Motusbank Review 2021

  • Secured lines of credit with interest of 2.75%
  • TFSA accounts that earn 1.10%
  • 5 year fixed mortgages with rates of 2.09%

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Motusbank is one of Canada’s newest digital banks. Digital banks are banks that allow people to conduct their financial transactions completely online, and they are usually faster, smarter, and more convenient than traditional banks. So, if you use a smartphone — which you most likely do, you should be thinking of trying out Motusbank.

But there’s more to this Motusbank review than the convenience it affords people. Motusbank’s unique perks like zero-fee chequing accounts and high-interest savings accounts make it a very compelling bank for customers. Already, arbitrary “non-interest income” from overdraft fees and ATM fees contribute up to 40% of the overall income of some large regional banks in North America, which is why keeping your money in a digital bank that offers $0 monthly account fees and access to over 3,700 free ATMs across Canada, is worth trying out.

What more? Motusbank has an exciting range of highly competitive personal loans and mortgage rates, all of which adds to its allure as the digital bank of choice for people who are always on the lookout for easier, faster, and consumer-tailored banking. This Motusbank review will shed light on all there is to Motusbank, making sure to delve adequately into all the company has to offer for an enthusiastic customer like you.

What Makes Motusbank a Good Option?

Motusbank’s aim is to bring smart banking options to people across Canada. The bank does this by offering some of the most impressive products and rates. Motusbank does not charge any fees for its chequing accounts, and it has one of the largest no-fee ATM networks anywhere. e-Transfers with Motusbank are free and unlimited and Motusbank can help you put your idle money in a safe Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) so it can earn interest for you.

Motusbank was established in 2019 by Meridian Credit Union, the third-largest credit union in Canada and the largest credit union in Ontario. Based on the apparent logic that more people wanted to manage their finances online without having to physically interact with in-bank representatives, Meridian credit union decided to launch Motusbank as its digital offshoot. Since then, Motusbank has attacked its objective of attracting digitally inclined Canadians within the 25-55 years age range with alacrity.

Pros and Cons of Motusbank

Sure. Even though Motusbank appears cool overall, there are upsides and downsides to everything. In this Motusbank review, we will be discussing the advantages and disadvantages of banking with Motusbank.

Pros

The major advantage of banking with Motusbank is the ease and the simplicity of its banking. With Motusbank, you can open an online account and start saving or applying for a mortgage at the tip of your fingers. Another advantage of banking with Motusbank is the competitive rate of its products. Motusbank charges zero fees for its chequing account and only $2 for ATM withdrawals and $1.25 eTransfers.

Motusbank provides access to over 3,700 free ATMs across Canada and its chequing account covers up to $100,000 in deposit insurance by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). Motusbank also provides secure emails, alerts, and notifications even though its services are fully digital.

Cons

A major disadvantage of banking with Motusbank is that all its services are online, and you can only speak to customer care representatives through the phone. This means that customers do not have the assurance of walking into a physical branch and getting their challenges immediately addressed.

Motusbank can be a bad choice for people who want to have a personal relationship with their banker because of the digital nature of how transactions are carried out. Also, if you’re skeptical of the security of your deposits, then you may prefer not to try out Motusbank. Digital banks are quite renowned for identity theft and unauthorized breaches.

How Good Are Motusbank’s Services?

Motusbank is a completely digital full-service bank that offers loans, bank accounts, investment accounts, and other financial products and services. Motusbank offers chequing and savings services. The company also provides investment accounts, mortgages, personal loans, and lines of credit services.

Motusbank appeals to Canadians who want a full-service digital bank with the same competitive personal loans and mortgage rates that come with brick and mortar banks. Motusbank offers one of the best chequing accounts in Canada, and excellent personal loan and mortgage rates, including competitive fees across its withdrawal, transfers, transaction, and record-keeping services.

However, Motusbank’s savings accounts interest rates keep dropping rapidly, and it has lower Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) rates across digital banks in Canada.

