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.
Why choose Simple over Moven?
- Fewer fees
- Better for mobile check deposits
Read full review
Why choose Moven over Simple?
- Provides budgeting across all your bank accounts, similar to Mint
Digital bank accounts
|Minimum opening deposit||$0||$0|
|ATMs||42,000 free ATMs||40,000 free ATMs|
|Overdraft fee||No overdrafts allowed. Transactions that exceed your balance are declined.||No overdrafts allowed. Transactions that exceed your balance are declined.|
Moven also charges:
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.
|Opening an account||Must download mobile app first, create a login and then open account on either app or website||Can open account on app or website|
|General account features|
|Savings or budgeting features|
|Cash deposits||Deposit 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 clear||10 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||24/7 phone line (number listed only in the app)||Phone line with extended and weekend hours|
|App store rating |
(all ratings out of five stars)
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.