and faster way to track changes to your comprehensive credit file”.

There are a lot of credit monitoring services out there, and each of them has its respective list of activities. However, some of the common activities among them are as follows:

  • New accounts opened under your name
  • Hard inquiries on your credit report
  • Balances and payments
  • Name changes and/or new address
  • Public records like bankruptcies
  • Personal information like your social security number, email address, and password

While credit monitoring services are helpful in spotting potential signs of fraud, please note that it is not as comprehensive and does not provide a holistic approach to prevent identity theft or unauthorized transactions.

As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of existing credit monitoring tools out there, which include Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Know more about these services in these blogs below:

ONLINE FUND TRANSFER

As obvious as it is, online fund transfer refers to the act of transferring funds through an online platform. Normally, freelance workers or work from home workers use online fund transfer platforms to receive payments from their clients.

However, over time, these platforms have also been used to transfer money within families – especially those who are far from one another.

While there are many available options out there, TransferWise and Xoom are some of the most popularly used online fund transfer platforms these days. Know more about them in the following reviews:

PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Personal finance management tools refer to a platform or software that helps individuals or families in handling their money.

A personal finance management tool is very helpful especially in handling family finances. This helps ensure that all funds are directed to where they should be.

There are a lot of personal finance management platforms out there, and to be honest, it’s just about choosing the one that suits your and your family’s needs.

To know more about what’s out there, check the blog posts below:

FINAL THOUGHTS ON FAMILY FINANCES

Handling family finances may be quite a challenge back in the days, but in this era, it is made easier. Thanks to technological advancements, today, there are various tools and platforms (mostly available online) that can help you in managing your personal, business, and most of all, your family’s money.

Are you now excited to manage your and your family’s money?

As mentioned, keep in mind that with existing finance tools and platforms, handling your family finances should be a breeze.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Cogni Review: Why Makes This Digital Bank Worth It

This Cogni review will provide you all the essential information that while this digital banking platform is new, it’s worth it.

Cogni Review: Why Makes This Digital Bank Worth It

Digital banking is becoming the norm. More and more people prefer using it or making financial transactions using digital banks as compared to traditional ones.

In fact, according to the “Global Digital Banking Platform Market By Component (Solution and Services), By Deployment Type (On-premise and Cloud), By Type (Retail Banking and Corporate Banking), By Banking Mode (Online Banking and Mobile Banking), By Region, Industry Analysis and Forecast, 2020-2026report, the “Global Digital Banking Platform Market is expected to reach $9 billion by 2026, rising at a market growth of 16% CAGR during the forecast period.”

Meanwhile, according to Statista report, the share of the population using digital banking in the United States alone in 2018 has reached about 61%, while it is projected to rise even more to 65.3% by the year 2022.

These reports only show that digital banking is set to continue growing as the years go by. With the unexpected turn of events in the current year wherein people are restricted to go out of their homes and rely so much on anything digital, it won’t be surprising if the numbers grow bigger.

RELATED ARTICLES:

As mentioned, a lot of people are becoming so into online banking, which is not surprising given the fact that it is very convenient, safe, and very accessible.

These days, there are actually a lot of digital banks to choose from already. With so many options out there, selecting one can get really tough.

One of the many digital banking options out there is Cogni.

Today, as mentioned earlier, we are going to do a Cogni review. We are going to provide you the essential information you need to see if this digital banking platform is the right one for you.

In particular, we are going to talk about the following:

  • What is Cogni?
  • What are the features of Cogni?
  • Where to use Cogni?
  • How does Cogni work?
  • What are the benefits of using Cogni?
  • What are the downsides of using Cogni?
  • Is Cogni safe?

WHAT IS COGNI?

When you are looking for a digital banking partner, it is important to get to know the bank first. Do not just go with the status quo.

It is important to research your options so you can choose what’s best for you — your needs and preferences. Getting to know more about the institution or the bank will also help you build your trust and confidence in it. After all, you are going to entrust your hard-earned money to them, right?

The safety and security of your money (and your personal information) are very important especially when you are opting for digital banking.

Before we proceed, if digital banking is new to you, below is a very informative video by Project Management. It will help you know and understand better what this type of banking is all about.

Anyway, so what is Cogni all about?

As compared to other similar online banking platforms out there, Cogni is very new in the market.

This digital banking platform is in fact, was only launched this 2020.

While there are a lot of other digital banking platforms out there already, why would you consider Cogni over them?

According to the company, they established Cogni aiming to complement a user’s finances with a straightforward account, and the music to our ears, with no hidden fees.

This digital banking platform’s goal is to connect their members’ banking with their lifestyles. Furthermore, they hope to evolve with their members as their needs change. Over time, they aim to combine banking, commerce, as well as lifestyle in just a single platform.

Primarily, the marketing of the company aimed at the transparency and practicality of their Visa Debit Card, with no additional fees. But, the company actually does offer other services as well, which include convenient, cost-free bank transfers and ‘single-use’ virtual cards.

Currently, Cogni has over $6 million in funding. Needless to say, it has support from big-name financial institutions such as Barclays who owns 2% of this digital banking platform.

Furthermore, this digital banking platform supports the use of Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay.

Cogni has two offices including one in New York City.

WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OF COGNI?

If there’s one thing that Cogni promises its members that would be that it will be their “all-access pass to digital banking”.

In this section of our Cogni review, we are going to talk about the different features that this digital banking platform offer, which include the following:

Checking Account

Cogni’s primary product is its checking account. What makes it particularly stand out as compared to other checking accounts of digital banks out there is that apart from the fact that you can easily open an account in just 3 to 5 minutes, it does not require a minimum deposit amount. It does not even go through credit checks, which makes it even more attractive to all types of consumers.

With your account comes the following perks:

  • Digital Card – You can easily move funds into your account, and access the money immediately — as you need it — without any hassle.
  • No ATM Fees – It doesn’t matter where you are in the world. Cogni does not charge ATM fees, which means you can withdraw money in all 55,000 Allpoint ATMs without having to worry about charges.
  • Complete Account Details – With your Cogni app, you get a complete view of your balance, recent amount activity, as well as monthly statements, and card spendings. Everything in one place.

Cogni Pay

Another feature that we like about Cogni is Cogni Pay, which allows you to receive money from another account, and the money gets available immediately.

So, no need to worry about covering for a friend’s needs. They can easily pay you anyway.

Along with the Cogni Pay features comes the following perks as well:

  • Direct Deposit – With your Cogni account, you can set up direct deposit by sharing your account information as well as your routing number with your employer. That way you can easily receive your hard-earned money. By the way, you can do this through the app.
  • Easy Bank Transfers – With Cogni, you can easily transfer money from other banks into your Cogni account. You can do this free of charge. Again, all you need is your account information and routing number.
  • Deposit Worldwide with Visa ReadyLink – Unlike other digital banking platforms, with Cogni, you can deposit money to your account regardless of where you are in the world as long as there is a store with Visa ReadyLink. Your money gets available in just as little as 30 minutes!

Cogni Visa Card

To make your banking more effortless, along with your Cogni accounts comes a Cogni Visa Card.

Your Cogni Visa Card can be used not just to withdraw money but as well as in-store purchases.

But wait, there’s more!

Cogni also offers a single-use card, which you can generate for extra security or a risk-free trial.

Anyway, the Cogni Debit Card is issued by the Community Federal Savings Bank.

Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay Compatibility

Another notable feature that Cogni digital bank offers is that it is compatible with all your favorite person-to-person payment apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

ACH Bank Transfers

Cogni supports bill pay and bank-to-bank transfers making it easier for you to move your money.

Physical Checks

While it’s an all-digital bank, Cogni recognizes the fact that there are things that still need the traditional way of banking. Thus, the bank also offers checks.

If you need one, all you need is to request and they will send one right to your doorstep.

“Just-in-case” Protection

In case you misplace or lost your Cogni Visa Card, Cogni provides you a freeze and unfreeze feature. This allows you to secure your account to avoid unfortunate cases.

Customized Alerts

Cogni allows you to choose your own push notifications. That way, you only get to receive alerts that are relevant to you.

With Cogni app, you stay updated on your account’s activities. Needless to say, you are alerted of potential fraud all days and times of the week.

256-bit Encryption

To ensure your account’s safety and security, Cogni uses 256-bit encryption.

FDIC Insured

Of course, to complete the amazing features offered by Cogni, they are FDIC-insured as well, which means all Cogni checking accounts are protected for up to $250,000.

WHERE TO USE COGNI?

As we have mentioned in the previous sections, Cogni is just new in the market. Thus, it is not surprising if Cogni is only available at the moment to customers in the United States.

But, who knows!? Maybe in a few years’ time, they will eventually expand their coverage and reach other countries as well.

HOW DOES COGNI WORK?

In the last three sections, we talked about what Cogni is all about, its features, and where it’s available for use.

This time in our Cogni review, we’ll talk about how it actually works.

First of all, Cogni is an app-only banking service, which means, you need to download the app to take full advantage of what Cogni has to offer.

Unfortunately, Cogni is currently available only through the App Store, which means iPad and iPhone users may download it to their device free of charge.

Once the Cogni app is downloaded to your Apple device, an identification process is required to be able to open an account. In this process, you will be asked to input basic personal information similar to other apps of the same level or type.

Once done, your account will be made life automatically. Also, your tap to pay Visa card will be sent to you.

Please take note that as soon as your account is approved, which only takes a few minutes, you can immediately use your account with any transaction.

By using the Cogni app, users can perform instant fund transfers to other Cogni accounts. They can also deposit cash into their account through Visa ReadyLink locations, as well as create checks using the digital checkbook service on the app.

What’s nice about Cogni is that you do not necessarily need to wait for your physical card to make transactions. This digital banking platforms offer a virtual card, which you can use in making payments.

Furthermore, you can also create one-off cards for your online shopping.

Once your physical card arrives, you can use it in your in-store transactions as well as in withdrawing cash across all 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.

As you can see, how Cogni works is pretty simple and easy, making your banking experience a total breeze.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING COGNI?

As we always do when reviewing a bank — whether it be a traditional one or in this case, a digital bank — we always see to it to take note of both the pros and cons.

By doing so, we get to help you gauge the compatibility of the bank to you based on your preferences.

So, as usual, Cogni, just like any other banks of the same kind does its share of benefits and downsides as well.

In this section, though, we are going to focus particularly on the good sides of the bank.

Some of the benefits of using Cogni that we found are as follows:

  • Trusted By Large-Scale Businesses – Cogni may be a start-up, but, with the considerable amount of support it is getting especially from big companies, it only goes to show that it is a financial institution that can be trusted with your hard-earned money.
  • Zero Fees – One of the best parts of being a Cogni account holder is that you get to free yourself up from paying fees and charges, which is honestly financially exhausting sometimes. With Cogni, you do not have to worry about cash withdrawals and transfer fees, and other usual fees charged by digital banks.
  • Physical Checks – While some digital banking platforms have totally forgone traditional checks, Cogni believes that there are still transactions that require a physical check, thus, you can request one if you need it.
  • Visa Card – While Cogni allows you to make online transactions regardless of the availability of the card, it does provide a Visa debit card as well. This allows you to make in-store transactions as well as withdraw money from Allpoint ATMs.
  • Direct Deposit – Cogni supports direct deposit allowing you to receive your salary through it by simply sharing your account information as well as routing number to your employer.
  • Visa ReadyLink Deposits – Unlike other digital banks out there, Cogni allows its users to deposit cash through Visa ReadyLink locations worldwide. Needless to say, funds are credited in as little as 30 minutes
  • Person-to-Person Payment Apps Compatibility – Another thing to like about Cogni is that it is compatible with person-to-person payment apps, which include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
  • Customized Alerts – With the Cogni app, you can customize alerts based on your needs and preferences.
  • 256-bit Encryption – With its 256-bit encryption, users are ensured of enterprise-level banking protection.
  • FDIC-Insured – All Cogni checking account holders are protected because Cogni is FDIC-insured, which means all accounts are covered for up to $250,000 in the event that the bank fails.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING COGNI?

There is no such thing as a perfect bank, all the more with digital banks.

While Cogni has several features that we like, we also found a few downsides, and these are:

  • Limited to the US – Unfortunately, Cogni is only available in the United States. Although, for sure they have expansion plans in the future. For now, though, interested customers from other parts of the world will have to wait.
  • Incomplete Website – Cogni is very new, so, we thought it’s very understandable that there are still things being worked out. One example is their website, which while already running is still incomplete.

Overall, we have to say that the downsides are related to the bank’s very new status. Remember that Cogni was just launched early this year. So, probably, it’s best to check it out again in the next few months.

IS COGNI SAFE?

Of course, this Corgni review will not be complete if we not going to answer one of the most important questions – is it safe to use Cogni?

Well, the answer to that is yes, Cogni is safe for two very evident reasons:

First, Cogni, as we have mentioned earlier uses 256-bit encryption, which, according to Techpedia is “a data/file encryption technique that uses a 256-bit key to encrypt and decrypt data or files“. This is one of the most secure encryption methods out there and is mostly used by digital banks to keep all their members’ accounts secured and safe.

Second, Cogni is safe because it is insured under the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). As you know by now, all FDIC insured account under Cogni is protected for up to $250,000 should an unfortunate thing happens to the bank.

With these two in place, account holders are ensured that their money and their personal information are protected, safe, and secured.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON COGNI REVIEW

Cogni is a digital banking service based in the United States that was designed to offer a people-driven service.

While it has a lot of good features, we particularly like the fact that it provides a bank-level service sans additional costs or fees.

Similar to other banks of the same level, Cogni offers effective, flexible, as well as very convenient payment and fund transfer options.

Are you looking for a reliable digital banking partner that is free of commonly-charged fees? If your answer is yes, then perhaps Cogni is the one you are looking for.

We hope that through this Cogni review we were able to convince you that this digital banking platform is worth a try.

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Investment Apps and Websites

GoHenry Review: The Key To Teach Your Young Kids On Financial Literacy

If you are looking out for an online app and debit card that is ideal for your kids, then you got to check this GoHenry review.

GoHenry Review: The Key To Teach Your Young Kids On Financial Literacy

According to the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey, which is the world’s largest and most comprehensive global measurement of financial literacy, 33 percent of adults from all over the world are financially literate.

