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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.

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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.

Categories
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.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

9 Advantages Of Online Banking That Will Change The Way You See It

Knowing the advantages of online banking will definitely change the way you see it. It will open up your eyes to the benefits it gives you, and who knows, you might just end up giving up traditional banking to online banking.

advantages of online banking

In this day and age, thanks to technological advancements and the internet, a lot of banks out there offer online banking. Online banking, to say the least, is very helpful. In fact, it gives so much convenience — it makes paying bills, transferring money, and accessing a record of your accounts so much easier.

All these you can do with just a click of a finger.

The rise of online banking is eminent.

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In fact, according to a study conducted by Pew Research Center, they found that “fifty-one percent of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online. Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones.” This was back in 2013. So, imagine the rise in numbers by now.

Meanwhile, in another data presented by Statista, it says that in their 2018 survey, they found that the use of online banking differs from one demographic group to another. They found that “69.3 percent of Millennials used mobile banking,” while “only 24 percent of Baby boomers used it.”

However, regardless of the numbers, one thing’s for sure, mobile banking rose and continues to rise for two evident reasons — convenience and flexibility to bank customers.

You see, the numbers do not lie. The data we presented from different organizations only show that indeed, online banking is beneficial among consumers.

To help you appreciate even more the advantages of online banking, we are going to share with you a few of the most common or popular benefits of using one.

But before that, let’s do a little online banking 101 first.

ONLINE BANKING: A QUICK BACKGROUNDER

The commercialization of the internet evolved way back early 1990s. The internet change the way businesses operate — including financial institutions.

When the internet boomed, traditional brick-and-mortar banks started looking for ways to deliver online services to their clients.

In the beginning, it was quite limited, but eventually, efforts succeeded. Many banks expanded their internet presence by getting into improvised websites that feature the ability to open new accounts, as well as download forms, and eventually, process loan applications.

All these led to the inception and the rise of internet-only banks.

Internet-only banks are banking institutions that offer online banking and other financial services without having a network of branch offices. Yes, they are just like any other brick-and-mortar banks sans the face-to-face transactions and branch visits.

Just a little walk down memory lane, the first-ever fully-functional direct bank insured by the FDIC was the Security First Network Bank. The bank started its operations back in October 1995. Security First along with other online banks that were launched after them were able to offer higher interest rates on deposit accounts, and eventually reduced services fees. All these were made possible because of the lower cost as they, after all, do not have overhead costs unlike traditional banks.

According to a report on banking behavior from the FDIC, they found more than 60% of account holders do online banking.

Online banking is becoming the new norm in the banking industry, especially among young consumers. Well, after all, we are in an era of everything digital so it’s not really surprising at all. Banks really need to keep up and innovate to keep going.

If you are interested to know more about what online banking is all about and how to use it, check out the below video by CK Studio. It basically says it all.

ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE BANKING

So, now that you already know the history and what online banking is all about, let’s move on to the real deal —

This time, we are going to share with you some of the benefits you will get from online banking:

1. Fast and Efficient

Let’s face it, digital banking or online banking really sets the bar in terms of speed and efficiency.

Unlike traditional banks, online banking allows you to transfer money, apply for a new loan or a new account, or perform nearly any banking transactions in just a click of a finger. You no longer have to travel to the branch and wait in line for a minute or even hours before your turn.

With online banking, waiting never exist — unless of course, you have a bad internet connection. But generally speaking, as long as you can log in, you can easily and abruptly access your accounts, even request a new credit card, or do any bank transactions you have in mind. You can also pay bills online, which really helps you save a lot of time.

2. Online Bills Payments

If you are a busy person, a mom, a dad, whoever you are with bills to pay, you will surely love the online bills payment feature of online banks.

Through your online bank, you can pay your bills, at the same time, protect yourself from having your check gets lost in the mail. You are also spared from going to establishments just to pay bills.

