BankMobile claims it’s the first bank to be completely mobile
Almost very bank in the U.S. has online and mobile components added to their services at least in the last few years. We were one of the first websites to even mention the word online banking and review Netbank one of the first only online banks. I was a big fan of Netbank although while it was insured by the FDIC it closed down as one of the beginnings of the financial crisis. Most banks have walk-in branches and Netbank was the first of its kind to not have that now we have BankMobile which is doing the same but they are only Mobile which means you cannot access them on a laptop or going into a branch.
Doing this makes it America’s first no-fee, smart phone or mobile bank. BankMobile is aimed at millennials that prefer to bank on their mobile devices instead of going to branches. Most millennial prefer not to have to speak to a banker or be bothered they just want to deposit their check on the phone and be done.
BankMobile is a division of Customer Bank. Signing up for an account simply requires uploading a photo of your driver’s license and other pertinent information. You can deposit a check by snapping a photo of it, and you can even pay bills by taking a photo of it and entering the desired amount. When you need cash, you can go to one of the 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs currently within the Star Network program. And because there no branches or walk-in banks or employees to maintain, BankMobile is able to offer most of the services without fee. You can also rest assured your accounts are FDIC-insured to protect your money.
The smartphone has not replaced the retail bank but may be on their way. Between March 2013 and 2014, 33% of all mobile phone users used mobile banking, according to the Federal Reserve’s Consumers and Mobile Financial Services 2014 report. Of the 2,000 Millennials who participated in the 2014 TD Bank Financial Education Survey, 57% stated they used mobile banking more in 2014 than they did in 2013.
BankMobile’s officially launched on January 14, 2015, so they are a fairly new company and the CEO Jay Sidhu made it clear they are aiming for Millennials who spend more than 14 hours a week on their smartphones. While there are many benefits to using a traditional bank some of the bigger banks such as Chase plan to close many branches because of the growth of mobile banking and you will see possibly more ATM machines added and less bankers.
People were hesitant to banking online at first and they will be on mobile only because of all of the scams and hacking going on so BankMobile has implemented safety nets. These include lets account holders turn on and off their debit card to protect against unauthorized usage that you may not find at major U.S. banks Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.
The App ran bank is currently running a contest on how you would build your own bank. They call it a BYOB contest to Build Your Own Bank. Clever, right? The contest states that if you’re tired of the lack of innovation banks that offer today then What would it take for you to enjoy your banking experience? You then share your ideas in a video or image on what features or products you’d like to see BankMobile offer for a chance to win $5,000. The submissions end on May 3, 2015.
The bottom line is that Opening a deposit account takes less than 5 minutes with a driver’s license. Much simpler than dealing with a long conversation at a branch to open up an account. BankMobile is a mobile banking alternative, with no branches, zero fees, a clean design and a mission to serve millennials better. One thing I also noticed is they are not only reaching out to the youth market but seem to be reaching out to minorities such as students, african-americans and hispanics that you normally do not see in a big bank’s marketing. It’s nice to see a bank that market to anyone who does not want to pay fees for only having a few hundred or less in their account.