Motusbank Range of Services

Motusbank maintains savings, mortgages, GIC, chequing, and personal lending services. This Motusbank review will delve deeply into the range of services that Motusbank offers and how they affect the customer. The services are outlined below:

Motusbank Savings Accounts

The Motusbank savings accounts comprise the high-interest savings account; the Tax-Free Savings Account (TSFA) and the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) savings account. When you open a Motusbank high-interest savings account, you will earn a 1.00% monthly interest rate on your savings. On the Tax-Free Savings Account (TSFA), customers earn a 1.10% interest rate on their savings monthly, while the Motusbank RRSP savings account pays customers a 1.00% rate on their savings monthly. Motusbank’s savings accounts come with competitive interest rates, zero monthly account fees, no minimum balance required, eligible insured deposits of up to $100,000 by the Canada Deposit Insurance Commission (CDIC), and up to 43,000 surcharge-free ATMs in North America. Motusbank charges $2.00 for ATM transactions across Interac and $3.00 for ATM transactions across the US. Motusbank charges $5.00 for ATM transactions internationally, 2.50% foreign exchange transactions, $2.00 for record-keeping, $1.25 for every completed request on Interac e-transfer, and $1.25 for savings accounts sending e-transfers on Interac.

Motusbank Mortgages

Through Motusbank’s simple online application, people can apply for mortgages at competitive rates. Motusbank mortgage rates include a 2.09% one-year fixed mortgage rate; a 2.09% 2-year fixed mortgage rate; a 2.09% 3-year fixed mortgage; a 2.09% 4-year fixed closed mortgage; and a 2.09% 5-year fixed mortgage rate.  In addition to these rates, Motusbank offers innovative repayment plans including:

20% Lump sum Repayments

Motusbank allows mortgagees to pay down up to 20% of their original principal every year without a penalty.

20% Regular Payment Increase

Motusbank allows mortgagees to increase their normal monthly payments by up to 20% without a penalty,

Flexible Payment Schedule

Motusbank allows mortgagees to flexibly pay up their mortgage, either weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or semi-monthly.

Skip a Payment

Under Motusbank mortgage repayment plans, you can skip up to one month of mortgage payments per year. Through the Motusbank First-Time Home Buyer Incentive (FTHBI) through the Canadian government, eligible first-time buyers can qualify and get 5 to 10% of a home’s purchase price as a shared equity mortgage with the Canadian government.

Motusbank GIC

Motusbank has Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) you can use inside a registered Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TSFA), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), and other non-registered accounts. GIC rates provided by Motusbank are one-year GIC investments at 1.45%; 2-year GIC investments at 1.25%; 3-year GIC investments at 1.35%; 4-year GIC investments at1.45% and 5-year GIC investments at 1.55%. Motusbank also provides one-year GIC investments at 1.40%, 2-year GIC investments at 1.20%, 3-year GIC, three-year GIC investments at 1.30%; 4-year GIC investments at 1.40%, and 5-year GIC investments at 1.50%. These rates are for long-term GIC investments that are eligible for not redeemable and are only available for non-registered accounts.

Loans

Motusbank also offers Home Equity Line of Credit [HELOC] loans, which are credit loans that you obtain by using your home as security. These types of loan usually attract lower interest rates and are usually larger than lands obtained via credit cards and other usual channels. Rates begin at 2.75% and you can borrow as much as 65% of your home’s worth. To qualify for HELOC loans, you must have the required minimum credit score and provide proof of income and debts. Also, you have to provide proof that you are the owner of the home, your mortgage details and other required details.

Is Motusbank safe to use?

Yes, it is safe to bank with Motusbank. As much as $100,000 of your hard-earned money will be insured by the CDIC. That means if your money is ever lost in the event that the bank goes under, your money will still be available to you.

In addition, Motusbank is affiliated with Meridian Credit Union, which has been around for about 75 years, so you’ll be dealing with a financial institution that has decades of experience.

Cost of getting loans from Loan Away

Even though Loan Away offers loans between $1000 to $5000, the annual percentage rate on these loans ranges from 19.9% to 45.9%. While this is lower than those offered by many commercial banks, this rate is relatively higher than when compared to other private lenders.

Relative to many other options, Motusbank appears safe to work with. The mere fact that the bank is operated by one of the most experienced financial institutions in Canada offers a credence to this. In addition, Motusbank operates a strict privacy policy designed to ensure the safety of sensitive and key user information. The company’s website is hosted on a secure web server platform and world-class encryption protocols are used to safeguard Motusbank’s mobile application.

Is Motusbank insured?

Just like any brick and mortar bank out there, Motusbank is safe.

Motusbank was founded and is currently owned by Meridian Credit Union, an organization that has been in business for over 75 years. The bank is a certified member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation [CDIC]. As a member CDIC, all deposits with Motusbank, including savings, term deposits and bank drafts are insured. The insurance policy covers up to $100,000 for each deposit category for all customers all over Canada.

What are the costs of using Motusbank?

As with any financial institution, some of Motusbank’s services come with some charges and additional fees. There are no fees for high-interest savings accounts transactions, cheques transactions, online cheque viewing and point-of-sale transactions.

