Chime Review: A Simplified Service for the Millennial Investor

Chime Review A Simplified Service for the Millennial Investor, June 2021

In this day and age, investors who are out of the loop with technological progress tend to fall behind. Most banking services have proven their worth and efficiency with their online presence, which goes hand in hand with the reality that technology is becoming more prevalent and necessary in everyday life.

Such is the truth with Millennial and GenZ customers and investors, who are populating the banking world both physically and online. It comes as no surprise that a certain challenger bank is rising in prominence due to its increasing role in digital media.

The bank in question? Chime. 

As a personal finance app that offers digital banking services like checking and online savings accounts, Chime does not have any of the typical fees that are associated with traditional bank accounts.

Chime Overview

Since its 2014 inception, Chime bank has provided online only spending and savings accounts to serve as an alternative to the pen-and-paper processes of the traditional banks of old.

With no branches or ATMs, Chime exists as a viable option for many prospective clientele as it charges few fees and can be easy to open, even if clients have been denied a bank account in the past.

Chime has garnered a considerable amount of attention in recent years, as in the past six months alone, venture capitalists have reportedly invested $700 million into the company.

In terms of customers, Chime has reported an increase from 8 million at the beginning of 2020 to 12 million in the past year alone. 

With digital media as its prime reason for its growth, Chime bank’s target audience has been Millennials and GenZ customers, who are frequent users of social media and online lifestyles.

Using marketing that focuses on a few key features and benefits of Chime, younger investors have received a creative and captivating introduction to the online bank’s services. 

Although its target audience is a younger group of investors and customers, Chime is best for any prospective client who wants to maximize savings account interest in an online account, who are paid via direct deposit or have access to other bank accounts to make transfers. 

Overall Banking

Overall Banking Grade

Catered for its online banking experience, Chime thrives with its simplistic layout and straightforward use, all accessible via the comfort of your mobile app or web browser.

Providing free checking and savings accounts that avoid typical bank fees, Chime bank comes with useful options like early direct deposits and automatic savings, which is a new idea compared to other banks--especially traditional ones.

Chime partners with two banks to offer reliable, FDIC insured checking and savings accounts. 

It has no monthly fees or overdraft penalties, and it allows you to round up purchases to the next dollar and save the remainder.

With its innovative Early Direct Deposit feature, your paycheck funds can be available as soon as your employer makes the deposit, which can be a potential difference of up to two days.

Many companies are currently trying to emulate this feature, but Chime has proven that its method is the best for early direct deposits. 

The only downside to Chime is a common one with many other banks: there is no way to deposit cash into your account, due to its online existence with no branches or ATMs. 

Regardless, Chime is highly ideal for any customer who wants to stick to online banking, attain easy savings growth, is paid by direct deposit and have access to other bank accounts for transferring purposes.

ProsCons
• No monthly or overdraft fees• Not ideal if employer pays cash only
• Highly accessible via mobile app & web browser• May be difficult for clients who are not skilled with technology
• Early direct deposit
• User friendly and attractive layout
• Two banks to transfer fees

Chime Spending Account

Spending Account Grade

Chime’s spending account is completely free, meaning that it has no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement, while also giving users access to over 60,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.

Further, if you use your card abroad, Chime will not charge fees.

However, Chime bank charges $2.50 per transaction at out of network ATMs, but with its plethora of Chime-associated ATMs, it is more likely that you will find a compatible ATM instead of one that is out of network.

As previously mentioned, any Chime customer can deposit their direct deposit paycheck up to two days earlier than at a traditional bank, which can really make quite the difference if specific dates are important.

When it comes to cash, however, you will have to deposit at Green Dot locations, which may also charge a fee.

In terms of transferring, Chime limits your external online transfer to $200 per day and $1000 per month; however, an easy workaround is to initiate the transfer from your other bank account instead of from Chime.