Most, if not all banks have a section wherein you can set up payees. All you need to do is fill out the information once, and then choose that same profile each time you pay a bill online.

In cases when your bank does not allow paying bills online, you may consider paying from the merchant’s website instead. However, be careful and make sure to check first before making transactions as some companies or merchants charge a convenience fee. Some would charge a fee for a debit card, but not if you set up a direct debit in your account.

Furthermore, when accessing your bank’s site on your mobile phone, most banks allow you to deposit checks by simply taking a snapshot of the document. Do you see how convenient is that? Online banking basically allows you to handle all your banking needs without having to go to the bank.

Then again, just make sure to always keep an eye on any fees and charges associated with online bill pay.

3. Money Transfer from One Account to Another

One of the advantages of online banking that we personally like is the fact that it allows you to transfer funds from one account to another.

Yes, online banking lets you do that — transferring money between accounts real quick. More so, you can check your available funds first before even spending or sending money to another account.

To be honest, online money transfer is very convenient as compared to automated phone service. Needless to say, it can save you a trip to the bank, which is kind of a hassle sometimes, right?

When setting up or applying for online banking, make sure to list all your accounts. That way, it would be easier for you to transfer funds, as well as pay loans online.

Can you transfer money from one bank to another?

The answer to that question is a resounding YES.

Online banks allow you to transfer money between different banks online. Although this will not happen as fast as transferring from one account to another from the same bank as the funds still needs to go between financial institutions, still, if you come to think of it, it is much more convenient than going and lining up in the bank.

As an online bank account user, it is important that you check if the bank has a limit on the number of online transfers. Usually, it depends on the type of account you have. Some banks would charge you with a fee when you go over the limit.

What’s nice about this feature is it makes sending funds easier, more convenient, and more accessible.

4. 24/7 Account and Service Access

Unlike traditional banks, online banks are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For as long as you have an internet connection of course.

In some cases, some banks take a step further by providing their customers with 24/7 phone access to real-life customer service agents.

To be honest, this is very helpful especially if you do not have internet access or if you need assistance for banking-related concerns.

This online banking feature rather benefits really works especially during emergency situations or unlikely circumstances that may happen in an ungodly hour.

5. Low or No Overhead Cost

Unlike brick-and-mortar banks or traditional banks, online banks do not have to pay for overhead costs like rent, electricity, landscaping, janitorial services, and more.

Since they do not pay anything for that, the can pass those savings to customers. Usually, this means that online banks can charge lesser or no fees at all as compared to traditional banks.

For instance, a lot of online banks offer a free online checking account with no deposit, as well as other no-fee bank accounts like IRAs.

Furthermore, there are a number of online banks that have free checking, and/or no minimum balance required.

For those who have poor or bad credit, online banks also work for you as most online banks offer free opening of bank accounts, do not require a credit check, although chances are, there might be ongoing fees — but then again, still lower compared to traditional banks.

6. High Yield Rates

Apart from offering low fees, usually, online banks offer the best interest rates as well. Whether you are looking for a certificate deposit, a high yield checking account, or deposit accounts with high interest like money market account, expect better rates as compared to those offered by traditional banks.

While it is normal for rates to change or fluctuate, you will still find online banks offering or paying the best rates.

So, if you are looking at earning high yields annually, then consider setting up an online account instead of an opening an account on a brick-and-mortar bank.

7. View Transaction History

If you are the type of person who wants to audit your expenses, online banking is ideal for you.

With online banking, you can access your account history, as well as transactions from anywhere. Online banking gives you the fastest way to check and see if a transaction cleared your account.

More so, you can also look into the amount of a transaction in the case of losing receipts.

But the best thing, for us, is that it allows you to find out any unauthorized transactions made using your account, which makes it easier to resolve the matter right away.

Moreover, there are banks that show even pending transactions or the transactions you made that day that has not been cleared yet.

With this feature, you can easily spot if there are any unauthorized transactions. You see, the easier you find out of such, the better. That means the fastest resolution to the concern as well.