In the United States alone, 57 percent of adults are financially literate.

Meanwhile, according to the  OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of financial literacy, which was conducted back in 2015, from the 15 countries that took part in the said test, only around one in every four students are financially literate.

Furthermore, an article published by CNBC says that based on studies, 22 percent of students in the United States do not meet the basic standards for financial proficiency.

If you come to think about it, for a society to be financially literate, we have to start with the young ones, right?

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With exactly this in mind, more and more mobile budgeting apps for children are coming to life. These mobile budgeting apps aim not only to move towards a cashless society but also to teach children how to manage their finances.

In the same article by CNBC, it says that teens with bank accounts score higher than their contemporaries who do not have one. More so, those with a bank account are also more likely to earn from a part-time job and talks to their parents about finances on a regular basis.

Do you see the difference between financially proficient kids from those who are not?

It greatly shows that teaching our children early about managing finances will greatly affect – in a good way – how they spend and save.

While teaching our kids to be financially literate may sound a little challenging, the good thing is – today, thanks to technology and the internet, parents can depend on mobile budgeting apps and banks that provide services specifically for young people.

As mentioned, there are a lot of institutions providing such services, and one of them is GoHenry.

Unlike any other mobile banking and digital apps available out there, GoHenry is unique in its own way — particularly with the fact that it was created by parents who wanted to teach their children about handling their money to avoid debts.

If you are interested to know more about GoHenry and what it offers, then this one’s for you.

In this GoHenry review, we are going to specifically tackle the following:

  • What is GoHenry?
  • How does GoHenry work?
  • What features does GoHenry have?
  • Who can use the GoHenry app?
  • Are there fees involved with GoHenry?
  • What are the benefits of using GoHenry?
  • What are the downsides of using GoHenry?
  • Is GoHenry safe?

WHAT IS GOHENRY?

GoHenry, which was launched in 2012, is an online application and a debit card that was specifically designed to help kids aged six to 18 years old manage their allowance through instinctive budgeting and responsible spending.

This United Kingdom-based company offers one-of-a-kind parental controls, which allows moms and dads to monitor debit card transactions individually for each of their kids.

Although it originally came from the United Kingdom, GoHenry is already currently available in the United States as well.

By the way, one interesting fact about GoHenry is that, as we have mentioned earlier, the app was actually launched by a group of parents who aimed to teach their children to be financially literate.

Furthermore, it is nice to know that GoHenry does not charge an overdraft fee, which means there is no risk that your little one will rack up debts and charges.

With a very promising service, it is not surprising at all that as of this writing, GoHenry has already over 500,000 members from across the United Kingdom and the United States.

If you want to know more about GoHenry, here’s an informative video by Eann. You should check this out:

HOW DOES GOHENRY WORK?

Now that you have learned a brief history of the app, and what GoHenry is all about, this time, we are going to talk about how it actually works.

Similar to any other mobile budgeting apps and mobile banks, setting up a GoHenry account is made simple and easy.

You start off by downloading the smartphone app. If you want to, the app has a demo account that you can use to see how everything works before you actually sign up.

To proceed with the account setup, you will be asked to provide basic personal details like your name, email address, as well as your mobile number. You will also be asked to create a unique password to keep your account secured.

Once done with the initial steps, you will then have to add and confirm your child’s details. The cards will then be ordered and should arrive within five to seven days.

GoHenry actually has two versions — it’s up to you if you are going to download the parent version or the child’s version.

For you to have a better understanding of the difference between the two mobile app versions, here’s a quick rundown of its features:

Parents Version

The GoHenry parents’ version allows parents to:

  • Manage up to 4 children’s accounts
  • Make one-off payments
  • Set up regular payments
  • Invite relatives or other family members to contribute
  • Control where the cards can be used (such as in-store, online, as well as cash machines)
  • Set spending limits
  • Set tasks for the kids
  • Block and unblock cards
  • Receive instant spending notifications

It is also important to note that the parents’ version home screen allows moms and dads to see the balance of their own account so they can easily top up or transfer money to your children’s account.

Furthermore, you are also able to see how much your kids have spent, saved, as well as the amount that is currently available for spending.

Apart from setting a limit, blocking and unblocking, the cards section also allows parents to retrieve pin number as well as order custom debit card for your kid.

The GoHenry app also allows parents to edit their kids’ weekly allowance if there’s a need to.

Children Version

The GoHenry children version allows the kids to:

  • Budget based on their weekly allowance
  • Earn money by completing tasks
  • Save into specific savings goals
  • Ask family and relatives to contribute
  • Spend within the set limits
  • Get instant notifications about the reason behind declined transactions

On the GoHenry app’s children version, your kids will get to see their spending limit, the money they’ve already spend, as well as the money saved on the home tab.

Furthermore, the home screen allows shows how much allowance is due, when it is expected to be credited to the account, as well the number of tasks remaining.

On one hand, the card tab shows the spending transactions, the pin number, as well as the limit set on the card.

On the other hand, the earning tab allows your kids to see the tasks available. The completed ones are highlighted, to differentiate them from those that are yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, the saving tab allows you to set new goals and see the current progress on existing goals.

WHAT FEATURES DOES GOHENRY HAVE?

In this section of our GoHenry review, we are going to tackle the features that GoHenry offers.

By signing up with GoHenry, you will automatically get access to the following:

  • Parental Account
  • Children Account
  • GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card

Parental Account

This account allows parents to top up their children’s accounts as well as adjust parental controls. The parent account is fully accessible through the GoHenry mobile app.

The parental account comes full of chances to support learning about money, as well as to reinforce parenting.                     

As mentioned earlier, parental accounts allow parents to do the following:

  • Manage up to 4 children’s accounts
  • Make one-off payments
  • Set up regular payments
  • Invite relatives or other family members to contribute
  • Control where the cards can be used (such as in-store, online, as well as cash machines)
  • Set spending limits
  • Set tasks for the kids
  • Block and unblock cards
  • Receive instant spending notifications

Children Account

With this account, children are able to do the following:

  • Budget based on their weekly allowance
  • Earn money by completing tasks
  • Save into specific savings goals
  • Ask family and relatives to contribute
  • Spend within the set limits
  • Get instant notifications about the reason behind declined transactions

GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card

The GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card works just like any other regular debit card. It can be used online, in-store, as well as at cashpoints (if allowed). Although the card comes for free, you can customize it for only $4.99.

It is important to note though that while there is no limit to the number of children that are subscribed to the GoHenry service, each child will incur the same subscription cost. The GoHenry subscription costs $3.99 per month.

WHO CAN USE THE GOHENRY APP?

Now that you already know what GoHenry is all about and what it has to offer, this time we’ll talk about who is eligible for a GoHenry account.

As of this writing, GoHenry account and services are only available in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

While some people thought there is a big difference between the two versions, there’s actually not that much except for the currency used.

Regardless if you are using a GoHenry US or UK version, you will get the same type or level of functionality.

Now, given the fact that the app is only available in these two locations, it means that if you are outside the UK or the US, you cannot use GoHenry.

Also, it is very important to note that the system was specifically designed to cater to children aged six to 18. So, if your kids are older than 18, then, GoHenry is not the perfect tool for you.

Another thing, GoHenry is only helpful if you have kids. It doesn’t make sense if you do not have one.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED WITH GOHENRY?

One thing we particularly notice (and we like as well) about GoHenry is their transparency when it comes to fees involved.

All fees and charges are provided upfront, which means you are not blindsided. You know from the start how much this and that costs.

Now, while signing up with GoHenry is free of charge, and that there is no limit as to how many children you want to enroll, it is very important to note that there is a monthly fee of $3.99 per child account, and this comes without exemptions.

Furthermore, as we have said earlier, the GoHenry prepaid card is free, but if you wish to customize it, it comes with a price. Customized prepaid cards cost $4.99 each. The same amount goes for the replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged cards.

Meanwhile, balance inquiry using the GoHenry app is free, as well as reloading of a debit card, customer service, and inactivity (after 12 months with no activity on the account).

Unlike other mobile banks or apps of similar use or level, GoHenry charges $1.50 for ATM withdrawals — both for in and out of network withdrawals. It is important to note that some ATM owners or ATM networks may charge an additional fee.

Furthermore, international ATM withdrawals are charged $1.50. Take note that you may also be charged a fee by the ATM operator regardless if you completed a transaction or not.

As mentioned earlier, GoHenry neither charges an overdraft fee nor offer a credit feature.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING GOHENRY?

Similar to any other online money portals out there, GoHenry has its share of pros and cons.

We found some really interesting benefits, and this includes:

  • Full Parental Control – Unlike other similar online apps, GoHenry provides parents will full control of the account (as stated earlier).
  • Multiple Child Accounts – GoHenry does not limit as to how many children you want to sign up for. However, this means the same subscription cost for each account.
  • Free Trial – GoHenry provides a one-month free trial, which means you can cancel your subscription anytime you feel it’s not the app for you and your children.
  • Family and Relatives Contribution – The mobile budgeting app allows not only parents but also other family members and relatives to contribute to the child’s allowance if they want to.
  • Real-Time Notifications – GoHenry provides real-time alerts for both spendings and failed transactions.
  • Reasonable Subscription Fee – GoHenry charges $3.99 per month as a subscription fee, which when compared to other similar apps out there, it’s pretty much reasonable.
  • Incentives – The app can be used to give incentives to your kids to make them earn money. Parents can add new chores, and decide how much they will pay for their kids for doing the tasks. This is on top of their weekly allowance. Doing so teaches them the value of hard-earned money.
  • Encourages Savings and Financial Goals – Using Gohenry encourages your children to save and to set financial goals at such an early age. A valuable lesson that is very helpful, really, especially when they become an adult.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING GOHENRY?

As we have said in the last section, while there are benefits of using GoHenry, there are also a few downsides.

Some of the things we do not like about GoHenry are as follows:

  • No Interest – Unfortunately, GoHenry does not pay an interest, which means whatever amount you put into your child’s account, that remains as is.
  • Cannot Load Cash – Another thing we do not particularly like about GoHenry is that it does not offer a cash loading option. It limits the ability of parents to load money into their kids’ accounts.
  • Oversees Charges Apply – As per GoHenry, a $1.50 international withdrawal fee is charged if you withdraw money from your GoHenry card abroad.
  • Only One Parent Can Control The Account – For some, it may not be an issue, but for other parents, it might be. Unfortunately, GoHenry only allows one parent to have control over the account.
  • Monthly Subscription Fee Per Child – If you have two or more children, paying off $3.99 per child a month for the subscription fee can be quite expensive. It would be nice if GoHenry offers a family plan instead of a per child fee.

IS GOHENRY SAFE?

One of the common concerns of consumers when it comes to mobile banking or a mobile budgeting app is the safety and security of both personal information as well as the money itself.

In GoHenry’s case, we got to say that your account is safe and secure. The institution made sure that all safety and security measures are in place to ensure their customers’ trust and confidence.

To make sure that your account is well taken care of, GoHenry uses the following:

  • State of the art chip security
  • PIN-protected transactions
  • 256-bit encryption like the banks use

Furthermore, GoHenry makes sure there is no risk of overspending, and in case your card is lost, you can easily block it so no one gets to use it.

Also, all GoHenry accounts are FDIC-insured of up to $250,000.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON GOHENRY REVIEW

So, if you were to ask us, is GoHenry worth the time and money, what would our answer be?

We got to say that it actually depends. If you are a parent who is looking into modernizing your approach to giving your kid’s allowance, then we have to say, GoHenry is a tried and tested method, and that it’s a good option.

Needless to say, it is a reputable company with lots of investors, which means it’s not dropping off anytime soon.

Are you having some uneasy thoughts yet or you are convinced that this is the right tool for you?

We hope that through this GoHenry review you are able to gauge if this one’s indeed the right tool that will help teach your kids how to handle their money well.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Marcus Review: How It Differs From Other Online Banks

In this Marcus review, we will look into how this online bank stands as compared to other banks of the same level in the market.

Marcus Review: How It Differs To Other Online Banks

In a Business Insider article, it says that based on a survey by Finder, which is a banking comparison site, it was found that today, American of all ages are open to online-only banks.

In fact, about 30% of American people have an existing account or are planning to open an account with their preferred online bank.

Currently, according to a Forbes report, there are 58 nationally available online banks in the country. Among these online banks is Marcus, which is what we are going to focus on in today’s review.

By the way, for those who are not that familiar with the term “online bank” yet, it basically refers to financial institutions that operate mainly or primarily on the internet. Also known as virtual banks or internet banks, these institutions allow their users or account holders to manage their accounts using either their mobile devices or their computer anytime and anywhere they are.

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In most cases, online banks do not have a physical branch, which means all banking transactions are made entirely online.

Now, moving back, as mentioned, today, we are going to particularly focus on Marcus, which is an online bank by Goldman Sachs, which is one of Wall Street’s best-known names in investment banking.

We’ll see how this online bank fairs as compared to other online banks out there.

For your reference, we are going to particularly tackle the following:

  • What is Marcus?
  • What does Marcus offer?
  • How to open a Marcus account?
  • Are there fees involved?
  • What to like about Marcus?
  • What not to like about Marcus?
  • Is Marcus safe?

WHAT IS MARCUS?

As mentioned earlier, Marcus is the consumer banking offering of Goldman Sachs, which is one of Wall Street’s best-known names when it comes to investment banking. It was in 2016 when the bank expanded its offering to online banking.

Marcus offers high-yield savings accounts, high-yield certificates of deposit, as well as no-fee personal loans.

Although the online bank is relatively new as compared to other institutions of the same level, as of October 2020, Marcus reported having $96 billion in deposits already.

Marcus was named after one of its founders, Marcus Goldman, and is positioned as a simple and accessible online banking that provides consumers added control over their personal finances.

Furthermore, Marcus has a relatively approachable image that is focused on helping people achieve financial well-being, at the same time helping them become smarter when it comes to handling their money.

Contrary to other online banks out there, Marcus does not offer as many types of financial products. In fact, what they currently have are high rates.

If you are interested in knowing more about Marcus by Goldman Sachs, check this very informative video below by MONEY with Eddie Yoon:

Similar to most online banks, Marcus online bank does not have a physical branch, which means, if you are someone who prefers an online bank with a traditional banking option still, this may not be the perfect choice for you.