When it comes to checkbooks, Chime does not offer the traditional physical checkbook. Instead, you can pay your bills by sending a check online via the Chime Checkbook feature, which has a $5000 limit per payment and $10,000 per month.

Like other banks, you can provide the biller your Chime account number and routing information.

It is also worth mentioning that Chime does not offer joint accounts, so it is not ideal if you are looking to open a joint account with someone else.

ProsCons
• Over 60,000 fee free ATMS across the country• Cannot deposit cash
• No fee for using your Chime account abroad• Small maximum limit for money transfers
• Early direct deposit can result in money arriving earlier than expected• No checkbook provided
• No overdraft fees• Cannot open a joint account

Chime Savings Account

Savings Account Grade

Chime offers its clientele an annual percentage yield of 0.5%, and on top of this, it has no minimum balance requirement, making Chime bank an ideal option for customers to start their savings journey. 

Because saving can be difficult as bills pile up, Chime has two strategies to help you have passive savings. Chime will round up every purchase on your Chime card to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your savings account.

Alternatively, you can have your employer automatically transfer 10% of your paycheck directly into your savings account. Both features are optional and quite useful especially if you normally have a hard time saving.

In terms of transferring, Chime also has an unlimited number of transfers from our savings account into your spending account.

ProsCons
• No minimum balance requirement• Must have Chime spending account in order to have a Chime savings account
• Two innovative and inventive passive savings options
• Unlimited number of transfers from savings to spending

Banking Experience

Savings Account Grade

Chime bank is one of the most promising banks currently because they challenge the status quo of traditional banks.

As one that is based online, Chime has introduced a new level of customer convenience and currently remains unmatched by less technologically progressive banks.

As all funds deposited with Chime are FDIC insured, customers can feel reliable and confident that their funds are secure. 

While some cliente may miss in-person interactions and customer service, especially with large purchases like purchasing a home or car, the customer convenience and online presence is a fair tradeoff for young clientele, especially Millennials and GenZ investors.

In terms of technological reliability, Chime’s mobile app excels with its daily software updates, daily balance updates and real time transaction alerts. If your card goes missing, the block transactions feature on the Chime app acts very quickly.

These features, along with Chime’s ease of use and captivating layout and design have earned it a rating of 4.8 and 4.6 out of 5 stars for Apple’s iOS and Android’s versions, respectively.

For customer service, Chime has a great availability window for an online company. Available by phone, Chime’s customer service department is available Monday through Friday from 6am to 10pm CST, and 7am to 9pm CST on weekends.

Of course, any customer can also receive assistance via the app or email. 

An area to improve would be the bank’s functionality during fraudulent alert protocols. Consumers who have reported fraud in their Chime accounts have noted that their entire accounts were frozen during the entire investigation.

In essence, this is more of a good thing than a problem--Chime freezes the entire account to prevent future fraud usage. For your sake, it is better to have the entire account temporarily blocked instead of allowing the fraudster to continue to use it.

ProsCons
• FDIC insured funds• Inconvenience during fraud alert activity (entire account freezes during investigation)
• Extremely high convenience and ease of use
• Significantly reliable app with next to no bugs
• Available and helpful customer service

Conclusion

Chime has taken the banking world by storm, as young people like Millennials and GenZ use their technologically savvy skillset and apply it to their banking.

Similarly, by offering no monthly or overdraft fees, as well as being easy to open an account, Chime is widely accessible to any person who wishes to do their banking with them.

With their Early Direct Deposit feature, no fees for using the card abroad and no overdraft fees, Chime’s spending accounts are very practical.

When it comes to savings, Chime has great new ways to ensure that clients have some savings, whether it is through its no minimum balance requirement, savings features or unlimited transfers between savings to spending accounts.

Chime also has unparalleled banking experience, from its app’s high convenience and ease of use, to its helpful customer service.

Chime bank is a highly ideal choice for most clients. If you seek technological convenience, great savings options and customer service as well as practical spending accounts, Chime is the company for your banking needs. 

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