8. Syncing With Money Applications

A lot of money apps out there automatically syncs with your online banking information. That way you can stick to your budget, and not go overboard in spending.

Usually, apps work both on your home computer as well as your mobile device. This helps you keep stay updated while you are on the go.

By syncing with your money apps, you get to easily track your spending and see whether or not you are sticking with your budget.

You can sync spending real-time to avoid overspending without realizing it.

9. A Greener Option

By using online banking, you automatically use less paper. The same goes for the bank. If you notice, a lot of banks these days are trying to go paperless by offering e-statements, paper-free transfers, and other environmentally-responsible business services.

Definitely, with online banking, it’s greener. There’s less footprint because you can do banking even while at the comforts of your home, no need to take a trip to the branch, and with all the information already in there, there’s no need for a paper trail.

DISADVANTAGES OF ONLINE BANKING

So, we have already provided you the advantages of online banking. While there are so many things that you can benefit from it, there are of course corresponding cons.

With that said, here are some of the downsides of online banking:

1. No Face-to-Face Interaction

Unlike traditional banks, online banking does not have face-to-face interaction. You do not get to know the people behind.

More so, you cannot take advantage of additional financial services like when your applying for a loan, when doing it in a brick-and-mortar bank, some loan officers would offer you best possible deals, which is not the case in online banking.

There’s no bank officer or bank manager who has the discretion to change terms of your account, and all other perks of a traditional bank.

2. Lack of Banking Machines

Generally, online banks lack their own banking machines. They heavily rely on having customers use one or more ATM networks like those from Cirrus and AllPoint.

Although these systems offer access to thousands of machines all over the country, it’s best to check first a machine that is available near your place of work and your home.

Also, check for any fees you may be charged for using an ATM. Although most direct banks offer free access to ATM networks, or in some cases refund any monthly charges incurred, there are sometimes limits set on the number of free ATM transactions. So, to be sure, check this with the bank first.

3. Limited Services

Unlike traditional banks, some online banks may not offer comprehensive financial services. So, if you need products like insurance or brokerage accounts, these may not be available.

Also, while traditional banks sometimes offer special services to their loyal clients, online banks hardly do that or not do that at all.

Additionally, routine services like bank signature guarantee as well as notarization are not available in online banks. These services are required in a lot of financial and legal transactions.

4. Less Flexibility with Transactions

The thing about traditional banks is that it is not only about getting to know you and your transactions.

For some banking-related transactions and concerns, heading to a bank branch is inevitable.

Unfortunately, in online banking, you just got to make do of whatever is available. If the customer service representative for instance is only available through calls, then so be it. You just have to deal with it.

Furthermore, international transactions for instance may be more difficult or impossible even with some online banks. So, better to check first really.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ADVANTAGES OF ONLINE BANKING

Let’s face it, in this day and age, people are after speed and convenience – yes, even when it comes to banking. No doubt why the online banking industry is rising and it will surely continue to rise in the years to come.

Innovation has indeed hit the banking industry as well – which is totally good.

We like the fact that through online banking, bank transactions are made easier and more accessible to all. Today, you can transfer money from one account to another, even deposit a check to your account without the need to take a trip to a bank branch.

Online banking has definitely set a bar in the banking industry – needless to say, it’s a very relevant response to the needs of their clients. Everything made accessible and quick. Oh, and greener, too.

So, how do you find online banking now? Do you see yourself opening one in the coming days or did this make you appreciate more what online banking offers?

With all the advantages of online banking, we won’t be surprised if one day all banks will just go online. After all, as we kept mentioning, online banking is fast, easy, and very convenient.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

BrioDirect Review: What Every Potential Client Must Know

One of the best ways to know more about how BrioDirect works, as well as the products and services it offers, is through a BrioDirect review — just like this one.

BrioDirect review what you should know

Through reviews, a potential customer like you will have an idea about the bank, and also, this will help you gauge whether or not BrioDirect is best for you.

