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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

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.