Marcus mobile banking app is available on both the App Store and on Google Play, making it available for both iOS and Android users.

By the way, Marcus ranks as one of the best online savings accounts. Also, the bank’s personal loans have been recognized in 2019 by J.D. Power as number one when it comes to personal loan satisfaction.

Marcus is based in the United States and is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means all funds deposited into Marcus’s accounts are insured by the federal government for up to the maximum amount allowed by the law.

WHAT DOES MARCUS OFFER?

In the last section, we have provided you some of the most important information about what Marcus is all about.

This time around, in this part of our Marcus review, we are going to look deeper into what this online bank has to offer.

Currently, Marcus offers a very simple line up of products, which include:

  • Savings Account
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • Personal Loans

Savings Account

Marcus offers an online savings account — a classic online bank account that comes without fees, and a high annual percentage yield (APY).

On one hand, while most banks say that they do not charge monthly fees, Marcus, on the other hand, explicitly says that account holders need not pay fees for this particular type of account.

This basically means, no monthly fees, no service fees, as well as other fees usually charged by other online banks.

Furthermore, Marcus Savings Account does not have a minimum deposit requirement. They do have, however, a maximum limit of $1 million per account and not to exceed $3 million per account owner.

Meanwhile, it is important to note though that while Marcus does not charge fees when an account holder exceeds the withdrawal limit, the bank may, however, close the account. So, account holders must be very careful with that.

Now, when it comes to rates, the rate offers by Marcus is quite attractive. In fact, the bank has better terms of interest rates as compared to most big banks in the country.

Currently, Marcus pays a 0.50% APY.

Based on the characteristics of Marcus Savings Account, we got to say that this type of bank account is ideal for keeping an emergency savings fund, or if you want to save up for a particular financial goal like a family vacation, a new car, home renovations, etc.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

As mentioned, another product offering of Marcus is Certificates of Deposit (CDs). This online bank offers a couple of different types of CDs, which include:

High-Yield CD

Marcus’s high-yield Certificates of Deposit allows consumers to lock in a relatively high rate for a particular length of time.

More so, what is nice about it is that the online bank offers a 10-day rate guarantee, which means if Marcus raises rates within 10 days after the consumer opens a CD, he or she automatically get the higher rate.

The high-yield CD is available for a minimum deposit of $500. As mentioned, it comes with a fixed rate of return depending on the term you choose.

Marcus’s high-yield CD terms range between six months and six years.

Similar to most CDs offered in the market, Marcus’s high-yield CDs charge a certain fee for early withdrawals. Keep in mind that CDs are meant to stay long in the bank. It should be untouched for a certain period of time. However, if in case you need the money, you may withdraw it but, as mentioned, with a cost.

The early withdrawal penalty amounts to a certain number of days’ worth of interest.

No-Penalty CD

If you want to stay away from getting charged with an early withdrawal penalty at the same time still earn a high APY, the no-penalty CD is ideal for you.

With this type of account, you can withdraw the funds without penalty any time after seven days. You still get a guaranteed rate, though, for the full term of the CD.

No-Penalty CD terms available are seven months, 11 months, and 13 months. You can earn 0.45% with a seven months term, and similar to the other CD account type, the minimum deposit required is $500.

What is nice about this particular CD type is that it allows you to lock in on a great APY, at the same time, you have the flexibility to withdraw the funds seven days after funding without having to worry about penalties.

The No-Penalty CD is ideal for holding emergency savings, or for saving up for a specific financial goal (such as family getaways, home improvements, special occasions, etc.), or any other savings goal you have in mind.

Personal Loans

Another product offering by Marcus is Personal Loans, which can be used for various purposes. It could be for paying off credit card debts, for home improvements, or for other financial goals.

What we particularly like about this product is that Marcus offers no-fee personal loans for amounts of up to $40,000, with APRs that range between 6.99% and 19.99%.

The online bank’s personal loans have flexible loan terms that range from 36 to 72 months. Furthermore, you can also avail of a reduced APR by 0.25% if you sign up for auto-pay.

Please note, though, that all loans are subject to credit approval. More so, your monthly payment will depend on the interest rate, loan amount, as well as loan term.

Marcus personal loans have consistently received high marks from J.D. Power (as mentioned earlier) in its yearly consumer Satisfaction Studies. The said study measures customer satisfaction based on four key areas, which include application and approval process; billing and payment; interaction; and loan offerings and terms.

HOW TO OPEN A MARCUS ACCOUNT?

So, now that you already know what Marcus is all about and the products it offers, this time, let’s talk about how to actually open a Marcus account.

The process is pretty simple and easy —

Anyone in the United States can apply for a Marcus account online by providing an email address and a mobile phone number.

To be eligible to open an account, you must be more than 18 years of age, and a resident of the United States (for tax purposes). Also, similar to any financial institution in the country, Marcus online bank will also ask you to provide basic personal information to complete your bank account application.

Your Marcus account is accessible and manageable online, and you also have the option to speak to the Marcus team over the phone through 1-855-730-7283.

Meanwhile, once you are done processing your account application, the next step would be funding your account.

To add funds to your Marcus Online Savings Account, all you need to do is transfer the money from a linked account. Unlike other online banks though, this is the only way you can top up your account.

Now, to be able to do this, you will need the sort code and account number of your Marcus Online Savings Account.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?

There are a lot of online banks out there, but they differ from each other in different ways. One of the common differences though is fees and charges.

With Marcus, as we have mentioned earlier, for its Online Savings Account, customers can expect the following:

  • No Monthly Fees/Maintenance Fees
  • No Service Fees
  • No Transaction Fees

Furthermore, the online bank does not charge for when an account holder exceeds the withdrawal limit. However, the bank may close the account.

As with Marcus’s High-Yield Certificates of Deposit (CDs), it does charge an early withdrawal penalty, which amounts to the specific number of days’ worth of interest.

Meanwhile, for the bank’s Personal Loans, Marcus offers no-fee personal loan amounts specifically for the borrowed amounts of up to $40,000.

Generally, we got to say that online banking with Marcus allows you to save a lot of money as compared to other banks of the same level.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT MARCUS?

As we always say, every institution has its share of pros and cons. For Marcus, some of the things we particularly like are as follows:

  • No Minimum Deposit Required – With Marcus, customers do not need to spend masses of cash. Even with just a few bucks or nothing at all, you can open a Marcus account.
  • High-Yield Account – Marcus has a very impressive annual percentage yield (APY). The rates are absolutely competitive as compared to other online banks out there.
  • No Bank Fees – Contrary to many online banks out there, Marcus does not charge anything (unless stated). Marcus does not charge monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, service fees, and other fees usually charged by online banks.
  • Low Minimum Deposit for CDs – Marcus only requires at least a $500 deposit for its Certificates of Deposit accounts.
  • Award-Winning Personal Loans – Marcus’s personal loans consistently received high marks from J.D. Power (as mentioned earlier) in its yearly consumer Satisfaction Studies.
  • 24/7 Mobile and Online Access – Since Marcus is an online account, it gives consumers 24/7 access to their accounts.
  • FDIC-Insured – Marcus is an FDIC-insured online bank, which means, in the event that the bank fails, all depositors’ money is insured for up to $250,000.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT MARCUS?

Surely, Marcus does have its share of good qualities. But as we always say, there is no such thing as a perfect online bank. It does have its share of cons.

Some of the things we do not like about Marcus is as follows:

  • No Physical Branch – Just like a lot of online banks in the market today, Marcus does not have a physical branch, which makes it not ideal for people who opt to have a more traditional banking experience.
  • No Checking Accounts – Unfortunately, Marcus does not offer to check accounts yet. However, there is news that the bank is planning to launch its checking account product in 2021. We look forward to it!
  • No Cards– Another downside of Marcus is that it does not have cards. Marcus offers an entirely online savings account. Thus, no card is available as of this time.
  • No Mobile Check Deposit – Apart from the fact that it does not have a checking account, Marcus does not have mobile check capabilities as well.
  • Limited Mobile App – If you are someone who’s keen on digital banking app features like spending notifications and savings tools that allows you to manage your funds better, Marcus may not be the right choice for you. The Marcus mobile app is literally simple and straightforward.

IS MARCUS SAFE?

Our Marcus review will not be complete without us answering the question if the bank is safe.

To answer, yes, Marcus online bank is safe.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is an FDIC-insured online bank, which means that all account holders’ money is insured by the federal government for up to $250,000. So, in the event that the bank fails, you are assured that your money is safe and secured.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS MARCUS REVIEW

Marcus is an online bank that is created by one of the most trusted names in investment banking, Goldman Sachs.

With that alone, customers are insured that their money is safe and secured. Needless to say, the best service possible.

Although Marcus does have its share of downsides, we thought that eventually, these downsides will be addressed, and in due time, Marcus will be able to provide an excellent entirely online banking experience.

Overall, we got to say that the quality of what the online bank offers are pretty much impressive.

Marcus offers the best APYs for both a high-yield savings account and a high-yield certificate of deposit in spite of the fact that the bank has low requirements for minimum deposits as well as no-fee accounts.

With all that, do you think Marcus is the right online banking institution for you? We hope so.

To end, we hope that this Marcus review has given answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the bank and that it provided clarity as to how it fairs as compared to other online banks out there. Just to say, it did fair well.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Varo Money Review: How It Differs From Other Mobile Banks

In this Varo money review, we are going to look into how this startup bank tries to disrupt traditional banking through monthly-fee-free accounts and an entirely mobile experience.

 Varo Money Review: How It Differs From Other Mobile Banks

Back in 2013, research conducted by Pew Research Center revealed that 51% of American adults or 61% of internet users in the country do online banking. Meanwhile, 32% or 35% of the total number of cell phone users opt to do banking using their mobile phone.

Fast-forward to 2018, a report published by Statista states that based on a survey conducted, it was found that 693% of Millennials are or have used mobile banking, while 24% of Baby Boomers do online banking as well.

Furthermore, in the said report, it says that probable reasons behind the rise in number have something to do with how flexible and convenient mobile banking is. Well, with people nowadays being always on-the-go, it is not surprising at all if one of these days all traditional banks will focus on strengthening their mobile banking services.

While there are a lot more people who are into online banking particularly mobile banking, there are still a few who are not into it. Some are kind of hesitant or worried about security and if it’s really convenient to do banking online.

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These concerns are valid and that is why Varo Bank makes sure it offers plenty of capability for users who are always on-the-go. With a mobile app and broad ATM network, Varo Bank ensures complete basic banking and savings transactions for each of its customers.

Furthermore, when it comes to safety and security concerns, Varo ensures customers’ personal information and money are well-protected by its 256-bit AES encryption.

Now, are you curious to know more about what Varo Bank has to offer?

If your answer is yes, then you are in the right place as we are going to dissect all essential information every customer needs to know regarding Varo Bank.

In this Varo money review, we are going to particularly talk about the following:

  • What is Varo Bank?
  • What does Varo Bank have to offer?
  • How to open an account with Varo Bank?
  • Are there fees and charges involved?
  • What are the benefits of using Varo Bank?
  • What are the downsides of using Varo Bank?
  • Is Varo Bank safe?

WHAT IS VARO BANK?

When looking for a mobile bank partner, it is important to take time to get to know the bank you are eyeing for.

A little history of the bank will help establish your trust and confidence in doing business with them. You get to see how credible and how trustworthy they are.

With that said, let’s get to know more about Varo.

Varo was founded in 2015. Compared to other online banks, it is relatively new. No wonder why some people wonder about the reliability and the authenticity of the bank.

Moving on, based in San Francisco and Utah, Varo was established to be an all-mobile bank that offers both checking and savings accounts.

As we have mentioned earlier, Varo aims to disrupt traditional banking and even other online-only banks by providing customers with monthly-fee-free accounts and an entirely mobile experience.

Varo is part of the growing neo in the United States, which makes it the first of the bank scene.

Recently, Varo worked on becoming a fully-fledged bank, making it the first of its kind in the country to receive full approval.

By becoming a full-fledged bank, it means Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will offer Varo customers deposit insurance up to $250,000.

Varo has a very bright and interesting future, to be honest. With it becoming a full-fledged bank is just the beginning of better days ahead for this mobile bank.

Before moving on to our Varo money review, here’s an interesting and very insightful and informative Varo Bank review by MONEY with Eddie Yoon that we thought you should check out:

WHAT DOES VARO BANK HAVE TO OFFER?

Now that you already know a brief history about Varo and what to expect from it in the future, this time around in our Varo money review, we are going to talk about the different products and services that this all-mobile bank has to offer.

As earlier mentioned, Varo offers the following:

  • Savings Account
  • Checking Account

Now let’s look into each of these items —

Savings Account

Varo does only have one savings account, and this one’s a high-yield account that comes without fees whatsoever.

Since the Varo Savings Account does not charge any fees, savers can earn up to 2.80% APY, which is very competitive as compared to other mobile-only banks out there.

While it all sounds good, the Varo Savings Account is only available for savers who have already an existing checking account with Varo, which they call a Varo Bank Account.

Additionally, savers can only earn the said 2.80% APY if they meet the following requirements:

Ensure a daily savings account balance of up to $10,000

Make at least five debit card purchases for every calendar month

Receive $1,000 or more in direct deposits during the same calendar month

If you fail to meet the above-mentioned requirements, your rate will only be 0.81% APY.

Please take note that all three must be met. If for example a savings account holder keeps a daily balance of $10,000 or more but does not meet the other two requirements, he or she will not be eligible as well for the 2.80% APY.

Just the same, even if a saver meets the two other requirements, but holds a daily savings balance of more than $10,000, the rate automatically drops down to 0.81% as well.

If, however, you do not mind about the APY, it is important to note that Varo does not require a minimum balance on its savings account. A saver needs no more than $0.01 in his or her account to start earning interest.

As mentioned, a saver is required to have a Varo checking account in order to open the Varo savings account. Although there are those requirements, what we find nice about it is that it comes with benefits.

Specifically, Varo Bank has two automatic savings options to help encourage savers to reach their savings goals.

The automatic savings options include:

Save Your Pay – This program by Varo allows savers to select a percentage of every direct deposit into their Varo checking account to have automatically transferred to their Varo savings account.