Online banking is becoming the new norm. Well, it’s not surprising at all given the fact that it’s so convenient and easy to do.

In the United States alone, there are an estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) who says that they are either planning or they already have opened a digital or online-only bank. The data was based on Finder’s Neobank Adoption survey.

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Furthermore, in the same survey, Finder found that there are roughly 27% of millennials and 30% of Gen X who said that they have had an account with an online-only bank. Meanwhile, .8% of baby boomers said they had an account at one of these banks, while another 4.4% of boomers said they are planning to open one.

You see, these numbers tell so much as to how the banking industry is becoming – especially with the advent of technology and the internet. Needless to say, with all that’s happening in the world right now, digital banking or online banking will definitely become a hit.

There are already a number of online-only banks today. In fact, even big banks have already established either their own online banking system, or they’ve opened up an entirely new online-only bank, which is the case of Sterling National Bank.

Sterling National Bank launched BrioDirect, its online banking division.

So, having said that, if you are looking for an online-only bank that will help you save and let you earn a good amount of interest, this in-depth BrioDirect review can definitely help you decide if it’s the right fit.

To help you gauge if it’s fit for your banking needs and preferences, we are going to tackle some of the most important information that every potential client must know. This includes the following:

  • What is BrioDirect?
  • What are the pros and cons of BrioDirect?
  • Who is BrioDirect best for?
  • What does BrioDirect offer?
  • What are BrioDirect fees and charges?
  • How to bank with BrioDirect
  • How is BrioDirect’s customer service?

Before we move on to our BrioDirect review, here’s an informative video by Wander Wealthy by Tess Wicks on how to choose the best high-yield savings account:

WHAT IS BRIODIRECT?

First and foremost, as a potential client or customer, it is important to make time to get to know the financial institution that you are looking at.

Know more about the background of the bank, in this case, of BrioDirect so you get to judge the bank’s credibility, and also on how strong its foundation is. After all, you’re going to entrust to them your hard-earned money, right?

So, before we get into a more detailed BrioDirect review, here are a few vital information that we thought you must know about BrioDirect:

First, as mentioned earlier, BrioDirect is Sterling National Bank’s online banking division.

Second, BrioDirect is an FDIC-insured bank that offers high-rate certificates of deposit, and high-yield savings accounts, which is essential in growing your money.

Third, BrioDirect High-Yield Savings account is known for its strong interest rate, and also for not charging any monthly fees.

Fourth, BrioDirect CDs are also notable for providing very attractive interest rates for short maturity terms of either 9 months or 12 months.

Lastly, all BrioDirect accounts are manageable online or through Sterling National Bank mobile banking apps, which are available for both iOS and Android users.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BRIODIRECT?

There are so many digital banks out there to choose from. That is why it is important to really do your research and weigh your options.

Apart from knowing the bank’s background, it is also important to look at the pros and cons of the financial institution. This is one of the best ways for you to be able to gauge whether it’s a fit or not according to your banking needs and preferences.

For BrioDirect, here are some of the things that we like and we do not like:

PROS

  • Very Competitive Savings Rate – This is actually the key feature that makes BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account stand out from any average savings account.
  • No Monthly Fee – BrioDirect does not charge any monthly fee or maintenance fee, which also makes it attractive to potential clients.
  • Low Opening Deposit – You can open a BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account for only $25.
  • All Deposits are FDIC-insured – Unlike other online-only banks, the BrioDirect savings account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
  • Mobile and Online Banking Features – BrioDirect makes managing your money simple and easy with features available in their mobile and online banking platforms.
  • Account Security – Security is a top priority of BrioDirect. Thus, the bank use technology as well as follows protocols to help ensure a secured online account opening, as well as online and mobile banking experience.
  • Financially Strong and Stable – Sterling National Bank, the bank behind BrioDirect is a strong financial institution. Founded in 1888, the bank currently has over $30 billion in assets and is rated as one of “America’s 100 Best Banks” by Forbes. That said, this translates to being a BrioDirect account holder, you are assured of the bank’s strength and stability.

