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  • Acorns Spend / Checking and Debit Card

    Brand:Acorns
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    • Acorns Spend is a checking account and debit card that saves, invests, and earns money for you.
    • No minimum balance or overdraft fees. Unlimited free or fee-reimbursed ATMs nationwide.
    • Real-Time Round-Ups, automatic retirement savings, custom Spend Strategies, and more.

    Promotion: New Acorns users get a $75 bonus after the first two direct deposits of $250+.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • SoFi Money / Debit Card and Checking Account – No Fees

    • SoFi Money is a cash management account offering a hybrid checking and savings feature with a debit card.
    • Earn interest with no minimum balance or account fees.
    • Save money using Vaults for specific savings goals.
    • Access over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Qapital / Checking and Debit Card with Automated Savings Rules

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

What is Fintech Banking?

Fintech banking, short for financial technology banking, focuses on the integration of technology into financial services.

It uses advancements in artificial intelligence, blockchain, and mobile applications to streamline banking operations and customer experiences.

Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar banks, Fintech apps primarily operate online or through mobile apps, allowing users to manage their finances anytime, anywhere.

Keep in mind that many fintech apps aren’t legally banks or regulated as such. The fintech companies partner with banks or credit unions to hold your money and to extend FDIC or NCUA deposit insurance.

Who is Fintech Banking For?

These apps cater to a broad audience, including those who prefer robust mobile app access or people often excluded from traditional banking services.

Services Offered

FinTech banking includes basic banking services like savings and checking accounts and specialized services such as peer-to-peer payments, investment management, and lending.

Many Fintechs differentiate themselves by offering lower fees, early paydays,  budgeting tools, personalized financial insights, and round-the-clock customer support.

Fees

One of the appealing aspects of Fintech banking is its transparent fee structure, often devoid of traditional banking charges.

While specific fees may vary depending on the provider and services utilized, Fintech banks typically offer competitive or no-fee accounts, minimal transaction fees, and lower overdraft charges.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Convenience: Accessible anytime, anywhere through digital channels.
  2. Cost-effective: Minimal fees and competitive interest rates.
  3. Innovation: Cutting-edge technology enhances user experience and offers innovative financial solutions.
  4. Financial Inclusivity: Broadens access to banking services, particularly for underserved populations.

Cons

  1. Security Concerns: Increased reliance on technology may raise cybersecurity risks.
  2. Limited Physical Presence: Lack of physical branches may deter those who prefer in-person banking experiences.
  3. Regulatory Issues: Since fintechs aren’t banks they often aren’t bound by the same consumer protection laws.
  4. Tech Dependency: Service interruptions or technical glitches could disrupt banking operations.

Are fintech apps considered a bank?

Fintech banks without a traditional bank charter typically partner with licensed financial institutions or obtain specific licenses to offer certain financial services.

Many Fintech apps collaborate with established banks and credit unions to provide banking services to their customers. The Fintech company leverages the bank’s existing infrastructure and regulatory approvals in these partnerships while offering its innovative technology and user experience.

This allows Fintech banks to offer savings accounts, payment processing, and lending services while the partner bank handles regulatory compliance and holds customer deposits.

Are deposits insured at fintech apps?

Depending on the regulatory structure and partnership arrangements, deposits at Fintech banking apps may or may not be insured.

Fintech banking apps partner with traditional banks to offer banking services. In such cases, the partner bank typically holds deposits.

If the partner bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in the United States, then deposits held at the partner bank would be covered by FDIC insurance, typically up to a certain limit per depositor, per account ownership category.

What’s the difference between fintech banking apps and traditional banking?

Fintech banking prioritizes tech innovation and digital experiences. Examples include Chime, which offers mobile-centric banking with early direct deposit, and Qapital, which provides savings tools. Neither of the examples are banks, but they partner with traditional banks for your deposits.

In contrast, traditional banking relies on legacy systems and brick-and-mortar branches. For example, while Bank of America offers online services, it may lack the agility of its Fintech counterparts.

Find the banking service that’s right for you in the marketplace.

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