Foreign debit transactions attract charges of 2.5%, ATM-Interac transactions cost $2.00 per transaction and carrying out an Interac e-Transfer costs $1.25. ATM transfers cost $3.00 for US transfers and $5.00 for international transactions.

Below are other chargeable fees and their corresponding transactions:

  • Incoming wires: $10.00
  • Stop payment [partial details]: $15.00
  • Stop payment [full details]: $12.00
  • NSF fee: $45.00
  • Replacement debit card: $5.00
  • Accepted NSF (Overdraft handling fee): $5.00
  • Coverdraft: $2.00
  • Canadian Dollar (CAD) draft: $6.50
  • Bill payment trace: $10.00
  • Overdraft interest rate: 21.00%
  • Post dated cheque held for deposit: $2.00
  • Closing account within 90 days of account opening: $25.00
  • Balance of account transfer: $15.00
  • Cheque sent on collection: $20.00
  • Inactive account fee(Annualized fee): $30/year

Are there promotions and discounts for Motusbank’s services?

Promotions are available on third-party websites for some of Motusbank’s services.

How about Motusbank’s customer support service?

Motusbank has a fairly relatable customer support service across several different channels. There is a toll-free phone call service for Canada residents as well as one dedicated for international customers. You can also reach customer support staff via email and request forms on the company’s website.

On the website, customer support service is organized into three levels of Consumer Handling Procedures. The first involves reaching out to service member teams via phone or email. If the service member teams cannot handle your complaint satisfactorily, the second level involves talking to a Member Service assistant manager and Member Service senior manager. Finally, you can write to Motusbank’s Member Concerns Officer.

This elaborate and carefully organized complaints handling system is a demonstration of Motusbank’s commitment to ensuring customers are heard and well taken care of.

How to get started with Motusbank

Getting started with Motusbank is as easy as it is for most other online platforms. To be eligible to use Motusbank’s services, you must be a resident or citizen of Canada, be at least 18 years old [or be a major, depending on the law in your Province]. You must also have an active email address and provide some important additional information such as:

  • Full name
  • Mailing address
  • Social Insurance Number
  • Birthdate

Once you have all these ready, log on to the company’s website at Motusbank.ca and follow the guided application process to complete your account registration.

Alternatives to Motusbank

Viable alternatives to Motusbank abound, with several financial institutions also offering services relating to savings, mortgages, and many more. Some of them include Tangerine Bank, Equitable Bank and others.

Tangerine Bank has been offering direct banking services to Canadians since 1997. The bank offers services including credit cards, chequing, savings, investments and mortgages. In addition to these, customers can hold Tax-Free Savings Accounts, Guaranteed Investment Accounts and RSP loans. Tangerine bank’s rates vary between 0.15% for chequing accounts to 2.69% for 5-year fixed mortgages. Tangerine bank’s chequing accounts offer 0.10%, compared to Motusbank’s 0.15%. In the same vein, interest rates are 0.10% and 1.00% for savings accounts offered by Tangerine Bank and Motusbank respectively.

Equitable Bank has been in the Canadian financial market for more than 50 years and has a great deal of experience in matters relating to savings and mortgages. Services include Savings Plus Accounts, Tax-Free Savings Accounts, TSGA Guaranteed Investment Accounts and others. Rates vary significantly for these services and are usually calculated daily based on the closing balance. Unlike Motusbank, EQ bank offers 1.25% on its savings accounts and it’s savings plus [hybrid] accounts. EQ bank also has a referral program that gives you certain perks for inviting new customers.

Motusbank Review Conclusion

In our world of digital devices and rapid online transactions, it just makes sense to have an easy and stress-free way to do things with your money. Motusbank, established by Meridian Credit Union Limited, provides Canadians with a seamless way to apply for and obtain loans, transfer funds, deposit cheques and conduct financial transactions conveniently.

In addition to offering integrated savings accounts, Motusbank also provides mortgage services, Guaranteed Investment Certificates and Home Equity Line of Credit loans. Having been in operation for several years, Motusbank’s services have gained the trust of customers over the years. To bolster this trust, Motusbank is CDIC-insured and has strict privacy policies to maintain the safety of your delicate details and credentials.

With the advent of digital banks, banking has become more flexible and less costly. Digital banks offer virtually the same services as conventional physical banks, including savings, mortgages and investment services. Because of the absence of physical branches, Motusbank may not be the most suitable option for some Canadians. However, if you are looking for banking services at affordable rates, you should consider Motusbank.

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Motusbank Review 2021

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October 2, 2021
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