Save Your Change – This program allows savers to make purchases anytime using the Varo debit card. When used for purchasing, Varo will round up the amount to the nearest dollar, and then, transfer that amount from the saver’s Varo checking account into his or her Varo savings account.

Checking Account

This time around, let’s talk about Varo’s checking account.

The only checking account option from Varo is what they officially call the “Varo Bank Account”.

This checking account comes with an impressive punch for a fairly simple offering.

The key benefits of using a Varo Bank Account include:

  • No monthly maintenance charges
  • No minimum balance required
  • No overdraft fees
  • Early direct deposit

The Varo checking account comes with a Visa debit card, which you can use to withdraw, as well as in making purchases.

By the way, while Varo does not charge fees or interest, this is only applicable if users meet the following requirements:

  • The user must make five debit purchases every month.
  • The user must receive payroll or government direct deposits of at least $1,000 every month.

Furthermore, with regards to the no overdraft fee benefit, Varo checking account customers must enroll in No Fee Overdraft, which is available in the Varo app, so the feature gets activated. In case you did overdraft your account, Varo gives you 30 calendar days to pay the amount back. Varo, however, automatically takes the amount from your next direct deposit.

In addition to the benefits, Varo users also can send money to other Varo accounts without having to worry about getting charged a fee. Varo to Varo instant transfer feature is absolutely free. The downside of this account, though, is that you cannot use your Varo account in making wire transfers.

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH VARO BANK?

By now, you already know what Varo is all about, and the products that the bank offers.

At this point in our Varo money review, we are going to talk about how one can actually open a Varo account.

If you are interested in opening a Varo account, then, you got to check this section out.

Opening An Account

Anyway, as mentioned earlier, Varo offers an entirely digital service, which means, if you are looking for a physical branch, Varo does not have it.

Similar to most digital banks out there, Varo promises an easy and simple process when opening an account with them. In fact, the process is very straightforward and convenient.

Unlike traditional banks, you can do it in just a few minutes. No need to do paperwork and definitely, no long waits.

To apply for a Varo account, first of all, users have to download the Varo app. The Varo app is available for both iOS and Apple users.

Once done downloading, to proceed with the process, users need to follow the on-screen prompts to complete the whole account application.

As we have said, the process is simple and easy it takes no longer than five minutes to finish.

By the way, just the same as other digital banks, you will be asked to provide some personal information, as well as undergo an identity verification process by providing either a valid ID or a passport.

Should users encounter any problem upon signing up, Varo offers a variety of customer service lines that will offer fast and friendly advice or recommendations.

Adding Funds

In relation to opening an account with Varo, we also wanted to share with you how to actually add funds into your account.

As mentioned, Varo does not have a physical branch, so, to make up for that, the bank offers five easy ways to deposit money into your Varo account.

First, the quickest way to put money into your Varo account is through direct deposit. Varo allows you to pay money into the account yourself or you may opt to use it to receive your paycheck directly into your account.

With Varo’s direct deposit option, users get to receive their salary up to two days early. Additionally, users can receive instant pay from Uber and/or Lyft if you are employed by these companies.

The second option to fund your account is by transferring money from an external bank account through the app and through your other bank’s online banking service.

The third option is by making a transfer of funds from PayPal, Cash App, Venmo, and other similar platforms.

The fourth way of putting money into your Varo account is by cashing in a paper check using your smartphone camera.

Last, but certainly, not least the option to fund your Varo account is through cash deposits. Unlike many digital banks, Varo accepts cash deposits. All you have to do is deposit the cash at a Green Dot location or with a MoneyPak.

You see, funding your Varo account is easy. You got not only one but five options to choose from – and we have to say, they’re all easy and very accessible.

ARE THERE FEES AND CHARGES INVOLVED?

The answer to this question is — mostly none.

With Varo, users are free from being charged for the following:

  • Monthly maintenance fees
  • Overdraft fees or interest owed for overdrafts
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No debit card replacement fees
  • Money Transfer fees (Varo to Varo)

However, as mentioned, these can only be benefited by the account holder (particularly, Varo Bank Account holder) if he or she meets the following requirements:

The user must make five debit purchases every month.

The user must receive payroll or government direct deposits of at least $1,000 every month.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING VARO BANK?

We are almost done with our Varo money review. But, similar to our previous bank reviews, this review will not be complete without pin-pointing the pros and cons.

So, first, let’s talk about the pros or the benefits of using Varo. Some of the benefits we found include:

  • No Monthly Fees – By having a Varo account, you do not have to worry about the minimum balance required, card replacement fees, monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees or interest owed for overdrafts, transfer fees, and foreign transaction fees.
  • No Fee Overdraft – An account holder automatically gets eligible for No Fee Overdraft if he or she receives at least a $1,000 direct deposit every month, at the same time, makes at least five debit card purchases per month. No Fee Overdraft means Varo will cover an overdraft of up to $50 without fees and interest owed. The account holder’s next deposit in 30 days will reimburse the overdraft.
  • No Overdraft Fees – If in case the user does not qualify for the No Fee Overdraft, any transaction the person makes that would overdraw his or her account is automatically declined.
  • Visa Debit Card – Varo Bank Account comes with a Visa debit card that users can use anywhere Visa is accepted. The debit card can also be connected with Google Pay, Apple Pay, PayPal, Cash App, as well as Venmo for seamless payments anywhere. This card also entitles the owner to the Visa Zero Liability guarantee, which ensures the user that he or she won’t be liable for any unauthorized charges on the card.
  • Great Mobile App – Varo, being an all-digital bank ensures users have the best digital banking experience. Thus, making sure that the Varo app delivers as it has promised. With the app, users can deposit checks using mobile deposit, send money instantly, receive alerts, as well as track spending.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING VARO BANK?

In the last section, we ran down a list of benefits. This time, we are going to share with you some of the downsides of using Varo. This includes the following:

  • High-Yield Savings Account Only – Unfortunately, Varo only offers a high-yield savings account. Unlike other banks of the same level, Varo does not offer other options.
  • Mobile-Only Platform – Although you can sign up on the Varo website, everything else can only be done using the Varo mobile app. So, unless you want app-based banking transactions, Varo may not be ideal for you.
  • No Checks – Unlike other mobile banks, Varo does not offer paper checks with its checking account. However, a check via the Varo mobile app is available in case you need one. The check is mailed within three to nine business days, though.

IS VARO BANK SAFE?

Safety and security both personal information and money are two very important things that people look into when it comes to mobile or online banks.

Fortunately, Varo is a safe mobile banking platform. Varo Bank N.A is FDIC insured, which means that the federal government protects the depositors’ money for up to $250,000 per depositor, for every account ownership category. This is particularly important in case of a bank failure.

Furthermore, Varo uses 256-bit AES encryption to ensure the safety and security of all the information they gather from every depositor, as well as their depositors’ money.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THIS VARO MONEY REVIEW

All in all, we got to say that Varo Bank has a very promising offering. Given the fact that is very new to the market, it offers amazing features that every user or depositor usually looks for in a digital bank.

So, do you consider opening an account with Varo yet?

We hope that this Varo money review has cleared your thoughts and worries, at the same time, has answered some of the most crucial questions when it comes to banking with Varo Bank.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Current Bank Review: Is It The Right Mobile-Only Bank For You?

If you want to know more about your options when it comes to mobile banking, you got to check this Current Bank review, and see for yourself if this mobile-only bank account is what you are looking for.

Current Bank Review: Is It The Right Mobile-Only Bank For You?

In an article by Business Insider, it says that “convenience and quickness of completing financial transactions via an app” are the key reasons why consumers are attracted to mobile banking.

With mobile banking or online banking, consumers can easily access their money, at the same time, quickly send or receive money from another account regardless of their location.

Meanwhile, a report by Statista, states that the total mobile users across the globe as of 2020 is roughly around 6.95 billion, and it is forecasted to increase to 7.1 billion by 2021, and 7.41 billion by 2024.

In another report also by Statista, in the United States alone, there are 274.7 million people who access the internet through their mobile devices in 2020. The numbers are also projected to rise to over 295 million by 2023.

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Currently, the total number of mobile internet users in the country comprises 83% of the total U.S. population.

Now, going back to mobile banking, currently, Statista reported that there are 57 million people in the United States who use mobile banking, and similar to the different projections we mentioned earlier, the number of mobile banking users are also expected to grow in the years to come.

Now, what are we trying to say here?

What we are trying to point out is that as the number of mobile users in the country as well as across the globe increase, so as the number of mobile banking users – whether it be in the United States alone or worldwide.

With that, it is not surprising that mobile banks are becoming a huge thing. The industry is growing and competition is higher.

Currently, there are a number of mobile banks out there, and the choices can really get overwhelming. Needless to say, the more it becomes harder to pick which bank to sign up and do banking with.

Among the many options available out there is Current Bank.

As mentioned earlier, and as stated in the title, in the following sections, we are going to share with you essential information about this mobile-only bank. Hopefully, by the end of this, you get to gauge if this one’s exactly what you are looking for.

For your reference, in the next few sections, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is the Current Bank?
  • What does the Current Bank offer?
  • Are there fees and charges involved?
  • How to open a Current Bank account?
  • What are the benefits of using the Current Bank?
  • What are the downsides of using the Current Bank?
  • Is the Current Bank safe?

WHAT IS THE CURRENT BANK?

Founded in June 2015 by it’s CEO Stuart Sopp, Current Bank is “focused on creating better financial outcomes for people and their unique lives” by bringing premium financial services to people of different lifestyles.

Based in the Greater New York area, Current generally an online-only bank that is accessible using a mobile app.

While it is relatively new in the mobile banking industry, Current Bank has definitely made its presence felt by offering unique features to the market that the rest of their competitors don’t.

Some of its one-of-a-kind features include fast direct deposits, special accounts for parents and teens, instant credits for gas holds, as well as Savings Pods, which makes putting aside funds for various goals easier.

Although Current tries to modernize banking by proving solutions to some annoying issues common to a lot of checking accounts, the bank does have its limitations as well.

One of the most evident is that compared to other online banks, Currents charges higher fees. Also, consumers are limited to a maximum of $10,000 balance online. That is applicable to the user’s combined checking accounts at all times.

Thus, if you are looking at keeping big amounts of money in your account, or if you are wary about the cost, then, Current Bank may not be the perfect choice for you.

Quick Summary of Current Bank Details

Before we proceed on a more detailed Current Bank review, here’s a quick summary of some of the most important details you need to know about Current Bank:

Product Name Current
Account Types Checking
Minimum Deposit $0
Fees Personal Accounts: $0 to $4.95/month Teen Banking: $36/year per teen
Promotions 30-Free Trial of Teen Banking
Transaction Limits Maximum of $500 in daily withdrawals from an ATM Maximum of $2,000 in monthly purchases using your Current debit card   Maximum of $10,000 combined monthly balance across all Current accounts
FDIC Insurance Up to $250,000

Before we proceed to the next section, know more about the Current Visa card in this very informative video by Eann:

WHAT DOES THE CURRENT BANK OFFER?

Now, apart from the bank’s history, another important thing or consideration you should look into as a consumer is the products and services that the bank offers.

It must fit your needs and preferences. Otherwise, you may have to consider looking out for other mobile bank options.

True to its name, Current Bank offers checking accounts. However, they’re not your typical checking accounts because it comes with a faster availability of your paycheck, removal of gas station holds, as well as amazing money management specifically for teens.

As mentioned earlier, Current Bank is a mobile-only bank, thus, the accounts are accessible online only as well.

So, if you are looking for a bank with a local branch, or desktop account access or management, Current checking accounts may not be ideal for you.

It is also important to note that the Current Bank does not pay any interest on all its checking accounts.

Perhaps you are wondering what would make you consider opening a Current checking account at all. Well, Current offers three plans that are pretty much attractive among consumers. Later on, we’ll discuss more of them.

But, first, let’s discuss the Current’s personal checking account.

Personal Checking Account

At the moment, Current Bank offers two plans for its customers who are planning to open a personal checking account.

The first option is the Basic plan, which costs nothing. It’s entirely free. The second option, meanwhile, is the Premium plan, which charges a fee of $4.99 per month.

For your reference, here’s what makes one different from the other:

BASIC PLAN (Free) PREMIUM PLAN
($4.99 per month)
No minimum balance Everything that is included in the Basic Plant plus the following:  

Direct deposits of up to 2 days earlier Faster gas holds refund 3 Savings Pods
Free cash withdrawals
No overdraft or hidden fees
Mobile check deposit
Money management tools
1 Savings Pod
Send money instantly for free
24/7 member support

To be honest, Current’s free plan is not as incredibly compelling as other mobile banks you find in the market today.

In fact, customers could be better off with other free online bank accounts that pay a little interest.

As with Current’s Premium plan, which charges you $4.99 a month, it still, for us, is a tough sell.

However, perhaps for the right person, the features offered by Current in their Premium plan may well be worth it.

For its Premium plan, the most convincing features for us would be its faster direct deposit feature as well as the gas hold refunds.

By having a faster deposit, you can expect to have the money deposited from your paycheck to be available for up to two days faster than the usual average direct deposit in the market.

Contrary to other banks, Current does not mind the date that employers intend for your paycheck funds to be made available. Instead, the funds are credited into your account just a while after you’ve received it.

This type of feature, though, is very common among prepaid debit cards.

Meanwhile, the gas hold feature refunds hold placed on the user’s card by gas stations. There are gas stations that apply a hold for up to $100 on your card, which is already a big amount for some.

The hold locks the amount that is being held, making it not possible for you to use it for spending.

However, with Current’s gas hold refund feature, the bank immediately refunds the amount so that you get to use your money anytime.

Teen Banking

Current Bank’s Teen Plan is particularly designed taking into consideration two important aspects: parental supervision and money management.

This feature is a great way for parents to teach their teens about using money wisely.

Current’s Teen plan’s parental features include the following:

  • Instant fund transfer to your teen’s card
  • Cashless convenience
  • Notifications for all purchases made
  • Ability to set spending limits
  • Ability to block specific merchants
  • Automatic allowance payments
  • Ability to set chores to complete
  • The ability for multiple family members to add funds

Take note, however, that the Teen plan does not include a savings pod.

Current Bank’s Teen plan comes with a 30-day free trial. After which, you will be charged an annual subscription fee amounting to $36 per year.

