An online bank that offers competitive rates and convenience. This Vio Bank review will provide essential information you need to know on what makes this digital banking platform an ideal choice for you.
Online bank is not a new thing in the United States. In fact, the very first financial institution that offers internet banking to its customers dates back to 1994 according to a report published by Go Banking Rates.
Since then, the internet or online banking grew to what it is today. A few years after, people now are, no doubt, into it. Digital banking has become part of people’s day-to-day lives.
In a survey conducted by Finder, they’ve found that “an estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) say they have, or are planning to, open a digital-only — or neobank — account. “ Meanwhile, “54.4 million digitally savvy Americans (about 21.4% of the total US population) already bank with digital-only banks.”
By the way, if you’re not quite familiar with what online-only banking is, it basically means as it is. You can only bank or make banking transactions online. Online-only banks do not have a physical branch where people can make in-person banking transactions. Again, everything is entirely online.
Online-only banks provide a lot of benefits especially for people who are always on the go and have no time to visit a bank’s branch location. Online banks give access to account holders to get to manage their accounts as well as make banking transactions all right at their fingertips through their mobile devices.
Currently, there are lots of online banks in the country already, and to be honest, finding the right online banking platform could be quite a challenge for some.
While it looks like all of them offer the same thing, the truth is, they don’t. Some of them offer a better customer banking experience than the others or offer better rates than their competitors, which is actually the case of Vio Bank.
As mentioned earlier, this review will focus on Vio Bank, an online-only division of MidFirst Bank, which is one of the largest, privately-owned banks in the country
This Vio Bank review will focus on the following to help potential customers see how good of an option this online bank is:
- What is Vio Bank?
- Who is Vio Bank best for?
- What are the products offered by Vio Bank?
- How to bank with Vio Bank?
- Is Vio Bank safe?
- What to like about Vio Bank?
- What not to like about Vio Bank?
WHAT IS VIO BANK?
As you go along with this Vio Bank review, you are going to find out about the products it offers, if it suits you, the process of banking with it, and a lot more.
But, before we talk about those things, in this section, we are going to get to know more about Vio Bank is.
We always say that as potential customers, we always have to take time to look into not only what the financial institution offers, but also its history. This helps establish confidence and trust, which are key to building a good relationship with your bank.
Now, with that being said, here are some key information about what Vio Bank is all about —
As already mentioned earlier, Vio Bank is the online-only division of MidFirst Bank, one of the country’s largest, privately owned banks. MidFirst has been in the banking industry since 1911.
Currently, it has $20 billion in assets and services over 600,000 customers.
Although headquartered in Oklahoma City, MidFirst Bank also serve customers in Texas, California, Colorado, Arizona, and the rest of Oklahoma.
MidFirst Bank established Vio Bank only in 2018 in the hope of providing banking services to a larger customer base. This time, on a national level.
Vio Bank offers competitive rates and low opening minimum requirements on its savings account, which makes it really appealing to a lot of customers. Additionally, the online-only bank also offers a suite of certificates of deposit.
Since it is an online-only bank, it does not offer ATM or branch network, thus, it is best for people who want to set aside cash and let it grow.
Similar to most online banks, Vio Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). All deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category, in case the bank fails.
In the next few sections of this review on Vio Bank, you are going to know more about this online banking platform especially on what makes it an ideal choice for those who want to save and grow their money.
WHO IS VIO BANK BEST FOR?
Vio Bank is an online-only bank, which makes it appealing to customers who want easy, no-frills access to their money. By the way, the Vio Bank app is available for both iOS and Android mobile device users.
As mentioned in the previous section, this bank is not accessible to ATMs as well as branch networks. Thus, making it an ideal choice for those who want to save their money and let them grow.
Vio Bank offers a limited selection of products, so, if you are looking for a wide variety of deposit accounts and financial products and services, you may have to look elsewhere.
Furthermore, Vio Bank is a great option for individuals who want a simple, online bank to put their money into and let it grow. It’s best for those who want a low minimum opening deposit requirement, at the same time, avoid monthly maintenance fees.
So, if you are any or all of these, then continue reading as Vio Bank may be the one you are looking for.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY VIO BANK?
One of the most important things that the majority of bank customers look into is the products and services that a banking institution offers.
As mentioned earlier, unfortunately, unlike other banks of the same type, Vio Bank does offer a very limited selection of products.
Currently, the bank only offers a high-yield savings account and certificates of deposit.
Now, here’s what you should know about these product offerings:
High-Yield Savings Account
Although Vio Bank does not have a lot of product offerings, customers will surely have a lot to like about the bank’s high-yield savings account.
In the video below by Martin Su, he explains how worth it Vio Bank’s savings account is if you are looking forward to earning high-interest rates from your money.
Well, obviously, as the name implies, the savings account offers a competitive interest rate. In fact, as of this writing, customers can enjoy a 0.76% annual percentage yield (APY) on all balances. Please take note that interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.
Apart from the high-interest rate, Vio Bank’s savings account only requires a low minimum deposit of $100 to open an account. More so, customers need not worry about monthly fees, because Vio Bank does not charge any of that unless you prefer getting a paper statement over an online statement.
Just so you know, opting for paper statements will cost you $5 per month. Meanwhile, the bank also charges an excessive transaction fee, which costs $10 per transaction. That is in excess of six per statement cycle.
Additionally, Vio Bank also charges $30 for outgoing domestic wire transfers, while incoming domestic or international wire transfers are free of charge.
The list of charges does not end there. Vio Bank also charges a $30 stop payment fee, as well as a $7 fee for returned deposits.
