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Moven vs. Simple Banking: Which to Choose and Why

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Moven and Simple bring banking to the palm of your hand with financial accounts designed for mobile apps. Both these startups offer digital bank accounts, cards and tools, but they have some differences that can help you choose one over the other.

Simple
Learn more
at Simple

Why choose Simple over Moven?

Why choose Simple over Moven?

  • Fewer fees
  • Better for mobile check deposits

Moven
Read full review
on NerdWallet

Why choose Moven over Simple?

Why choose Moven over Simple?

  • Provides budgeting across all your bank accounts, similar to Mint

Below is a detailed breakdown of how the mobile-first accounts and bank experiences compare.

Digital bank accounts

 MovenSimple
Monthly fees$0$0
Minimum opening deposit$0$0
InterestNone0.01% APY
ATMs42,000 free ATMs40,000 free ATMs
Overdraft feeNo overdrafts allowed. Transactions that exceed your balance are declined.No overdrafts allowed. Transactions that exceed your balance are declined.
Other fees
  • 1% foreign transaction fee (through Mastercard)
  • Operators of ATMs outside STAR's surcharge-free network will likely charge a fee

  • Moven also charges:
  • $10 for account closure
  • $4.99 for replacement card (the first two are free each year)
  • $30 for delivering the card via expedited shipping
  • Up to 1% foreign transaction fee (through Visa)
  • Operators of ATMs outside of Allpoint's network will likely charge a fee

  • Simple charges no other fees.

    Simple has a slight edge by having almost no fees and paying some interest, though it’s minimal. (For more details, read our review of Simple.) Both Moven and Simple offer a free online bank account with your deposits backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Their mobile apps automatically track your money, and you can use their debit cards — Mastercard for Moven and Visa for Simple — at thousands of ATMs for free.

    But if you get paid in cash or prefer in-person customer support, neither mobile-first checking account would be a good fit as your only bank account. There are no branches, and the ATMs can’t accept cash deposits.

    » Another option similar to Moven and Simple is Chime, which offers some cash rewards. See our review of Chime.

    Bank experience

     MovenSimple
    Opening an accountMust download mobile app first, create a login and then open account on either app or websiteCan open account on app or website
    General account features
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Online bill pay via Prism, a third-party provider
  • Link to one external account for transfers
  • Digital wallet feature via Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay and a contactless sticker at checkouts that support Mastercard PayPass
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Bill pay can be done electronically or by paper check
  • Link to multiple external accounts for transfers
  • Digital wallet feature via Apple Pay and Android Pay
  • Savings or budgeting features
  • Savings tool called "Moven Stash" for setting aside funds
  • Spending tracker called "Spending Meter" for Moven and accounts at other banks
  • "Safe-to-Spend" feature gives your available balance minus scheduled bills or budgets
  • Track spending for Simple account only
  • Cash depositsDeposit cash at Mastercard rePower merchant locations such as convenience stores (fee up to $4.95)Not available. Either convert cash into a money order and deposit that, or transfer funds into Simple from another bank or credit union.
    Time it takes for a check to clear10 days; for clearing within minutes, third-party service charges fee of 2% or 5% depending on check ($5 minimum)Generally after one business day
    Customer support24/7 phone line (number listed only in the app)Phone line with extended and weekend hours
    App store rating
    (all ratings out of five stars)
  • 3.5 stars on Apple store
  • 3.8 stars on Google Play store
  • 4 stars on Apple store
  • 4.5 stars on Google Play store
  • Standard checking features

    Simple pulls ahead of Moven again with free and fast mobile check deposit, a more intuitive website and higher ratings on mobile apps.

    Simple’s mobile check deposit feature is its own, whereas Moven relies on a third-party provider, Ingo Money, which makes you fork over a steep fee if you want your money faster than in 10 days.

    Moven’s mobile-first approach may be confusing if you aren’t used to banking on mobile apps. To open an account or find a customer service phone number, you must download the app first. Simple makes these experiences easier by letting you do both on its website or mobile app.

    Both support digital wallets Apple Pay and Android Pay, but Moven goes further. It also works with Samsung Pay and has another payment method: a payment sticker you attach to your phone or Moven card. You can buy things by bringing this sticker close to retail checkout payment terminals that support Mastercard PayPass.

    Savings and budgeting features

    Moven has an edge over Simple in budgeting (we have more details in our full review of Moven). You can link external bank accounts to track all your spending within the Moven app, even without opening a Moven bank account. Simple, on the other hand, tracks spending only from the Simple account.

    Moven’s app automatically categorizes each transaction under “wants” (dining out, shopping, entertainment), “needs” (housing, groceries, utilities) or “other” (one-offs like gifts, donations, taxes). There’s also a spending meter that tracks how much you normally spend at any point in the month and alerts you when you exceed that.

    Simple’s budgeting tool shows how much of your account balance is “Safe-to-Spend,” meaning your available balance after subtracting any scheduled bills, transfers, savings goals or budgets you’ve set up.

    Good for mobile banking, but limited as bank accounts

    Moven and Simple give you strong mobile-first banking experiences without the overdraft or monthly fees you’d find at traditional banks. On the flip side, these accounts lack branches, paper checkbooks and some other perks that brick-and-mortar banks offer.

    If you’re looking for a wider range of services, consider Moven or Simple as a secondary checking account or check out NerdWallet’s list of best checking accounts for other options.

    » To compare more options, here’s our list of the best banks for mobile banking.

    Updated Sept. 20, 2017.