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Mobile banking – Forbes Advisor

ByCindy J. Daddario

Dec 21, 2021

Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

Current is a mobile-only financial technology company that offers banking services through a few account options. After launching its first accounts in 2017, the New York-based non-bank offers another alternative to traditional banking. It even goes against the trend of online and mobile services popularized by online banking. Current accounts are only accessible via its mobile application.

This review focuses on Current personal banking accounts and services. Here’s a look at Current and how it compares to other financial institutions.

Account details are correct as of December 20, 2021.

Account Basics

Current is not set up like a traditional bank with different categories of accounts like checks and savings. Instead, checking accounts are hybrid accounts that combine checking and savings components. Customers have the option of having a free or paid account. There is also an account for teens available through Current.

All current banking services are provided through partnerships with FDIC member Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank.

Basic Account

Current’s only free account is the Basic account. This account comes with no monthly fees or other hidden charges. It includes a basic debit card, which can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and access to over 40,000 toll-free ATMs through the Allpoint ATM network. It should be noted that Current charges $ 2.50 per ATM transaction outside of its ATM network in addition to the fees charged by the ATM operator.

Standard direct deposits are available through the Basic Account. Account functionality and accessibility vary between basic current accounts and paid current accounts. Here’s a look at some of the features found with both accounts:

  • Savings capsules. A savings capsule is like an account in your checking account that allows you to set a savings goal and set aside money specifically for that goal. Savings capsules are a great place to keep an emergency fund or put money aside for upcoming vacations or other big expenses. Basic accounts come with a single savings capsule.
  • Budgets. Budgets are exactly what they sound like. Customers can set up budgets in the Current app to track their spending throughout the month. Basic accounts can set up a budget for a single expense category.
  • Gatherings. Current members can maximize their savings through a budgeting tool called Round-Ups. When you use your current debit card, these purchases are rounded up to the next dollar. The rounded change is then added to the savings capsule (or donation capsule, for charitable donations) at the member’s choice. This feature is available for all current accounts.
  • Current points. Current members can also earn cash back and other rewards through its points reward program. Members can activate rewards offers at over 14,000 participating retailers through the mobile app. When you swipe your current card and make purchases, you can earn points redeemable for cash, Premium membership fees, or other rewards. Some cash back offers earn up to 15 times more points per dollar spent. All current members are eligible to earn rewards.

Unfortunately, none of the current account offers earn interest. If you are looking to maximize your savings by earning a competitive interest rate, you might be better off opening a high yield savings account through another online bank or credit union.

Premier Account

For an additional monthly fee of $ 4.99, members can upgrade to a Premier account. This account offers many of the same features as basic accounts, but with better access and fewer limits. For example, Premier members can create budgets for each expense category. Additionally, instead of one Savings Pod, Premier members can create three.

Premier members can receive direct deposits up to two days in advance depending on the availability of funds from their employer or payroll service provider. The account also comes with an exclusive premium debit card activated with Tap to Pay technology.

Another feature available only with a Premier account is Overdrive, Current’s overdraft protection program. Overdrive allows qualified Premier Members to overdraft up to $ 100 on card purchases without paying an overdraft fee. To sign up for Overdrive, you must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Receive $ 500 or more in qualifying deposits over each 30 day period

Current will notify members and automatically activate the feature once qualified. Members who do not wish to use Overdrive have the option of deactivating it.

Current does not offer check books or check writing services with its accounts. Customers can still use supplier bill payment services by connecting their checking and routing account numbers.

Teen account

Parents can also open a Teen account through Current for their teenager. Teen accounts provide some financial freedom for teens while allowing parents to control several features for setting up guardrails.

Parents can transfer money to teens through the app, set up to-dos, create automated allowance payments, set spending limits, block purchases at specific merchants, and receive notifications of all purchases .

Teen accounts come with a debit card and provide access to features similar to other accounts, such as summaries and budgets. Teen accounts come with a savings capsule and a donation capsule for those interested in making charitable donations.

Access on the move

As mentioned, the only way to access current accounts is through its mobile app. The popular app is available for iOS (rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on the App Store) and Android (4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play) and comes with useful features such as:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Instant expense notifications
  • Expense tracking tools
  • Current Pay, its peer-to-peer payment platform
  • Google or Apple Pay
  • Privacy controls

Parents can also control Teen account settings from the mobile app, including pausing debit cards, automating benefit payments, and setting to-do items.

Providing digital banking services, Current does not have a physical location that you can visit. While in-person support isn’t an option, customers always have other ways to ask for help, including 24/7 live chat support within the app. Other support options include emailing and sending secure online messages. Telephone support is currently limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Advantages

  • No monthly fees for the basic account
  • Savings capsules available to set individual savings goals
  • Large network of toll-free ATMs

The inconvenients

  • No interest-bearing account
  • Monthly fees for access to Premium features and Teen account
  • Account access is only available through the mobile app

How does the current compare

Current is not a bank, and in many ways it operates differently from many online banks and other non-bank institutions. A basic account offers enough features to suffice for basic banking needs.

You will need to pay extra each month to access most of the premium benefits promoted on its site. There are online banks that offer similar features without the monthly fees, many of which enjoy competitive interest rates. That said, current Premium Accounts are great for people who want budgeting and savings tools built into their bank account.

Current’s Teenage Account is a great deal with lots of benefits, but there are several strong accounts for teens and children available at banks and credit unions with no annual fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Current is FDIC insured through Choice Financial Group (FDIC # 9423). The federal government protects your money up to $ 250,000 per depositor, for each category of account holder, in the event of bank failure.

Which bank uses Current?

Current banking services are provided by Choice Financial Group and Metropolitan Commercial Bank, members of the FDIC.

How do I deposit money into my checking account?

You can deposit money into your checking account by mobile check deposit, direct deposit, or wire transfer from a linked bank account. You cannot use a mobile check deposit for your initial deposit when you open your account. After you have successfully received a deposit from a linked funding source, you can access the mobile check deposit feature. You can add money to your checking account at participating retailers — up to $ 500 per transaction or $ 1,000 per day, up to a maximum of $ 10,000 per month — for a fee of $ 3.50. per transaction.

Can I use my current card at an ATM?

Yes, current account holders have access to over 40,000 free Allpoint ATMs across the United States. Current charges a fee of $ 2.50 per transaction for using off-grid ATMs. ATM operators may also charge fees for using off-network ATMs. Although you can withdraw money from an ATM, you cannot deposit money at an ATM. You can add money at participating retailers, as identified in the Current app.

How much does it cost to open an account with Current?

You can open a Basic account via Current for free. A Premier account costs $ 4.99 per month and provides access to premium features, including early direct deposit. Current Teen accounts cost $ 36 per year.



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