Varo Vs Chime 2022 (Complete Comparison Guide)

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Online banks are institutions that allow you to do your banking without leaving the convenience of your own home. Varo and Chime are online banks, meaning customers can set up an account through their website or app, instead of at a brick-and-mortar bank. Varo and Chime both have mobile apps that allow you to transfer money instantly just by your mobile.

All about Varo Bank

Varo mobile account comes with full access to your money in any location. The bank is FDIC insured and there are no fees for making international wire transfers – which allows ex-pats and digital nomads to save a lot of money on currency exchange (which usually takes place when transferring funds back home).

The best thing about this bank is that it doesn’t charge any monthly fees for holding an account. The Varo debit card doesn’t charge foreign currency transaction fees or ATM withdrawal fees, but it also has additional perks (e.g., 2% cashback).

The main downside is that this bank does not offer any business accounts – so it’s not very suitable for companies. The best part of the Varo bank is that there are no fees for international transfers, even when they come from a different country than your own (i.e., you can receive money in USD if you’re living in Europe).

The debit card also has several perks – including 2% cash back on foreign transactions. The only downside of the Varo account is that it doesn’t come with business accounts.

Features of Varo:

  • No Minimum Balance Requirement.
  • Free Online Bill Payments. Varo offers its customers free online bill payments, which makes it easy for them to manage their expenses and keep track of all the transactions occurring within a single month.
  • Varo allows its users to transfer money between accounts held with this bank without any charges – which is great since it’s free.
  • Online transfers within the Varo bank are performed in real-time (usually take less than 24 hours) and there is no limit on how much you can transfer.
  • Using Varo will be cheaper and easier than using a classic bank.

Pros and Cons of Varo

Pros of Varo

Following are the advantages of Varo:

  • No Minimum Balance Requirement.

There are no minimum balance requirements with the Varo account. You can even withdraw your entire balance and carry it with you in cash if you want to – without worrying about any kind of fees being applied on your end.

  • Large Customer Base.

Varo Bank has a strong referral program and over 40% of acquired customers come directly from existing users’ referrals. Therefore, you can expect to have access to a large customer base.

  • No Overdraft Fees.

The Varo account also comes with a built-in overdraft protection program that allows you to make a payment even if your checking account runs out of money – without any fees applied on your end.

  • Personal Account Dashboard.

The Personal Account Dashboard on the Varo app allows you to track your spending, keep watch of your transactions, and monitor your account balance. The Varo account also allows you to find the nearest ATM or branch by using its built-in geolocation feature.

  • No Monthly Fees.

There are no monthly fees for holding an account with the Varo bank. This is something you should definitely pay attention to if you’re looking to save as much money as possible on your banking needs.

  • FDIC Insurance Coverage.

The Varo Bank accounts come with FDIC insurance coverage, which means you can keep your money safe from any kind of loss. Many other banks only offer up to £250,000 for FDIC insurance coverage – while Varo offers a much higher amount (i.e., over £2 million).

  • 24/7 Customer Support Services.

Varo offers its customers 24/7 customer support services through phone calls, emails, and web-chats to ensure that all their users are taken care of well. You can contact the Varo team anytime you want if there is any problem with your account.

Cons of Varo

Following are the disadvantages of Varo:

  • Costly Regulations.

Varo Bank is a new bank and has to follow all costly regulations in its countries of operation. There are no guarantees that we will be able to operate the business with desired returns on investments or even reach the break-even point. Regulatory changes may also impact the cost of operation.

  • Uncertainty.

There is no guarantee that Varo token holders will be able to receive dividends or sell their tokens.

  • Expenses on Development.

If the number of cryptocurrency users increases significantly, it would require them to spend more money on development and marketing which may decrease our profitability or even put them out of business.

  • No Online Transfers Between Different Countries.

Another big drawback of using a Varo account is that this financial institution doesn’t allow their customers to send or receive international wire transfers between different countries (e.g., the US to Mexico, the US to Chile). Online transfers within the same country are free of charge, but international transfers will cost you.