Other Features

As mentioned, Current Bank has the following features:

By signing up for a checking account with Current, you get to enjoy these features: Savings Pod, Teen Banking, and Rewards.

  • Savings Pod

A savings pod is basically like a savings account. However, the only difference is that it does not earn any interest.

A savings pod is meant to just section off funds for particular savings goals like emergencies, travel, etc.

What’s nice about it is that you can label every pod to ensure you are putting the funds in the right pod. It also makes things less confusing.

Furthermore, you can deposit or move funds directly into a pod from your checking account, as well as direct deposit, or through round-ups from your card.

  • Rewards

Only recently, Current announced the launch of the bank’s rewards program, which is made available for all its members.

With the rewards system, account holders can now earn up to 15x points of the money they spend at any of the 14,000+ retailers that Current is in partnership with.

Points earned are credited instantly after every purchase. It can also be redeemed at 100 points per dollar within your Current app.

ARE THERE FEES AND CHARGES INVOLVED?

In this section of our Current Bank review, we are going to talk about fees and charges involved.

We actually have already mentioned them in the earlier sections. But, just in case you have not noticed, Current charges a subscription fee for both its Premium Plan and Teen Plan.

For Premium Plan, the bank charges $4.99 per month, while for the Teen Plan, the Current charges $36 per year.

Take note that you can also opt to use the bank’s Basic plan, which costs nothing. It’s for free.

Meanwhile, Current does not charge overdraft fees, while most mobile banks do. The bank also provides free ATM usage.

Transaction Limits

Apart from the fees and charges, it is also important that as a potential user, you know about the bank’s transaction limits.

Current accounts do have a few limits, and these include the following:

  • $500 daily maximum in ATM withdrawals
  • $2,000 daily maximum in card purchases
  • $5,000 maximum transaction amount for peer-to-peer payments through Current Pay

HOW TO OPEN A CURRENT BANK ACCOUNT?

As mentioned in the earlier sections of this Current Bank review, Current is an entirely mobile-only bank, which means, you can only open an account through one of its mobile apps.

Don’t worry because Current made sure they are accessible to both iOS and Android users.

Now, to particularly process your application for a personal checking account, all you have to do is follow these steps:

1. Download the Current Bank app on your mobile phone.

2. Select the type of account you want to open. There are three options available: Basic checking account, Premium checking account, and Teen account.

3. Provide some basic personal information such as your residential address in the United States, as well as your Social Security number.

4. Choose how you want to fund your account. As mentioned, there is no minimum balance requirement to open as well as to maintain a Current bank account. For funding, you can opt to use a mobile deposit, linking an external bank account and transfer funds via an ACH transfer, and setting up a direct deposit so that funds go directly into your account.

5. Wait for your Visa debit card to arrive within seven to 10 business days from the date you open your Current Bank account.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING THE CURRENT BANK?

Similar to any other mobile banks out there, Current Bank does have its share of pros and cons, and of course, just like any other Current Bank reviews out there, we are also giving some of the things we found beneficial to Current customers, as well as some downsides to taking note of.

First, let’s talk about the benefits –

  • Checking Account Options. Current Bank offers checking account options depending on the preference of the user/customer. There’s the Basic checking account, Premium checking account, as well as the Teen account.
  • Teen Banking and Parental Controls. Current’s Teen plan is a great choice for parents who want to teach their kids how to use money. It provides parental controls, which benefits both the parents and their kids.
  • No Minimum Balance Required. Unlike other mobile banks, Current does not require a minimum balance in your account. You can definitely put as much or as little money as you want.
  • No Overdraft Fees. Overdraft fees can cause headaches for most users. Needless to say, it’s somehow a waste of money for customers. Good thing, Current Bank does not charge it.
  • Direct Deposit Up To Two Days Faster. This feature is specifically available for Premium checking account members. Definitely a unique feature by Current Bank.
  • FDIC-Insured Up To $250,000. Current Bank accounts are FDIC-insured, which means should unfortunate things happen, your money is insured.
  • Free ATM Withdrawals. Current Bank offers free ATM withdrawals across the United States.
  • Savings Pods. This feature allows users to focus on saving money for particular reasons. It can also be done automatically, which makes it more convenient to use.
  • Innovative Tools. Current Bank does have innovative tools that provide users insight into their spending.
  • 24/7 Live Chat Support. Current Bank does have a 24/7 live chat customer service to ensure customers can immediately seek help should they have any concern with their accounts.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING CURRENT BANK?

In the last section, we provided you with some of the benefits of using the Current Bank. This time around, we are going to share with you some of its downsides.

Some of the cons of using Current Bank include:

  • Service Fee. Let’s face it, there are a lot of other mobile banks out there that offer either lesser or no service fees at all. Current Bank’s Premium and Teen accounts’ service fees are not too compelling.
  • Mobile-Only. Unfortunately, Current Bank is only accessible through the mobile app. It does not have local branches and is not accessible on a desktop computer as well.
  • No Interest For Deposits. Another notable downside of Current Bank is that it does not pay any interest on deposits, which means your money will just literally sit in your account without any changes over time.
  • Maximum Debit Card Balance. Unlike other mobile banks, Current only allows up to $10,000 for debit card balance.
  • ATM and Transaction Fees Abroad. If you use or make transactions outside the United States using your Current Bank card, expect to be charged for making such transactions.

IS THE CURRENT BANK SAFE?

Ultimately, opening a Current Bank account is safe. As mentioned earlier, all deposited funds are covered by FDIC insurance of up to $250,000 through the Current’s issuing bank, which is the Choice Financial Group.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CURRENT BANK REVIEW

Current Bank, just like any other mobile banks out there caters to a specific group of customers. It’s not for all – especially with the fact that it charges quite a good amount of service fee for its Premium and Teen accounts.

With all the information we have provided, have you seen yourself using Current Bank?

We do hope that our Current Bank review was able to provide you with essential details you need to be able to decide if it’s indeed the perfect mobile bank based on your preferences and needs.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

TransferWise Review: Why Use It Over Other Online Fund Transfer Platforms

Since it was launched in 2011, the company has grown to be one of the world’s most preferred international money transfer service provider. Know more about the company and what else it has to offer as we do this TransferWise review.

TransferWise Review: Why Use It Over Other Online Fund Transfer Platforms

A report published by The World Bank has stated in the Migration and Development Brief, says that “remittances to low- and middle-income countries reached a record high in 2018”.

According to the Bank, annual remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries were estimated to reach $529 billion in 2018, which was an increase of 9.6% as compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, based on the data published by Statista, the transaction value in the digital remittances segment was projected to reach over eight (8) million U.S. dollars in 2020. Furthermore, the transaction value is expected to have an annual growth rate of 14.8%, which will result in an estimated total amount of $152,471 million by 2024.

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Now, what are we trying to point out with these numbers?

Well, first, the report from The World Bank, shows that remittances are overflowing across the globe. Money goes around from one location to another. Needless to say, the remittance industry is in no way going slow or down.

Second, the data from Statista, only shows that people these days are into digital remittances, which basically means, people use online or mobile money transfer platforms to send and receive funds from whatever parts of the world.

Thanks to digital technology and the internet – all these have been made possible.

The increasing popularity of digital money transfer is becoming more and more evident as years pass by, and we won’t be surprised if one day, traditional money transfer companies phase-out.

Digital money transfer is very convenient. It’s easy and simple to use. Needless to say, some (if not most) of them allows you to receive and use your money right away regardless of the money was sent locally or internationally.

Now, these days, there are a lot of digital money transfer platforms, some of them cater not only to local money transfer but internationally as well.

One of the more popular international money transfer service providers these days is TransferWise. If you are a freelancer, most likely, you have already heard or have used it already.

If you haven’t, then, this TransferWise review is perfect for you because, in the following sections, we are going to talk more about what TransferWise is all about.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is TransferWise?
  • How does TransferWise work?
  • What currencies can you send and receive through Transferwise?
  • How to use TransferWise?
  • How to sign up for a TransferWise account?
  • What are the fees and charges involved?
  • What are the benefits of using TransferWise?
  • What are the downsides of using TransferWise?
  • Is TransferWise safe?

WHAT IS TRANSFERWISE?

TransferWise originated in London. It was established in 2010 by two financial gurus namely, Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. Both of them have very impressive business and financial backgrounds.

TransferWise was created to provide online money transfer services, which allows users to send and receive funds for both personal and business reasons.

Unlike other international digital money transfer service providers, TransferWise is compatible with a wide range of currencies (over 750 currencies to be more specific), which makes it an ideal choice particularly among freelancers from different parts of the world.

Apart from the fact that it carries a wide range of currencies, TransferWise has also earned popularity among digital money transfer users because it offers a cheap way to send money specifically from the United Stated to about 80 countries worldwide.

Exciting things about this company do not end there!

Furthermore, TransferWise offers the best exchange rates you will ever find. Needless to say, users can do fund transfers in different ways like through a bank account or credit card. However, the recipient has to have a bank account in order to receive the money sent by the sender.

TransferWise, while it is easily accessible through its website, does have an amazing app as well, which is available for both iOS and Android users.

TransferWise has definitely up their game when it comes to international digital money transfer services, and in the succeeding sections in this TransferWise review, you’ll know more exciting information about what this company has to offer.

HOW DOES IS TRANSFERWISE WORK?

Now that you already have an idea about what TransferWise is all about, let’s proceed with how this digital money transfer service provider actually works.

First of all, as a user, you have to ensure that you transfer funds through bank transfer to your TransferWise account.

Once the funds are already in your TransferWise account, you can now start sending money wherever in the world. In the same way that once you’re done creating your account, you can automatically start receiving money from other locations.

By the way, here’s an important detail you must know especially when sending money to other parts of the world with a different currency.

Before sending money, you can check the conversion rates using TransferWise’s price comparison tool. The tool will show you rates from different providers, which proves how TransferWise truly cares about finding you the best rate possible.

Once you’re good with the conversion rate, you may now proceed with providing the recipient’s name and local bank details. In some cases, you may need to verify your identity or may be asked to provide additional documentation to proceed with the transaction.

You will then have to pay a minimal fee for the transaction. Once done, TransferWise will take care of the rest, and send the funds to your receiver as quickly as possible.

For a more thorough explanation of how TransferWise works, check the video below:

TransferWise works as an Electronic Money Institution, which is licensed in the United Kingdom as well as in other jurisdictions where the company operates.

Meanwhile, for its operations, TransferWise has partnered with the world’s best and biggest banks across the globe.

WHAT CURRENCIES CAN YOU SEND AND RECEIVE THROUGH TRANSFERWISE?

As a TransferWise user, it is important to know what currencies you can send and receive money to and from.

For your reference, see the list below:

Send and Receive Money

  • AUD – Australian Dollar
  • BGN – Bulgarian Lev
  • BRL – Brazilian Real
  • CAD – Canadian Dollar
  • CHF – Swiss Franc
  • CZK – Czech Koruna
  • DKK – Danish Krone
  • EUR – Euro
  • GBP – Pounds Sterling
  • HKD – Hong Kong Dollar
  • HRK – Croatian Kuna
  • HUF – Hungarian Forint
  • JPY – Japanese Yen
  • NOK – Norwegian Krone
  • NZD – New Zealand Dollar
  • PLN – Polish Złoty
  • RON – Romanian Leu
  • SEK – Swedish Krona
  • SGD – Singapore Dollar
  • USD – US Dollar

Send Funds Only

  • AED – Emirati Dirham
  • BDT – Bangladeshi Taka
  • CLP – Chilean Peso
  • CNY – Chinese Yuan
  • COP – Colombian Peso
  • GEL – Georgian Lari
  • IDR – Indonesian Rupiah
  • ILS – Israeli Shekels
  • INR – Indian Rupee
  • KES – Kenyan Shillings
  • KRW – South Korean Won
  • LKR – Sri Lankan Rupee
  • MAD – Moroccan Dirham
  • MXN – Mexican Peso
  • MYR – Malaysian Ringgit
  • NGN – Nigerian Naira
  • PEN – Peruvian Sol
  • PHP – Philippine Peso
  • PKR – Pakistani Rupee
  • RUB – Russian Ruble
  • THB – Thai Baht
  • TRY – Turkish Lira
  • UAH – Ukrainian Hryvnia
  • VND – Vietnamese Dong

HOW TO USE TRANSFERWISE?

TransferWise is an all-online international money transfer service provider, which means your TransferWise personal account or your TransferWise business account can be opened entirely online.

You can access your TransferWise account through the website or through its mobile application, which is accessible to both iOS and Android users.

Although TransferWise is not specifically a bank, users can order a TransferWise debit card, which works like any other MasterCard debit card. The debit card can also make your TransferWise transactions simpler and more convenient.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR A TRANSFERWISE ACCOUNT?

In this section of our TransferWise review, we are going to talk about how you actually sign up for a TransferWise account.

If there is one thing we can assure you of, signing up for an account with TransferWise could not be easier and quicker.

To sign up, all you need to do is to go visit the official website of TransferWise, and then click “Register”.

You will then be asked to choose if you are going to open a personal account or a business account (this option is very popular among freelancers and business owners).

Once you’ve chosen your preferred type of account, you have the option to sign up using your Google, Apple, or your Facebook account. Otherwise, you may opt to use your preferred email address, and then, create a unique password.

You will then be asked to verify your account. Although, you can delay this process and do it later on.

You may now proceed with the verification process wherein you will be asked to provide a valid ID as well as proof of address.

WHAT ARE THE FEES AND CHARGES INVOLVE?

TransferWise is known as the “Robin Hood” of international payment providers because of the kind of service it provides. Needless to say, TransferWise has made the cost of sending money worldwide cheaper than everyone else in the market.

Fees and Charges

The cheapest option to send money is by sending the funds from your TranssferWise account. Currently, the service incurs a fee of only around 0.4% of the total amount of money you are sending.

Meanwhile, if you choose to use your TransferWise debit card to send money, it would incur a fee of about 0.7% of the total amount you are sending.

TransferWise charges a small fee for converting currencies that you do not hold in your account. The fee is set between 0.33% and 3.56%.

Furthermore, unlike other international digital money transfer service providers, TransferWise does not add a margin to the exchange rate, which is also the reason why you get a cheaper rate than those offered by traditional banks as well as money exchanges.

