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.
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.
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 —
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.
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