CONS

  • Limited CD Options – Unfortunately, BrioDirect offers CDs with terms up to 12 months only.
  • No ATM access – Unlike other online-only banks, BrioDirect does not provide ATM access to your money.

WHO IS BRIODIRECT BEST FOR?

From what it offers, we thought BrioDirect is ideal for people who are looking for a safe and secure place to keep their money, at the same time, earn a good amount of interest.

Apart from that, BrioDirect may also appeal to those who:

  • Have at least $25 (the minimum required) to be able to open a BrioDirect Savings Account, or those who have at least $500 to open a Certificate of Deposit
  • Does want to save from paying monthly maintenance fees
  • Do not need ATM access to their money
  • Are interested in building a CD ladder

Do you see yourself in any of these, if your answer is yes, then, let’s proceed to the next?

WHAT DOES BRIODIRECT OFFER?

Just like any other online banks out there, BrioDirect also offers online deposit accounts, as well as basic customer service options, which include:

Accounts

  • Savings Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit

Services

  • Mobile and online banking
  • Customer service

Now, let’s take a look at BrioDirect’s accounts closely. Here are a few important information about these accounts:

BrioDirect High Yield Savings Accounts

As we have mentioned earlier, BrioDirect’s High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC-insured online savings account, which is something we expected given the fact that it is owned by a well-known bank. More so, it is also known for paying highly competitive rates, which makes it ideal for savers who want to earn more from their savings.

Moreover, here are some of the benefits of getting a BrioDirect High Yield Savings Account:

  • Earn a highly competitive annual percentage yield. As of May 2020, it is at 1.40%. This is applicable to all balances with a $25 minimum.
  • No monthly maintenance charges
  • Low minimum deposit required to open an account — it’s at $25
  • Manage your savings account whenever you want, and wherever you are through BrioDirect’s mobile and online banking

If you take a look at it, BrioDirect’s savings account is actually quite similar to other high-yield savings accounts from other online banks out there. Just the same, it offers a very generous annual percentage yield, and also, it does not require any monthly maintenance payments.

Opening a BrioDirect account online is very easy and simple. In fact, it will only take a few minutes of your time to complete the whole process of opening an account.

Once you have successfully opened an account, you can link immediately link it to a checking or savings account at another bank to easily transfer money here and there. Although, make sure to keep in mind that for savings accounts, the Federal Reserve regulations only allow up to six “convenient” transfers or withdrawals in a month.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good with BrioDirect Savings Account. It’s not perfect — just like most online-only banking. It does have its share of downsides as well.

One of them is that it does not come with an ATM or debit card access, which means, depositing and withdrawing money can be quite a challenge.

Another thing is that BrioDirect limits its savers from transferring money in and out of their accounts. They can only do it through ACH transactions, mailing a check, as well as through wire transfer.

In addition, there is a possibility that BrioDirect may charge you a pair of fees for using their savings account. The fees include $10 for every transaction beyond the six-transaction limit, and $35 each time you overdraft your account or don’t have sufficient funds to complete a transaction.

To avoid such fees, and wasting money from paying these fees, make sure to always check your account and ensure that you are always on track.

BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts

Another notable product that BrioDirect is known for is its BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account. BrioDirect CDs have terms that range from 30 days up to 12 months.

Some of the key highlights of BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts include:

  • Requires a $500 minimum balance to open an account
  • Allows you to open multiple CDs to create a ladder

With BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts, how much APY you earn depends on how long you keep your money in the bank. The shorter period stays, the lesser the rates would be. The longer it stays, the higher the APY will be.

To be honest, what we like about the BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account is that the minimum deposit requirement is not as steep as compared to what required by other online banks out there.