Additionally, it is important to note that the same rates and fees apply to all TransferWise customers.

What’s nice about TransferWise is that you are not blindsided when it comes to fees and charges. Everything is presented upfront and explained clearly, which, unfortunately, is not the case in other online money transfer service providers.

Minimum and Maximum Amounts

There are people who are wary when it comes to choosing an online money transfer service because of the minimum amounts required.

With TransferWise, though, they only require a minimum of 1 U.S. dollars, which basically means users can send the platform to send smaller amounts of money as compared to its competitors in the market.

More so, if you need to send a larger amount of money, TransferWise does cater to it as well. In fact, the maximum amount you can send using this online money transfer service provider is up to one (1) million U.S. dollars.

However, it is important to take note that sending larger sums of money means you have to comply with your bank’s regulations. There is some that limit the amount of money you can transfer in a day.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING TRANSFERWISE?

This TransferWise review will not be complete without us tackling the pros and cons of using this international money transfer platform.

But first, let’s talk about the benefits of using TransferWise, which include the following:

  • Low Fees. As we’ve mentioned, TransferWise has one (if not the lowest) of the lowest fees in the online digital money transfer industry. The fixed cost to a lot of countries is a combination of a flat amount, which costs $1 and a percentage of slightly less than 1% of the amount to be transferred.
  • Fast Delivery. With TransferWise, you get to receive money as quickly as possible using a debit or credit card regardless of your location.
  • No Rate Markups. Contrary to other banks and money transfer providers, TransferWise does not charge an exchange rate markup on its transfers.
  • No Monthly Charges. Unlike other platforms, TransferWise does not charge monthly service fees.
  • No Minimum Balance Required. TransferWise does not require its users to maintain a minimum balance, which means you can leave your account with zero or a few money without having to suffer certain consequences.
  • High Daily Sending Limit. Unlike other online money transfer service providers, TransferWise has a higher daily sending limit which is up to $50,000 per transfer for a personal account, and $250,000 per transfer for a business account.
  • Quick Sign Up and Verification Process. Signing up for a TransferWise account was made easy and quick. No hassle, definitely.
  • Easy to Use Mobile App. TransferWise provides an easy to use mobile application, which is available for both iOS and Android users.
  • Top-of-the-Line Security Measures. TransferWise understands the value of keeping all your information and your money secured, thus, rest assured that the platform uses the best security measures possible.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING TRANSFERWISE?

In the last section, we provided you with some of the key benefits of using TransferWise for your online money transfer transactions both locally and internationally.

Meanwhile, in this section, we are going to provide you with some of the downsides of the platform. As we always say – there’s no such thing as perfect, and TransferWise is not perfect as well.

Some of the cons of using TransferWise include:

  • Slower Bank Transfer Delivery. Unfortunately, TransferWise has slower bank transfer delivery times as compared to other digital money transfer providers out there. Transfers funded using bank accounts can sometimes take over a week because each step (receiving, converting, and delivering) can take days. However, it is quicker for countries like Germany, the United Kingdom, Mexico, and India.
  • U.S. Phone Support is Limited. Unlike other online money platforms in the market, TransferWise’s phone support in the United States is limited to regular business hours only. You can only reach the customer service hotline from 9 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon ET during weekdays.
  • Slightly Higher Fees. For transfers paid using credit card or debit card, TransferWise charges a bit higher as compared to other service providers out there.
  • No Cash Pick Up. Unlike some of its competitors, TransferWise does not offer a cash pick up option. The money sent only goes directly to the receiver’s bank account.

IS TRANSFERWISE SAFE?

Of course, this review on Transferwise has to tackle the security and safety of this platform.

Overall, we got to say that TransferWise is completely safe. In fact, it has been offering reliable money transfer service across the glove for ten years now.

Upon checking online reviews by users, a lot of them praise TransferWise not only for ease of use but more importantly, for secure transactions.

As mentioned earlier, TransferWise uses top-of-the-line security measures to ensure your information and your money is safe. These measures include:

  • In-house 24/7 Digital Security – Unlike other companies, TransferWise does have its own 24/7 security team tasked to constantly monitor transactions to avoid fraud and other sketchy online activity.
  • Two-factor Authentication Process – With the two-factor authentication process in place, it makes you the only person who can access your account. Furthermore, if you opt to use the mobile app, you can choose to turn on biometric locks for added security.
  • Bank-level Data Encryption and Storage – TransferWise uses the same practices that banks follow to ensure the security of your information.
  • Adherence to Regulatory Agencies – TransferWise is accredited by all required local and global regulatory agencies, which hold the company to strict operating standards.

With all these (and more) in place, every TransferWise user is assured that all information, as well as transactions made within its platforms, are secured and safe.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON TRANSFERWISE REVIEW

TransferWise is one of the popular international money transfer service providers today, and given all the information we provided, it is not surprising at all that they’re one of the people’s top choices.

Although TransferWise does have its share of downsides, we thought the benefits still overpowers it all. At the end of the day, TransferWise offers good service at a very reasonable price. Needless to say, exchange rates are pretty good as well as compared to other similar service providers.

With all the information we’ve shared, how do you see TransferWise? Do you think it’s the right money transfer provider for you?

Because if you were to ask our opinion, we got to say that —

TransferWise is the best choice especially for people who want low costs, at the same time, a solid web experience when it comes to sending funds internationally.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Simple Review: What Makes It The Right Mobile Bank For You

If you are looking for an online banking service provider with competitive rates plus other amazing features, then, this Simple review is right for you.

Simple Review: What Makes It The Right Mobile Bank For You

In a report entitled, “The Mobile Banking and Payment Revolution” by Sunil Gupta, he said that:

Mobile technology is revolutionizing the global banking and payment industry. It offers new opportunities for banks to provide added convenience to their existing customers in developed countries, and reach a large population of unbanked customers in emerging markets.”

Furthermore, the same report, says that “Mobile penetration is 105% in the U.S. and France and it is even higher in the U.K. and Germany at 130%.

However, the said report was published around 2012-2013, so imagine how the numbers have grown by now.

In the United States, in particular, based on data published by Statista, in a 2018 survey, it was found that the usage of mobile banking in the country vary depending on demographic groups.

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Among Millennials, 69.3% of them are using or have used mobile banking. Meanwhile, only 24% of Baby Boomers have used or are using it.

Regardless of the difference in number, though, one thing’s evident – Americans these days are using mobile or online banking, and it is projected to increase even more in the years to come.

Without a doubt, technology and the internet have changed the way banking is done. But, it’s all for the better, if we may say.

Moving on, thanks to the continued innovation in the banking industry, over the years, more and more mobile banking entities are coming up, which gives consumers more options to choose from.

Among these options is Simple Bank.

As stated earlier, in this Simple review, we are going to provide you essential information on why Simple Bank may just be the right mobile banking for you.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is Simple Bank?
  • What does Simple Bank offer?
  • How to open an account with Simple Bank?
  • What are the benefits of using Simple Bank?
  • What are the downsides of using Simple Bank?
  • Is it safe to do banking with Simple Bank?

WHAT IS SIMPLE BANK?

First of all, let’s get to know more about Simple Bank.

As a consumer, it is our obligation to check the history of the bank to see if it is legit or if it is credible. After all, we are going to put our money into their care, right?

Based in Portland, Oregon, Simple Bank was launched in the market in 2009 as a way for consumers to have the option to escape from the usual frustrations they get from dealing with traditional banks.

Simple Bank is an entirely online mobile banking service provider that provides competitive rates, focuses on budgeting and payments, as well gives users the best mobile banking experience possible.

Simple’s founders, since its inception, have always envisioned to create a mobile banking platform that is less expensive and provides a frustration-free banking experience.

To ensure the bank stays true to its vision, Simple Bank uses BBVA USA for its banking services and FDIC insurance.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Simple Bank, and also get a glimpse of the bank’s mobile app, we recommend you check out this very informative video by Resolute Capital – Finance Videos:

WHAT DOES SIMPLE BANK OFFER?

In this section of our Simple Bank review, we are going to talk about the different products and services the bank offers.

This will give you an overview of what to expect from the bank. At the same time, help you gauge if Simple Bank is indeed the right bank for you.

So, Simple Bank offers two major products:

  • Checking Account, and
  • Certificate of Deposit.

Now, let’s take a look at each of these products —

Checking Account

Technically speaking, Simple Bank has three different checking accounts – Online Checking (Simple Account), High-Yield Checking (Protected Goals Account), and Shared Checking (Simple Shared Account).

However, for Protected Goals Account, in particular, it requires the customer to have a Simple Account first so he or she can open one.

Now, let’s take a look at each of these product offerings so we get to understand each better —

Online Checking (Simple Account)

As mentioned, Simple Account is Simple Bank’s primary account. Living up to its name, this account type comes with a simple fee structure.

The checking account, at least, as of this writing, does earn 0.01% APY. Contrary to other online banking services providers, the bank’s Simple Account does not have monthly fees, as well as minimum balance requirements.

Furthermore, the Simple Account also includes the following features:

  • No overdraft fees
  • No out-of-network ATM fees from Simple’s end
  • Check writing (The bank charges $5 for a book for checks.)
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Fee-free transactions in 40,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network
  • 1% international transaction charge when you use your debit card outside of the United States

Apart from these amazing features, Simple Bank’s Simple Account also comes with various built-in tools to help consumers manage their finances effectively. These tools include:

Automated Savings. This feature allows customers to set up their financial goals. By turning on round-up riles, every purchase made is rounded up to the dollar. The moment that changes reach $5, the money is automatically transferred to a Protected Goals account.

Budgeting Tools. What we like about Simple Account’s budgeting tools is that it gives consumers access to expense tracking, as well as budgeting within their checking account. This type of feature is particularly helpful among moms and other individuals who are responsible for budgeting finances. By the way, not many online banks provide such kind of tool.

Safe to Spend. This feature is a more advanced version of “available balance”. The Safe to Spend tool is very useful for things like savings goals, and future bills as this allow you to see how much you can actually afford to spend.

High-Yield Checking (Protected Goals Account)

Simple Bank’s high-yield checking account, which they call as Protected Goals Account actually works more like a savings account.

The only difference is that it requires you to open a Simple Account first before you can open one.

Protected Goals Account also offers impressive features, but the best of all is that it pays up to 1.20% APY on all balance tiers.

Furthermore, what’s nice about the Protected Goals Account is that customers are given the prerogative to set up savings goals using the account, and then, enable automated savings to help build up the goal balance faster.

Similar to the Simple Account, Protected Goals does not charge monthly fees, as well as require a minimum deposit amount.

The only downside of this type of account is that it does not come with an ATM card or checkbook. The account is meant entirely for savings.

The Protected Goals Account is ideal for those who want to build up savings for a specific cause like a travel fund, emergency fund, home renovation fund, etc.

Shared Checking (Simple Shared Account).

Another checking account that Simple Bank offers is the Shared Checking or what they call as Simple Shared Account.

This type of account is ideal for individuals (like husbands and wives, partners, friends, siblings, etc.) who want to share a bank account or pool funds together to achieve a common goal.

However, to be able to avail of this account option, both individuals need to open first a Simple account, respectively. The Simple account will then be used to fund the Shared Checking account.

The Simple Shared Account earns an interest that mirrors that from individual accounts.

Similarly, there is also what they call Shared Protected Goals to account where you can earn a 1.20% APY.

Certificate of Deposit

Another product offered by Simple Bank is the Certificate of Deposit.

Contrary to other mobile or online banks, Simple Bank offers a CD with only one term option only, which is 12 months.

Unlike its checking account options, Simple’s certificate of deposit requires a minimum opening deposit of $250. Also, the CDs come with a fixed interest rate of 1.00% APY, which compared to other traditional banks is definitely higher. However, it is much less contrary to other popular online banks.

What makes Simple Bank’s CD attractive to customers, though, is the fact that this one’s a no-penalty certificate of deposit. This means that customers get the benefits of a locked-in savings rate, as well as the ability to withdraw all their funds without any penalty whenever they want for as long as it has been seven days since opening.

Other Products

Apart from the checking account options, plus certificate of deposit, Simple Bank also offers personal loans, which is for another Simple review (a Simple personal loan review, perhaps?).

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH SIMPLE BANK?

Now that you already know a little history of Simple Bank plus the products that the mobile bank offers to the market, in this section of our Simple review, we are going to share with you how to actually open a Simple Bank account.

Compared to most neobanks and challenger banks out there, opening an account with Simple Bank does not require you to download an app. You can process your application instead of on its website.

As part of the entire account application process, you will be asked to fill in some basic personal information. Once done, you will then be asked to verify your identity.

Simple Bank does state, however, that once your Simple bank account is already up and running, you must download their app to get more out of the services that the bank provides.

Since Simple Bank has eliminated all fees from the financial services that they offer, this only means that customers can avail of their services for free, which definitely is something rare among mobile is banking service providers out there.

By the way, apart from its website, interested individuals may also open an account by calling 888-248-0632.

Similar to the process on its website, those who opt to open an account through phone calls will also be asked to provide personal information to push through with setting up the bank account.

Requirements to Open an Account

In relation to the process of opening a Simple Bank account, please note the following important requirements:

  • The account holder must be a citizen of the United States.
  • The account holder has to be 18 years old and above.
  • The account holder must hold a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING SIMPLE BANK?

All banks, traditional or mobile do have their respective pros and cons, which is not surprising at all because there is no such thing as a perfect bank.

In this section, we are going to talk about the benefits of using Simple Bank.

In particular, we commend Simple Bank for providing the following features:

  • No Monthly Fees. One of the core principles of Simple Bank is not having hidden fees, which in their perspective is best done by not charging any fees at all.  Thus, by using Simple Bank, you do not have to worry about monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, or other common fees charged by banks.
  • No Minimum Balance Requirements. Whether it be a checking account or a certificate of deposit, Simple Bank does not have a minimum balance requirement.
  • Competitive APY on Protected Goals Account. Simple Bank offers competitive interest rates among its Protected Goals account (whether it be for individuals or shared).
  • No Overdraft Fees. As mentioned earlier, Simple Bank does not have hidden charges. In fact, they do not charge common bank charges at all — which includes overdraft fees.
  • 40,000+ fee-free ATM network. With Simple Bank, you can use your debit card in over 40,000 ATM network for free.
  • Built-in Budgeting Tools. Not all mobile banks offer this kind of tool, which makes Simple Bank standout also from other mobile banking service providers. Simple Bank’s budgeting tools are especially helpful for people who need help when it comes to handling finances.
  • Quick and Easy Online Sign-up Process. Similar to most online banks out there, Simple Bank does offer a quick and easy online sign-up process through its website.
  • Slick and User-Friendly Web and App Interface. The bank lives up to its name that is why even though its platforms, the bank ensures you go through a simple, easy to navigate web and app interface.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING SIMPLE BANK?