  • Only One Funding Option.

Varo only allows its users to fund their accounts with a US bank account. You cannot add your foreign currency credit card to the Varo app. This is one of the major drawbacks for many people looking forward to using Varo services.

Who Is Varo Bank Best For?

Varo is best for people who are looking to save money on their banking expenses. Varo offers its services at an affordable price without charging any monthly fees or commission fees. Transactions through Varo are also free of cost.

Varo doesn’t charge anything for using their debit card whereas other banks will charge you an extra fee for processing international transactions. Varo Bank is best for people who want to save money on banking services while having a full access to their funds anytime.

Who Varo Is Not Good For?

Varo is not good for people who are looking forward to using Varo’s international wire transfers between different countries since Varo doesn’t support such kind of transfers. Varo is not good for people who don’t like their transactions to be free of cost. Varo Bank is not best for investors or traders because Varo only supports the Varo token, VXV, VXVC, BTC, ETH and USDT cryptocurrencies.

Varo doesn’t support any other cryptocurrency like ZCash (ZEC), Stellar or Ripple for example. Varo doesn’t support alternative cryptocurrencies to Varo token. Varo doesn’t provide any kind of information regarding the list of supported digital assets. Varo is not good for people who want to save money on their Varo bank account while having Varo’s Varo Foreign Currency Exchange service.

All about Chime Bank

Chime got started when Chime’s CEO and Founder, Chris Britt, was unable to find a checking account that he liked and Chime was created. Chime is different from most banks because Chime attempts to make its services more user-friendly, financial education-focused, and secure rather than just another bank account.

Chime offers a unique approach to banking by attempting to educate its users on how they can manage their money better and save more, which many believe is the biggest problem that financial service companies need to solve.

Chime has been able to increase its user base from 100,000 in 2014 to 1 million Chime users and Chime is adding approximately 10,000 users a month. Chime has been able to expand into the market because Chime was designed based on customer feedback, 60% of Chime users are under 35 years old and Chime offers low fees for their banking services.

Features of Chime Bank:

  • Chime is FDIC insured.
  • Chime uses back-end infrastructure to ensure that its users’ money is always safe and secure.
  • Chime has a smartphone app that allows its users to manage their accounts, pay bills, set up direct deposits, send money, deposit checks into their account using the mobile phone, and more.
  • Chime uses Varo’s Varo Money Wallet as their financial app which allows its users to manage all of their accounts in one place, avoid complex bank account numbers, and more.

Pros and Cons of Chime Bank

Pros

Following are the advantages of Chime:

  • No Monthly Fees:

Chime doesn’t charge a monthly fee for Chime’s accounts. Chime would rather motivate Chime users to manage their money responsibly with Chime’s goal of increasing Chime users’ financial knowledge and Chime does this by charging Chime users no monthly fees. In fact, not only does Chime not charge a fee, they actually refund Chime users for any fees Chime users are charged by Chime’s partnered banks.

  • FDIC Insured:

Chime accounts are FDIC insured, which means Chime account holders would be covered in the event of Chime Bank closing. Chime uses an FDIC pass-through insurance structure so each depositor at Chime is insured to at least $250,000, which includes principal and any accrued interest up to that amount.

  • No Overdraft Fees:

Chime doesn’t charge Chime users overdraft fees. Chime users can overdraft their accounts because Chime allows Chime users to link their checking accounts with a debit card. Chime’s overdraft fee policy is that Chime Chime will not charge Chime user overdraft fees.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees:

Chime doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fees, which means every time a Chime user makes a payment in Chime, or whatever currency that is not US Dollars or local to the area where the transaction was made there are no foreign transactions fees.

  • Free Spam Protection:

Chime offers free spam protection for text messages, phone calls, and emails to protect its users from fraudulent activity associated with financial service providers such as stealing money from Chime.

Cons

Following are the disadvantages of Chime:

  • No Personal Touch:

The con of Chime bank is the lack of personal touch. Although Chime has a great online banking system, there is no in-person customer service available. For example, if a Chime user wanted to discuss their account with someone at Chime they would have to schedule a call. Chime does have a customer service phone line on the website for questions and answers but it isn’t 24/7 available.

