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

June 12, 2019
Banking, Banking Basics, Banks & Credit Unions
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Moven and Simple feature digital banking accounts that are designed to be used on the go. Both startups offer mobile banking, payment cards and tools, but they have some differences that might leave you favoring one over the other.

Snapshot comparison

Moven

3.5 NerdWallet rating
Simple

4.0 NerdWallet rating
Digital bank accounts
  • Monthly fee: $0.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50.
  • Interest: None.
  • Monthly fee: $0.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.
  • Interest: 0.01%; if you open a Protected Goals account, that money will earn 2.02% APY.
  • Account features
  • Cash deposit: Through a third-party service at participating convenience stores for a fee.
  • Mobile check deposit: Through a third-party app. Clears after 10 days for free, or instantly for a fee.
  • Cash deposit: No straightforward option. Must deposit into another account and transfer, or purchase money order and deposit into account.
  • Mobile check deposit: Generally clears after one business day.
  • Overdrafts, ATMs, customer service
    • Overdraft fee: None.
    • ATMs: 42,000.
    • Phone line support weekdays and Saturdays.
    • Overdraft fee: none.
    • ATMs: 40,000.
    • Phone line with extended weekday hours and Saturdays.

    Choose Simple if:

    Choose Simple if:

    • Earning interest is a priority.
    • You want advanced features for tracking your balance.

     

    Choose Moven if:

    Choose Moven if:

    • You prefer a spending tracker that will track your Moven account with other bank accounts.
    • You want to deposit cash.

     

    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$50.$0.
    InterestNone.0.01% APY; if you open a Protected Goals account, that money will earn 2.02% APY.
    ATMs42,000 free ATMs.40,000 free ATMs.
    Overdraft feeNone. Transactions that exceed your balance are declined.None. 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 also charges:
  • $5 to ship a box of 25 checks
  • Simple has an edge by having almost no fees and paying interest. Both Moven and Simple offer a free online bank account with deposits backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

    If you prefer in-person customer support, neither would be a good fit as your only bank account. There are no branches, and you’d need to conduct transactions mostly online or by mobile app.

     

    » 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 accountCan open account on app or website. Can open account on app or website.
    General account features
  • Direct deposit.
  • Mobile check deposit via Ingo, a third party provider.
  • Online bill pay via “send a check” feature, or by stores that accept MasterCard.
  • Link to one external account for funding.
  • Digital wallet feature via Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Direct deposit.
  • Mobile check deposit.
  • Link to multiple external accounts for transfers.
  • Digital wallet feature via Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Savings or budgeting features
  • Savings tool called "Moven Stash" for setting aside funds.
  • Spending tracker called "Spending Meter" that compares your current spending habits with spending in previous months. Can use with Moven and accounts at other banks.
  • "Safe-to-Spend" feature gives your available balance minus bills or other expenses.
  • Cash depositsDeposit cash via third party Mastercard rePower merchant locations such as convenience stores for a fee.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 without charge, via Ingo, a third party service; for clearing within minutes, Ingo generally charges a 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)
    • 9 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, weekdays, and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. ET Saturdays.
    • 4.7 stars for iOS, 3.8 stars for Android.
    • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET on weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Saturdays.
    • 3.6 stars for iOS, 4.4 stars for Android.
    Simple’s mobile check deposit feature is free and clears after one day. 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.

    Read our Simple review for more information on this account’s features.

     

    Moven has an edge over Simple in budgeting. You can track all your spending within the Moven app, even if you use other bank accounts. In fact, you do not have to open a Moven bank account to track your spending.

    Moven’s app also 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.

    Read our Moven review for more details.

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

    Both support digital wallets Apple Pay, and Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

     

    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 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.