As we have said earlier, no bank is perfect, and the same goes for Simple Bank.

Now that we’ve already shared some of the best features of Simple Bank, this time, we’ll share with you some of the downsides we found out about using Simple Bank.

Our list includes the following:

  • Average CD rates. Simple Bank’s certificate of deposit earns 1.00% APY only, which is very decent compared to that of traditional banks. Although, as mentioned, it is kind of lower as with other well-known online banks.
  • No Savings Account. Although Simple Bank’s Protected Goals Account functions similarly to that of a savings account, it still does not count as one because first and foremost, you have to open a Simple checking account to be able to open one. So, yeah, technically, Simple Bank does not have a concrete savings account option.
  • No Cash Deposits. Unfortunately, customers do not have an option to do cash deposits with Simple. The only available options to fund your account is through direct deposits, electronic transfers, mobile deposits, or by sending a check via mail.
  • No Online Bills Payment. Contrary to other mobile banks out there, Simple Bank does not have an online bill payment option. Although customers can opt to set up bill pay through vendor options, they do not have one that is direct to the Simple online account.
  • One CD Term Only. Unlike other mobile banks, Simple Bank only offers one-term on its certificate of deposit, which means you have no other options. Unless you are looking for a 12-month CD term only, then Simple Bank’s CD may work for you.

IS IT SAFE TO DO BANKING WITH SIMPLE BANK?

One of the most important questions among customers of online banks is if the bank is safe and secured, which is totally understandable because, at the end of the day, you are entrusting them your hard-earned money.

Anyway, with Simple Bank, you are assured that they are legit and credible.

All funds deposited in Simple Bank account are FDIC-insured through Simple’s partner bank, BBVA USA (FDIC# 19048).

FDIC insurance means the federal government protects your money up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category should the bank fails in the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SIMPLE REVIEW

Overall, with all that’s been said, we’ve come to the conclusion that Simple Bank is particularly ideal for those who are looking for (more than just what we’ve initially mentioned) any of the following:

  • A payment account that works both with a debit card and checks
  • An account that does not charge you fees
  • A clear view of their monthly expenses through the bank’s budgeting tools
  • An account that will help you reach your financial goals
  • Competitive interest earnings particularly on long-term savings
  • Zero-sum budgeting that is integrated into their bank accounts
  • Mobile alerts every time an amount of money is withdrawn from the account

To end, we hope that through this Simple review, we are able to provide you with the right information to help you get into a decision on whether this mobile bank is the one you are looking for.

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Investment Apps and Websites

MoneyLion Review: What Makes It Your Perfect Online Banking Choice

This MoneyLion review will provide you essential information to be able to gauge if this digital banking platform is your perfect choice.

MoneyLion Review: What Makes It Your Perfect Online Banking Choice

When you search online, you will find a lot of different versions of the definition of digital banking. But, to put things simply, digital banking refers to the digitization of all traditional banking activities as well as program services.

All these banking activities and services are offered and delivered over the internet or online instead of how traditional banking does it.

Thanks to the birth of technology and the internet, digital banking became possible.

Although traditional banks still exist, over the years, more and more digital banks are opening up, which is not surprising given the fact that people prefer anything that is more convenient, but safe and secure at the same time – which is precisely what digital banking offers.

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Based on data published online by the Statista Research Department, about 61% of Americans used digital banking in 2018, and the number is expected to increase to 65.3% by 2022.

This data goes to show that indeed digital banks have changed the way people do banking – and that is a good thing!

As mentioned, there are a lot of digital banks out there. Too many choices, in fact, that it can be very challenging to choose the right one.

Of all the options available, MoneyLion is one of them – and today, we are going to do a review about this digital banking platform to help you decipher if this is the one you are looking for.

To help you out, in this MoneyLion review, we are going to provide you answers particularly on the following commonly asked questions about this digital bank:

  • What is MoneyLion?
  • How does MoneyLion work?
  • What does MoneyLion offer?
  • Are there any fees and charges?
  • How to open an account with MoneyLion?
  • What are the benefits of using MoneyLion?
  • What are the downsides of using MoneyLion?
  • Is MoneyLion safe?

WHAT IS MONEYLION?

Before we even go into deeper details about MoneyLion and what the bank offers, let us first and foremost, know what the bank is all about.

MoneyLion was founded in 2013 and is a mobile banking platform that offers financial services.

Unlike other online banks, this New York-formed digital banking platform offers a membership program, which comes with various products and services such as online banking services, credit-builder loans of up to $1,000, interest-free cash advances, managed investing, cashback rewards, as well as financial tracking and education.

What makes MoneyLion set apart from other digital banking platforms is that it breaks down traditional barriers to financial health. More so, it provides financial access to hardworking American people, helping them control their hard-earned money, at the same time, reach their goals financially.

Furthermore, MoneyLion is can increase a 360-degree view of its customers’ personal finances as well as deliver one of a kind, personalized advice and underwriting by taking advantage of superior analytics, artificial intelligence, as well as machine learning technologies.

Since its inception, MoneyLion has already gained over 6 million users. On top of that are various awards and recognitions received for providing excellent banking products and services.

Some of MoneyLion’s awards and recognitions received include the 2020 Forbes Fintech 50, Webby Awards 2019 People’s Voice Award, Finovate Award for Best Digital Bank 2019, and the Benzinga Fintech Awards (winner for Innovation in Personal Finance 2019).

Although formed in New York City, MoneyLion is currently based in Sandy, Utah, and has other offices in New York, San Franciso, as well as in Kuala Lumpur.

MoneyLion’s checking and debit card are issued by Lincoln Savings Bank, a member of the FDIC.

HOW DOES MONEYLION WORK?

MoneyLion is a one-stop online banking platform. It offers various banking products and services — from personalized financial advice to wealth management information, loan access, as well as credit-building and monitoring services, and different other financial tools and services.

What makes MoneyLion set apart from its competitors is that all its services are available in just one place. Apart from that, they all work together to help maximize the client’s financial status.

As a user, you can choose the kind of services that you think will work best for you, and then sign up as needed.

Now, to be able to use MoneyLion’s services, users must sign up to have a MoneyLion account.

The creation of a MoneyLion account is free. More so, you have the option to choose to add other free services that work for you like Instacash advances, or you may opt for paid services like the Credit Builder Plus.

Credit Builder Plus costs $19.99 per month. It includes services like credit monitory, credit builder loan, as well as provides access to other services.

To be able to register with MoneyLion, one must be at least 18 years old, and must also have an existing bank account. Once done creating an account, the user immediately gets access to different MoneyLion’s services.

WHAT DOES MONEYLION OFFER?

In this section, we are going to talk about what MoneyLion offers to the consumers.

If there is one thing that this digital banking platform believes — that would be that consumers must have access to various financial products like loans with little or no fees at all.

MoneyLion offers a variety of products and services, which include:

  • Credit Builder Plus
  • Smart Mobile Banking
  • Cash Advances
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Personalized Financial Tracking & Education
  • Managed Investing

Credit Builder Plus

Credit Builder Plus is a paid service of MoneyLion. It is a membership, credit-building plan.

Credit Builder Plus, as earlier stated costs $19.99 per month.

With your membership, you will get to take advantage of the following:

  • Loans access of up to $1,000 with very competitive rates
  • 24/7 Credit Monitoring and tracking using the app
  • Payment reporting to all three credit bureaus
  • Access to 0% APR Instacash cash advances
  • Access to Lion’s Share, an exclusive cashback rewards that allow the user to get back up to $19.99 a month

Additionally, if a Credit Builder Plus member signs up for a RoarMoney account and/or a MoneyLion Investment account (both are paid services as well), the bank will refund the $1/month administrative fee charged for each of the accounts.

Smart Mobile Banking

Another feature that MoneyLion offers is RoarMoney, which is the bank’s banking offering in partnership with Mastercard and MetaBank.

With RoarMoney, you get to enjoy the following features

  • Direct deposits that are received up to two days early
  • 0% APR Instacash, SM advances for up to $250
  • No minimum balance, and no fees across 55,000 ATMs
  • Contactless MoneyLion Debit Mastercard® with Price Protection and Zero Liability
  • RoarMoney virtual card (received as soon as you open your account)
  • Weekly spend reports by category
  • Transparent pricing
  • No hidden fees

You can enjoy what RoarMoney has to offer for only $1 per month or $12 a year. However, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, the $1 administrative fee will be reimbursed, which means you can get it for free.

Cash Advances

Earlier we mentioned Instacash. Instacash is MoneyLion’s short-term cash advance feature.

MoneyLion customers can instantly get up to $250 cash advance with 0% interest. Yes, you read it right. You get to advance cash without having to worry about getting charged for interest.

This cash advance feature helps customers get money faster to cover unexpected expenses.

What makes it even more interesting is that customers cans apply without having to worry about going through a credit check.

In addition, Instacash does not charge a monthly fee. So you can enjoy using it anytime you need to.

Know more about MoneyLion’s Instacash feature in the video below:

Cash Back Rewards

With RoarMoney, MoneyLion customers can earn cashback rewards on their purchases every day.

Unlike other cashback programs, MoneyLion’s cashback rewards can grow when customers invest it on their fully managed investment portfolio.

Customers have the option to grab it and let their money grow.

Personalized Financial Tracking & Education

Another prime feature that MoneyLion offers is what they call Financial Heartbeat, which is basically a fitness tracker for finances.

MoneyLion’s Financial Heartbeat is a combination of a dynamic framework for both monitoring financial health and empowerment of members to help them improve on a day-to-day basis.

You can check your Financial Heartbeat, which literally uses a beating heart to serve as a visual presentation, through the MoneyLion mobile app. Basically, the heath changes colors to reflect the user’s progress on a scale from 1 to 10.

The Financial Heartbeat feature enables members to immediately evaluate where they are standing in terms of their financial health journey.

The MoneyLion Financial Heartbeat feature sums up five essential financial pillars: Save, Spend, Shield, Score, and Strive.

Managed Investing

With MoneyLion, it’s easier and faster to invest and reach your financial goals, respectively with its fully managed portfolios as well as auto investing features.

All these are free of management fees and with no minimum amount requirements.

To enjoy this feature, all you have to do is answer a few questions on MoneyLion’s app, and wait for its recommendation among its 7 core portfolios.

Furthermore, you can personalize it by simply changing it to either more or less aggressive or by adding investment themes like Future Innovations. You can also opt for auto investing to make it easier to fund and build your account.

For this feature, MoneyLion charges a $1 administrative fee per month for full investment management services, which include trading and rebalancing. However, as mentioned earlier, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, your $1 per month will be reimbursed.

ARE THERE ANY FEES AND CHARGES?

In this section of our MoneyLion review, we are going to share with you the fees charged by MoneyLion. This one’s important so you’d be able to see if it’s worth it or not — apart from the features, of course.

While creating an account is free, MoneyLion charges $19.99 per month when you sign up for the bank’s Credit Builder Plus, which is a membership program that allows you to leverage the bank’s amazing features.

MoneyLion also charges a $1 administrative fee per month for its RoarMoney and investment account. However, if you are a Credit Builder Plus member, these charges will be refunded.

Furthermore, customers can also be charged a $2.50 fee for using an out-of-network ATM plus the financial institution’s fee ($2 to $5).

When using MoneyLion’s debit card in another country, customers will be charged a 0.8% foreign transaction fee.

Also, a $0.25 fee is assessed when withdrawing money from your MoneyLion investment account.

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH MONEYLION?

Similar to other digital banking platforms, MoneyLion also made the sign-up process quick and easy.

You can sign up using your smartphone through its mobile app, or you can use your desktop or laptop computer and open an account on MoneyLion’s website.

To proceed with the sign-up process, you will need to provide your full name as well as your address.

Once you’re done with this step, you can now proceed with your application for the Credit Builder Plus membership (if you want to request a credit-builder loan).

To complete the whole process, you will be asked to provide the following personal details:

  • Full name
  • Full email address
  • Home address
  • Social Security number
  • Verifiable phone number
  • A verifiable bank account that’s in good standing (at least 60 days old and has deposits that show steady income)

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING MONEYLION?

To complete our MoneyLion review, we are giving some of the good things we found about MoneyLion.

Some of the benefits of using MoneyLion include:

Free Online Account – MoneyLion allows you to create an online account for free.

  • No ATM Fees – The bank does not charge any fee for as long as you make ATM transactions at Allpoint.
  • Credit-Builder Loans for up to $1,000 – As part of the benefits of being a Credit Builder Plus member, you can enjoy credit-builder loans up to $1,000.
  • Offers 0% APR Instacash Advances – MoneyLion allows members to enjoy 0% APR Instacash advances up to $250.
  • Competitive APR – For MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus, the APR starts at 5.99%, which is low compared to other banks. Meanwhile, Instacash cash advances offer 0% APR.
  • No Hard Credit Check – MoneyLion’s loans are suitable for all credit types. Customers only need to link a checking account to their MoneyLion app, and they can get loan approval in just a few minutes.
  • Quick Funding – MoneyLion provides customers a portion of the loan amount upfront (instantly or within 48 hours). Meanwhile, the rest of the loan will be held in a Credit Reserve Account in your name. Customers will this fund after they’ve paid off the full loan amount.
  • Easy Repayment Terms – MoneyLion’s repayment scheme is fixed, which means payments won’t fluctuate over time.
  • Early Repayment Option – Customers have the option for an early repayment fee of penalties or charges.
  • Transparent Fees – MoneyLion provides all fees during the loan process so customers won’t get surprised by any fees or charges.
  • Chance To Offset Paid Membership – MoneyLion Credit Builder Plus member may get a portion or all their monthly membership fee offset by payouts from the Lion’s Share Loyalty Program. This reward can be provided by meeting certain requirements like logging into the app, as well as making a certain number of purchases.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING MONEYLION?