  • Limited Services:

The services available with Chime are limited. There isn’t an ability to schedule future payments on Chime’s website either so any scheduled payments have to be done manually.

  • ATM Charges:

If using an ATM, however, there will be fees if using an ATM outside of Chime, or whatever currency that is not US Dollars.

  • Spending Limits:

Chime users are limited to the amount of money they can spend per month.

Who Is Chime Bank Best For?

Chime bank is best for Chime users that are looking for an easier way to manage accounts on the go. Chime users can track Chime through Chime’s app, Chime notifications, and set up scheduled payments to meet Chime’s account goals. Chime bank is also best for users that are looking for Chime to be only checking accounts.

Chime users who want Chime bank to be the only checking account can withdraw paychecks through the Chimes app and then deposit the money into Chime’s checking account.

Who Chime Is Not Good For?

Chime is not good for Chime users who want to use their credit cards with Chime. The only payment method available with Chime bank is a debit card that automatically gets paid from whatever checking account funds are in before using money from a Varo or any other linked checking accounts.

How is Chime similar to Varo?

Chime is similar to Varo in that Varo is FDIC insured.

Varo is also similar to Chime in that both offer a customer service number for questions and answers that is 24/7 available.

Both the banks provide great security features to make sure their customer’s money is safe and protected.

Some of Chime and Varo Bank alternatives:

  • Current Bank

Current Bank is a large financial services company that provides three different products. Current Bank has been in the banking business for several decades and today offers state-of-the-art web, mobile, and software solutions for its customers. Current Bank prides itself on researching new technologies to provide high-quality solutions to meet customer needs. Current Bank provides top-notch customer service and strives to provide superior products at all times. Current Bank is dedicated to its customers above all else, even over profitability.

  • N26 Bank

N26 Bank is a part of N26, N26 Bank’s parent company. N26 was started in 2013 by Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal. N26 offered internet bank accounts, but they were only available online to residents of Germany until 2015 when N26 opened itself up to the rest of Europe. By February 2016 N26 was serving over 50,000 customers across the entire continent.

N26 customers are able to easily view their account activity in real-time through N26’s mobile application. N26’s mobile app is very easy to use and N26 is looking to make it even better by including features such as a PIN generator, digitizing checks, and making N26 Black customers’ insurance coverage extend to their homes.

  • Ally Bank

Ally Bank is a well-established online banking company located in New York, New York. Ally Bank was founded in 1919 as General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC. Ally has been known for its innovative marketing strategy and is a pioneer in online banking.

Ally has several checking accounts to choose from including Ally Interest Checking which offers free online Bill Pay and unlimited check writing abilities as well as Ally’s high-interest checking account that allows you to earn up to 0.25% APY.

Ally also offers its customers free Ally checking which is a simple form of banking that allows Ally customers to write checks, receive their funds via direct deposit or ACH, and receive Ally ATM fee reimbursements.

The Bottom Line

Varo vs Chime is a lot of ATM fees if using an ATM outside of Varo, or whatever currency that is not US Dollars. In conclusion, Chime and Varo are similar in that they are both FDIC insured, have a spending limit, offer spam protection, and have free ATM access.

Chime has the upper hand in digital banking because Chime users can earn Chime points for free food, travel, and entertainment with Chimes partner stores such as Applebee’s, Macy’s, Target, and more. Chime is also available on Chime devices which is a plus for Chime users who use Chimes products.

In conclusion, Chime bank is Chime worth it Chime users can earn Chime points, the Chimes app is available on Chimes devices, and Chime users can set up Chime notifications.

I lead product content strategy for SaltMoney. Additionally, I’m helping our broader team of 4 evolve into a mature content strategy practice with the right documentation and processes to deliver quality work. Prior to Instacart, I was a content strategy lead at Uber Eats and Facebook. Before that, I was a content strategist at SapientNitro, helping major Fortune 500 brands create better, more useful digital content.

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