Realistically, all of these charges can be avoided to keep you fee-free. So, it should not bother you that much at all.
Certificate of Deposit Account
Certificate of deposit accounts is ideal for people who want to set aside funds that they do not need anytime soon and earn some interest from them.
Vio Bank offers CD terms that range from six months up to 10 years. The interest rate varies depending on your CD term of choice. But, to give you an idea, Vio Bank’s CD could earn as much as 0.70% APY for a 10-year term. For CD accounts, interest compounds daily.
Although Vio Bank’s CD rates may be lower as compared to other banks, overall, it’s pretty decent still.
To open a CD account, Vio Bank requires a minimum deposit of $500 regardless of the CD term you choose.
Similar to other CD accounts, once your CD reaches maturity, it may automatically renew. However, it is important to note that the bank reserves the right to allow or decline the renewal of a CD.
Vio Bank provides maturity notice before the CD’s maturity date, allowing you to enjoy a 10-day period to decide whether you want to reinvest your money in another CD or you opt to withdraw it instead.
Just like other banks, Vio charges early withdrawal penalties, which depend on your CD term. Vio Bank charges a penalty of 3% of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee for CD terms greater than 12 months, while a penalty of 1% of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee for terms of 32 days to 12 months.
Meanwhile, for CD terms of seven days to 31 days, the penalty is all of the interest earned on the amount withdrawn.
HOW TO BANK WITH VIO BANK?
So, in the previous sections, you already learned about what Vio Bank is about, as well as the products it offers.
In this section of our Vio Bank review, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with Vio.
As mentioned, Vio Bank is an online-only bank. It does not have a physical branch location, thus, all transactions including opening an account are done entirely online.
To open an account, all you got to do is fill out an account application online. Similar to other banks, Vio requires customers to provide some personal information like your name, address, phone number, as well as your Social Security number.
Additionally, you will be asked to provide a valid government-issued identification like your passport or driver’s license to help verify your identity.
For a savings account, Vio Bank requires a minimum initial deposit of $100, while for a CD account the bank requires at least $500 to open one.
As mentioned earlier, Vio Bank does not charge monthly fees. Although, it has a list of other fees charged, all of which can be avoided.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Vio Bank is an online-only bank. Unfortunately, it does not provide access to any ATM network or a physical branch location.
The bank does not support cash deposits. So, the only way you can fund your account is by linking your savings account to your existing external bank checking account.
Direct deposits are supported. Also, if you need recurring deposits to occur from your checking account, Vio Bank provides that feature.
Online and Mobile Access
Your Vio Bank accounts can be managed through the mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. The app allows you to view account information, transfer funds, search transaction history, as well deposit checks.
Vio Bank provides a number of online features including eStatements, online transfers, set up notifications, contact Vio Bank’s customer service via email, as well as stop payments and download information to Microsoft Money or Quicken.
Vio Bank’s customer service is available via online form, secure email, website chat, and phone. It is available from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT, as well as Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT.
IS VIO BANK SAFE?
The safety and security of all depositors are one of Vio Bank’s primary concerns. Thus, it has put bank-grade security features in place to avoid possible fraud or identity theft cases.
As mentioned earlier, Vio Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Thus, the federal government protects depositors’ money for up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of a bank failure.
So, is Vio Bank safe? The answer would be, it definitely is.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT VIO BANK?
Vio Bank may not be similar to other online-only banks that provide a wide variety of products, it, however, gives customers the following benefits to enjoy:
- Competitive Rates on Savings Account – One of the things that make Vio Bank stand out from among its competitors is the fact that it provides competitive interest rates for its savings account regardless of how much the balance is.
- Low Minimum Deposit Requirement – To open a savings account, Vio Bank only requires at least a $100 initial deposit, while for a certificate of deposit accounts, the bank requires at least $500 to open an account. Compared to other banks out there, these are low and definitely are achievable.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fees – Another thing that makes Vio Bank appealing to customers is that it does not charge monthly maintenance fees, allowing customers to save a couple of bucks instead of paying for monthly charges.
- Online and Mobile Access – Since Vio Bank is an online-only bank, it means customers may access their account anytime and anywhere by simply checking through the website or by downloading the Vio Bank app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
- FDIC –Insured – Vio Bank is an FDIC member, which means all deposits are insured. Each account holder can receive up to $250,000 per account category should the bank fails.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT VIO BANK?
To complete our Vio Bank review, we are also giving you a list of things to not like about Vio Bank. These are things that Vio can improve on in the future to appeal to more customers.
Some of these things include:
- Limited Product Offerings – Unlike other online banks, Vio Bank’s products are only limited to savings and certificate of deposit accounts. So, if you want to open a checking account, you may have to find it elsewhere.
- No ATM Access – Another downside of Vio Bank is that it does not provide ATM access to customers. Although, it’s not an isolated case because it’s a very common thing among online-only banks.
- No Physical Branches – Apart from the lack of ATM access, Vio Bank also does not have a physical branch location. All transactions are made entirely online.
- No Cash Deposits or Check-Writing Capabilities – Unfortunately, Vio Bank does not support cash deposits, and has no check-writing capabilities as well.
- CDs Automatically Renew – Unless you reach out to the bank and talk to a customer service representative within 10 days after your CD term matures, your CD account will automatically review.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VIO BANK REVIEW
Vio Bank is an online-only bank. It is a division of one of the country’s largest banks, MidFirst Bank. It was established only in 2018 to provide banking services not only in select states but to customers across the country.
Although its product offerings are limited, it does offer a high-interest savings account which makes it very competitive in the market.
Do you want to save and earn high interest from your money? If your answer is yes, then Vio may just be the right online bank for you.