There is no such thing as a perfect banking institution. So, just like the other digital banking platforms, MoneyLion does have its share of cons as well.

Some of the downsides of MoneyLion that we found are as follows:

  • Monthly Membership Fee – MoneyLion charges a membership fee of $19.99 a month to its Credit Builder Plus members. Without this membership, you won’t be able to use its premium features.
  • Small Loan Amounts – Compared to other digital banks out there, the loan amounts offered by MoneyLion are smaller, which makes it not ideal for those who need to loan bigger amounts.
  • A Portion of Loan Funds Go to Reserve Account – As mentioned earlier, while customers get a portion of the loaned money upfront, the rest will go to a reserve account, which will only be available once you are able to pay back the loan.
  • APR Can Be High – Although MoneyLion offers as low as 5.99% APR on its credit-builder loans, the interest can actually go as high as 29.99% depending on certain factors like your income.

IS MONEYLION SAFE?

Before we conclude this MoneyLion review, we’ll talk about the safety and security of using the MoneyLion app.

To ensure the safety and security of your money as well as your personal information, MoneyLion uses encryption on both its app and website.

Additionally, MoneyLion monitors its site and database 24/7 for any possible threat.

Furthermore, the bank also implements strict privacy and information security practices to ensure that their customers’ data is handled carefully and is secure.

MoneyLion checking, as well as a debit card, are all FDIC-insured.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON MONEYLION REVIEW

Online banking or digital banking has definitely boomed over recent years. It is not surprising though because compared to traditional banks, it is easier, convenient, and more accessible.

There are a lot of digital banks out there, and MoneyLion is one of them. Just like the rest, MoneyLion offers certain features that make it stand out from the rest — particularly its Credit Builder Plus membership.

So, having all learned all the information you provided, can you say that MoneyLion is the online bank you’ve been looking for?

Well, to end, we hope that this MoneyLion review provided you with all the information you need to land on a decision on whether it is the right one for you or not.

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Investment Apps and Websites

NorthOne Review: Why It Is The Better Mobile-Based Bank For Businesses

In this NorthOne review, we are going to tell you why this bank is the better online-based bank account option for your business.

NorthOne review; why it is the better online business bank choice

In a data published by Kommando Tech, based on internet banking statistics from a 2018 survey by Deloitte, “73% of consumers use an online banking channel at least once every 30 days, whereas only 59% use a mobile banking application.”

This data shows that more and more consumers today prefer using online banking channel as well as mobile banking apps in making transactions – including purchases.

Meanwhile, a report by Statista, says that in 2012, it was found that 54% of Small-to-midsized business (SMB) owners accessed their business accounts through mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.

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If you come to think about it, based on the different data we presented and other references that are available on- and offline, digital banking or mobile banking plays a very important role nowadays not only in the banking experience of individuals but among businesses as well.

Businesses today definitely do not lack options when it comes to online banking. In fact, there are a lot of choices to choose from.

With online banking, businesses get to set up an account immediately on their preferred online banking site, and then, start banking activities like transferring funds and making payments right away.

As mentioned, there are a lot of choices available, and one of them is NorthOne.

So, to help you get to know better what this bank has to offer, in this NorthOne review, we are going to particularly tackle the following important information:

  • What is NorthOne?
  • How does NorthOne work?
  • What are the features offered by NorthOne?
  • What are the fees and charges?
  • What are the benefits of using NorthOne?
  • What are the downsides of using NorthOne?

WHAT IS NORTHONE?

First of all, before you even register or apply to a certain banking institution, it is important to know a little history. This helps you establish the credibility and authenticity of the bank.

Remember, you are going to entrust your money to the bank. For this reason alone, you have to be very sure that you are dealing with the right entity to ensure that your money is safe and secure.

So, what is NorthOne?

NorthOne is “a simple and fast digital business bank account,” which is why it is ideal for businesses. They particularly focus on them.

Furthermore, the bank states on its website that they aim to “help builders and makers manage their money by making banking effortless“.

Founded in 2017 by Eytan Bensoussan and Justin Adler, NorthOne was specifically designed as a mobile-only business banking.

With a minimal fee of $10 a month, you get to enjoy seamless mobile banking. The fee includes invoices, bill payments, as well as the ability to manage your business’s money.

As compared to other mobile banking institutions, what makes NorthOne stand out is its easy-to-use mobile interface. Unlike others, you do not have to worry about tracking down details and information when you need them because everything is placed in just one place.

To put it simply, NorthOne is a mobile bank that provides FDIC-insured business banking entirely through your smartphone. Its services were specifically designed to cater to freelancers, startups, and small businesses.

HOW DOES NORTHONE WORK?

In this section, we are going to provide you further information about how exactly NorthOne works.

As mentioned, NorthOne is a mobile bank specifically designed for freelancers, startups, as well as small businesses.

It is available only via an app. While they do have a website, signing up for an account requires you to do it using your mobile device, which is also the device you will be using to do all your business banking.

The NorthOne mobile app is available on both iPhone and Android phones.

Once done uploading the app, open it to start the signing up process.

During the initial process, you will be asked to provide some personal information including your phone number, email address, and your preferred password.

You will then be asked to confirm your email address in your inbox. Although you can do this process later on.

You will also be asked to read and accept the terms of service to finalize the whole account setup.

Similar to many apps available these days, NorthOne also allows you to enable Face ID for an easier login every time you open the app.

Once done with the initial steps, you will then be asked to verify your identity.

To verify your identity, you will be asked to provide your business and personal financial details, which include your Social Security number, as well as your business’s Employer Identification Number.

To ensure the safety and security of your account, NorthOne allows you to choose push notifications so you get alerted should there be any activity on your account.

After this step, you will then be asked to provide the necessary information for NorthOne to run a credit check both on you and your business. Do not worry though as this check won’t affect your credit score at all.

Once you’re done with all the steps, NorthOne will then go on to review your details and approve your account. This process only takes a few minutes depending on a range of factors.

The moment your account goes live, you can now start using the app to do mobile banking. You can make deposits through any of the approved methods like wire, ACH, or through mobile check.

To know more about how to put cash into your NorthOne bank account, check the video below by NorthOneBanking:

NorthOne also allows you to create sub-accounts, define rules, as well as get your integrations going. All these allow you to save much-needed time and money.

While NorthOne allows you to use it for as much as you’d like, the number of transactions you can carry out for a month is limited based on your tier of account, which starts from $10 to $50 rocket ship tier.

WHAT ARE THE FEATURES OFFERED BY NORTHONE?

Businesses should look for a mobile banking partner that could provide them options when it comes to their banking needs.

NorthOne provides a few reasons why it is worth your consideration rather than your ideal choice.

As we continue with our NorthOne review, here are some of the best features we thought would be very helpful for business in need of a mobile banking partner:

  • Mobile App
  • Web Banking
  • Sub-Accounts
  • App Integrations
  • Read-Only Access
  • Transaction Search
  • Customer Support

Let’s discuss further what each of these features is all about –

Mobile App

All your banking needs are done through the NorthOne mobile app, which means you only need your smartphone to do all the transactions you need. Needless to say, it helps keep everything in one place, at the same time, allowing you to do banking transactions while on the go.

Furthermore, what’s about it is that you can control your NorthOne cards within the app. You can also lock one temporarily if necessary (especially when it’s missing).

Making banking even more convenient, the NorthOne mobile app allows you to easily deposit checks without having to go through the hassle of tracking down a bank.

Should you need to deposit cash, you can easily get the funds out of your wallet and into your bank account by visiting one of the 300,000 ATMs located across the country.

Definitely, the NorthOne mobile app is true to what the bank promises – easy and seamless mobile banking.

Web Banking

Another thing to like about NorthOne is its web banking feature.

Apart from the fact that the bank offers a robust mobile app, NorthOne also recognizes that the ability to access your account through a desktop or laptop computer is just as important.

With NorthOne’s web banking feature, its customers can easily pay bills — within just a few minutes — without the need to go elsewhere.

Apart from that, customers can also export financial information into Excel or Quickbooks without any hassle. More so, they can jump between sub-accounts with just a few clicks!

Additionally, through NorthOne’s web banking feature, customers are able to see all their transactions on the dashboard. That way, they can keep track of where their money is going.

Sub-Accounts

The ability to create sub-accounts allows you to save money, at the same time, manage your expenses.

The availability of sub-accounts is probably one of the amazing features of NorthOne.

You can use it for the sole purpose of saving money, at the same time, you can also create rules that move money to them automatically on a periodic basis.

But that’s not all. You are not limited to using this feature to that. In fact, you can use it for various tasks.

You can use it to set aside money for renovations of your store, expansion of your business, as well as money for paying taxes. It’s really all up to you to take advantage of what this feature offers.

App Integrations

In most cases, when it comes to businesses, one of the biggest benefits of any app usually comes from integrations — and NorthOne definitely has it, too!

Integrations allow businesses to boost productivity by using apps that work with whatever solutions or tools you already have.

With NorthOne, the app allows integration with some of the most popular payment and accounting tools like the following:

  • Amazon
  • Expensify
  • Freshbooks
  • PayPal
  • Quickbooks
  • Shopify
  • Stripe
  • Wave
  • Xero

Read-Only Access

The read-only feature makes it easier to hand off certain duties to internal employees as well as contractors outside the business or company.

For example, you can set it up so that your bookkeeper or accountant can easily access your accounts and gather information without having to worry about the safety and security of the details you share.

Transaction Search

Businesses do have various transactions they get into, and sometimes it can be tiresome to go over all these transactions just to find one specifically.

With NorthOne’s transaction search feature, you no longer have to worry about finding a specific transaction.

All you have to do is do the search either by name or using filters to pull out the types of transactions you are looking for.

Don’t worry, NorthOne does not limit you to how far back you can search, so it doesn’t matter if you are looking for a transaction you made a year or so ago. You’d still find it for sure.

Customer Support

When we think about mobile banking or mobile banks, one of our immediate concern is customer support.

NorthOne totally understands this, which is why the bank offers both phone and chat support.

Unlike other online banks out there, NorthOne offers live one-on-one support from a human representative.

The bank’s customer support is reachable between 8 in the morning until 1 in the morning (ET) all days of the week.

While live chat is available within NorthOne’s mobile app, you also have the option to send and ask for help via email or through a scheduled phone call at a time that is most convenient for you.

WHAT ARE THE FEES AND CHARGES?

In this section of our NorthOne review, we are going to talk about NorthOne’s fees and charges.

Another thing we like about NorthOne is that the bank is very transparent when it comes to fees and charges.

First of all, as mentioned earlier, you are charged a $10 monthly account fee for you to get to enjoy unlimited transactions, which include debit card purchases, as well as check deposits.

Unfortunately, regardless if you maintain a certain balance in your account, the monthly account fee will not be waived.

Second of all, although NorthOne does not charge you for in-network or out-of-network ATMs, any third-party machines you use may charge a fee.

By the way, you can get fee-free ATM transactions at any of the 300,000 ATMs that are in NorthOne’s network.

Lastly, apart from the above-mentioned, NorthOne also charges for the following:

  • Overdrafts: $5 per day
  • Non-Sufficient Funds: $25
  • Domestic Wire Transfers: $10
  • International Wire Transfers: $25
  • ACH/PAD Returns: $10 (for a bounced electronic payment due to insufficient funds, stop payment, or incorrect account information)
  • Expedited New Debit Card: $35
  • Dormant Account for a Year: $5 per month
  • Abandoned Account for 5 Years: $50 per account

Additionally, unlike other online business banks, NorthOne does have a minimum opening deposit requirement of $50 only. Keep in mind though, that while the opening deposit is low, the bank does have an ongoing minimum balance requirement.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING NORTHONE?

Now that you already know some of the most important information about the NorthOne mobile bank, this time around in our NorthOne review, we are going to dun down some of the things that we like most about NorthOne.

Some of the benefits of NorthOne include:

  • Accounts start on a starter level and are adjusted to meet your business’s demands. This process reduces admin requirements, at the same time ensures its customers that they are getting the best value for their money.
  • Highly valuable integration feature with well-known reporting, payment, and accounting tools. This, in particular, is very helpful during tax season.
  • NorthOne debit cards use MasterCard. This one’s an excellent benefit especially among startups and small businesses. It allows them to make transactions in thousands of locations across the country and other parts of the world.
  • Transparent fee structure. Unlike other mobile banks, NorthOne is very transparent when it comes to its fees and charges, which is great for its customers as this spare them from worrying about account limits and other transactions.
  • Simple and easy overall mobile experience. NorthOne allows you to consolidate all your banking needs in one app, which makes it convenient regardless if you are at home or on the go.
  • Ability to set money aside for particular purposes. With its sub-accounts feature, users are able to set aside money for certain purposes like savings, tax payments, business expansion, etc. without the need to move it to another bank account.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING NORTHONE?

Nothing is entirely perfect and so is NorthOne. While it does have its ups, it surely does have its downsides as well.

Some of the points of concern about NorthOne include:

  • Minimum opening deposit requirement. Although the minimum opening deposit requirement is not that big, many other online-based business bank accounts do not require a minimum deposit.
  • The monthly fee cannot be waived. Unfortunately, NorthOne does not waive the monthly fee amounting to $10 regardless if you meet the minimum account balance requirement or not.
  • Mobile-only. NorthOne is definitely an ideal choice for business owners who are not into app-based banking.
  • Does not have branch access. Unlike traditional banks and other online banks, NorthOne customers do not have access to a physical branch as well as in-person support.
  • No reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees. While there are a lot of online bank accounts that offer reimbursement of fees incurred from using your debit card at an out-of-network ATM, unfortunately, NorthOne does not offer this kind of feature.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON NORTHONE REVIEW

Mobile banking is definitely the way to go these days regardless if it is for personal or business use.

Good thing, there are a lot of mobile bank options available. There are many to choose from – and obviously, NorthOne is among them.

NorthOne, though, is particularly ideal for small businesses, freelancers, as well as startups.

Are you a business owner who is always on the go? If yes, NorthOne may just be the right online-based bank for you.

To conclude this NorthOne review, we hope that we are able to provide you all the essential information on why this mobile-based bank is the better online business bank.