For savers who want to take full advantage of all the rates that BrioDirect has to offer, we highly encourage you to set up a CD ladder. You can create a CD ladder by purchasing multiple CDs with different terms and rates. What happens is, when one of the CDs mature, you can cash it out, and then collect the interest, and roll it into another CD. It’s basically like a money wheel — you just continue doing a process to earn money through your accounts.

As a BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account holder though, make sure to keep in mind that the bank may close your account if you withdraw all your money from your CD or have a balance below $500 for more than 20 days.

So, again, make sure to always keep yourself on track of your account to ensure you have enough funds, and that you are not breaking any rule. This way, you get to have easy banking experience. Needless to say, you get to take full advantage of what the account has to offer.

When opening a CD account, make sure that you will not need or spend that money up until it’s due. Just like any other CD accounts out there, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty should you take your money out of a CD before the end term.

WHAT ARE BRIODIRECT FEES AND CHARGES?

As mentioned, one of the key highlights of BrioDirect — both for their savings and CD accounts is that they do not charge any fees.

To be specific, BrioDirect does not charge anything for the following:

  • Monthly Maintenance
  • Monthly Inactivity
  • Non-Sufficient Fund (Overdraft)
  • Stop Payment item
  • Return Deposit
  • Domestic Wire Transfer (Outbound)
  • Domestic Wire Transfer (Inbound)
  • Non-Bank ATM

So, if you want to save money from paying such fees, BrioDirect may just be the best option for you.

Meanwhile, particularly for those opening a CD account, in case you decide to withdraw your CD ahead of its maturity date or before the end of the term, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty.

For your reference, here’s how much you will be charged for:

TERM PENALTY
Terms of 30 days or less The penalty will be 30 days interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 12 months or less The penalty will be 90 days interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 18 months or more but less than 60 months The penalty will be 9 months interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 60 months or more The penalty will be 12 months interest, whether or not earned

Apart from the afore-mentioned, BrioDirect does not charge for any other fees.

HOW TO BANK WITH BRIODIRECT?

Since BrioDirect is an online-only bank, this automatically means you can only open an account through their online platforms.

Opening an account with BrioDirect is made easy and simple. In fact, it only takes a few minutes of your time!

Just make sure to keep the following handy as you create your account:

  • Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport or State I.D.
  • Social Security number
  • Contact Information

Of course, just like in any other bank, BrioDirect will also ask your personal details.

Meanwhile, to set up your initial deposit, all you need to do is to link your checking or savings account with another financial institution or bank to your BrioDirect online high-yield savings or CD account, and then transfer funds from your offline account to your new online account.

You may also consider sending a check or wire funds into your account if you think these are better options.

HOW IS BRIODIRECT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?

BrioDirect lets you manage your savings account and/or your CD accounts either online or through their reliable mobile banking.

However, if you opt to speak to a client service representative, all you need to do is call their toll free hotline 877-369-BRIO from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening (Eastern Time), Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, they are available to take your calls from 8:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon (Eastern Time).

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BRIODIRECT REVIEW

As we have said, there are so many digital banks or online-only banks out there. Too many that choosing one can get a little overwhelming. However, reviews like this one are very much helpful to ensure you get to fully understand and learn what to expect about the bank you are eyeing for.

For this BrioDirect review, in particular, we have shared with you the key information that every potential client must know. Thus, hopefully, this helps you decide on whether or not BrioDirect is fit based on what your banking needs are.

To sum up, what we like about BrioDirect is the fact that it offers really competitive rates. We also like the fact that it is owned by a strong and stable bank, which is Sterling National Bank, and that it is FDIC-insured. This is like a security blanket for any bank client, right? Knowing that whatever happens, your money is secured.

To be honest, although we shared a few downsides, apart from those, we really have no major issues with BioDirect.

So, have you decided to go for BioDirect yet?

Just remember all the information in this BioDirect review, and your good. After all, we basically just shared with you the essentials to guide you through as you make a decision.