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Moven vs. Simple Banking: Which Is Best for You?

April 4, 2018
Banking, Banking Basics, Banks & Credit Unions
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

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.

Snapshot comparison

Moven

Simple

Digital bank accounts
  • Monthly fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Interest: None
  • Monthly fee $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest: 0.01%
  • Account features
  • Cash deposit: yes, may cost up to $4.95
  • Mobile check deposit: clears after 10 days
  • Cash deposit: not available
  • Mobile check deposit: clears after one business day
  • Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service
    • Overdraft fee: none
    • ATMs: 42,000
    • Phone line support weekdays only
    • Overdraft fee: none
    • ATMs: 40,000
    • Phone line with extended and weekend hours

    Choose Simple if:

    Choose Simple if:

    • Minimizing fees is a priority
    • You need mobile check deposits to go through quickly

     

    Choose Moven if:

    Choose Moven if:

    • You prefer a spending tracker that will track your Moven and other bank accounts
    • You’re a fan of Samsung Pay

     

    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. Both Moven and Simple offer a free online bank account with deposits backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

    If you get paid in cash or prefer in-person customer support, neither 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 NerdWallet’s 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 other expenses
  • 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 support and app store ratings
    (all ratings out of five stars)
    • 9am to 6pm ET, weekdays only
    • 3.5 stars for iOS, 3.8 stars for Android
    • 9am to 7pm ET on weekdays, 10am to 5pm ET on Saturdays
    • 4.0 stars for iOS, 4.4 stars for Android
    Simple’s mobile check deposit feature is free and fast. Moven relies on a third-party provider, Ingo Money, which makes you fork over a steep fee if you want your money faster than 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 first download the app. 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 with no touch required: a payment sticker you attach to your phone or Moven card. You can buy things by bringing this sticker close to a retail checkout’s payment terminal that supports Mastercard PayPass.

     

    Moven has an edge over Simple in budgeting. 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, only tracks spending 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 amount.

    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.

    Read our Moven review for more details.

     

    Good for mobile banking, but limited as bank accounts

    Moven and Simple provide 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 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 April 4, 2018.