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  • Qapital / Checking and Debit Card with Automated Savings Rules

    Qapital is a banking service offering checking account, savings accounts, and debit card.

  • SoFi Bank / Checking and High Yield Savings Account

    Brand:SoFi

    SoFi Bank is an online checking and savings account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements.

  • Famzoo Prepaid Debit Card Review

    FamZoo Prepaid Debit Card For Kids and Teens

    Brand:FamZoo
    • FamZoo is a prepaid debit card for the entire family giving parents control and financial education tool.
    • Parent access dashboard and funds the accounts with allowances or gift money.
    • Children use a prepaid debit card to spend and sign in separately to monitor spending.
    • The benefit of sharing funds between family members and develop financial responsibility.
    • Monthly fee applies as low as $0.63 for a family of 4.
  • Chime / No Fee Checking Account and Get Paid 2 Days Early

    • Chime Banking is a no-fee mobile bank account that offers a Spending Account, a Savings Account, and a Visa debit card.
    • No maintenance fees. No overdraft fees. And no bounced check fees.
    • Cash access to 35,000+ surcharge-free ATMs.
    • Get your paycheck 2 days earlier.
  • Acorns Banking Review Mighty Oak

    Acorns Banking / High-Yield Checking Account and Emergency Fund

    Brand:Acorns
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    Acorns banking is a checking account, emergency savings, and debit card that saves, invests, and earns money for you.

    • No minimum balance or overdraft fees.
  • Aspiration Spend & Save Account with a Conscious

    • Aspiration Spend and Save is a cash management service with a socially conscious mission.
    • Deposits won’t fund fossil fuel exploration or production.
    • 55,000 free in-network ATMs.
    • 3-5% cashback on Conscience Coalition purchases.
    • Pay what is fair. You decide.
  • Venmo Pay / Send & Receive Money

    Brand:Venmo
    • Venmo is a digital wallet that lets you make payments to friends, split the bill, send a gift, and pay businesses.
    • No fees to send or receive money using what’s in your Venmo account or bank account.

     

  • Cash App / Send, Spend and Save Money

    Brand:Cash App
    • Send and receive payments using money in their Cash App account
    • Link a credit or debit card for additional payment options
    • Available for free on Android and iOS, or via any web browser at Cash.me
    • Add money to the Cash App account and use the funds to pay others
    • Get a free Cash Card Visa debit card for online and in-store payments
  • Zelle Pay / Send Money Right From Your Banking App

    Brand:Zelle
    • A fast, safe and easy way to send money with friends, family, and others you trust
    • Send money gifts directly into the recipient’s bank account or pay your roommate for your share of the bill
    • Available through the Zelle app or directly within your banking app
    • Most transfers are instantly transferred in or out of your account
    • Zelle is integrated into many banking apps
  • Goalsetter App Review

    Goalsetter App / Savings and Investing App for Kids

    • Goalsetter believes kids who are early savers will be lifetime savers helping kids start off financially healthy.
    • A savings platform: set auto-save, or rounding up purchases towards savings, and give allowances or payment for chores.
    • Spending platform: A debit card that lets kids from 8 to 18 learn how to budget and spend.
    • Gifting platform: Lets families and friends give meaningful gifts.
    • No set monthly cost. You decide what’s a fair price for the service.
  • Empower Banking Checking Account with Human Coach

    • Empower is a mobile-only banking service offering a high-yield checking account and debit card with a simple design and insightful features.
    • AutoSave features help you reach savings goals using income and spending analysis.
    • Monthly Report Card gives you insights on how you’re spending, savings and achieving income and debt repayment goals.
    • Human coach for financial guidance, support, and answers to your financial questions.
  • PayPal Send Money and Pay Online

    • PayPal is a digital payment service you can use while shopping online.
    • Store payment info, such as bank account or credit card numbers, so that you don’t have to enter payment info for each purchase.
    • Transfer money, pay your family and friends, or get debit to use your PayPal Balance.
  • TransferWise Send Money Abroad and Get Paid Internationally

    • TransferWise is an online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally.
    • With a TransferWise account, you can send money abroad, get paid in other currencies, and spend abroad on the TransferWise debit Mastercard.
    • Offers some of the best exchange rates you can find and upfront fees.
  • Remitly Send Money Faster and Securely Worldwide

    • Remitly helps you send money online faster and more securely from the United States to international destinations.
    • Send money directly to a bank account, get cash from thousands of locations in minutes, or send money instantly to a mobile money account, or have your money delivered to your recipient’s home.
    • Competitive exchange rates and low transfer fees. 
  • WorldRemit Transfer Money to Family and Friends Overseas

    • WorldRemit is a fast and secure service that lets you transfer money online using a computer, smartphone, or our app.
    • Transfer money online to family and friends abroad with bank transfer, cash pickup, mobile money or WorldRemit Wallet, or Airtime top-up.
    • Low fees and the best exchange rates upfront, with no hidden costs.

What is Banking?

Banking is a form of money management using products and services related to savings and loans.

Different Types of Financial Institutions

Banks

Banks are what we typically associate with banking. They come in different sizes: local, national, traditional and online-only. Federal or state agencies supervise banks. The FDIC insures deposits of participating banks.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions. They offer products and services similar to banks with a focus on member service, not profit. The NCUA insures deposits from participating credit unions.

Alternative Financial Services

Many fintechs are non-chartered financial services companies that offer banking services. You might think of them as an app offering checking and savings accounts, debit cards, payments, etc. They are not banks but work with partner banks or credit unions to hold your deposits.

Types of Banking Accounts

Banking accounts help make financial transactions convenient.

Savings Account

A savings account helps you save your money. You’re storing your money for future use and hopefully earning a reasonable interest rate. Interest is the money you earn for letting the bank keep your money. Some financial institutions impose minimum deposits, withdrawal limits, and fees.

Checking Account

A checking account is a transactional account that allows you to make deposits and withdrawals of your money anytime. Checking accounts is not the best place to store your money, as the goal of the account is for use, not saving.

Most checking accounts do not pay interest, but some do. Be mindful of transaction limits, minimum balance requirements, and fees.

Debit Card

Checking accounts come with a debit card enabling you to spend your money conveniently. A debit card allows for making purchases at stores and online shopping. You can only spend the money that’s in your checking account. Additionally, you can use your debit card at ATMs to make deposits, withdrawals, check balances, and transfers between accounts.

Money Market Account

A money market account is a type of hybrid savings and checking account. It tends to have higher deposit requirements but often pays more interest than a savings account.

Certificate of Deposit (CD)

A certificate of deposit, also known as a CD, helps you save money with a set interest rate for a specific amount of time. Your cash is term-locked. In exchange, you get a higher interest rate compared to a traditional savings account. Certificate terms can start at 30 days and go to 5 or more years.

How to Choose the Best Banking Service

You have many choices on the type of account to use and the variety of financial institutions available. So, shop around. Ask the following questions to help you narrow down your choices:

  • What are the products and services offered?
  • What are the fees?
  • Are there minimum balance requirements?
  • Do I need a physical location (like a branch) or prefer better mobile app services?
  • Does local banking matter or is national big bank convenient?
  • Are deposits FDIC or NCUA insured?
  • How to access your money?
  • Debit card? ATM network?
  • Can I set auto-transfers, auto-payments, and alerts?

You want to determine how the banking provider aligns with your needs, the cost of services, safety, security, and overall convenience.

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