The third in our series of posts following the evolution of banking online, highlighting innovation in online and mobile apps and how they might relate to business banking. This week we take a closer look into GoBank, the branchless bank of the future.
Like most people in their college days, Sam Altman was broke. Under the impression that some expected cash had been deposited, Altman went about his day and made some small purchases at Starbucks and Jamba Juice. It wasn’t until later that he realized he had overdrafted and got smacked with a $36 penalty.
We’ve all been there, and not only does it suck for your bank account, but it also doesn’t exactly give you confidence in your bank. It’s no secret that fees and penalties are a rather sizable revenue stream for banks. In fact, just last year Americans paid over $32 million in overdraft fees. Despite regulations to protect the consumer from these instances, overdraft fees continue to climb. GoBank founders Sam Altman and Alok Deshpande latched themselves onto the idea that the relationship between the bank and customer should be a two-way street, leading them to come up with an incredibly simple model: no fees, no locations.
GoBank is an actual bank that is completely mobile. All business takes place directly from your phone, and it is 100% free. Since GoBank has no branch locations, their overhead costs are far less than those of a traditional bank. They make most of their money on $9 customized debit cards (the standard GoBank debit card is free) and fees that merchants pay every time a customer uses their GoBank debit card. Customers also have the option to donate, but it is by no means a requirement.
If we didn’t give you enough reasons to love GoBank, here are five more:
- Quick balance check: As we mentioned, GoBank is completely mobile, bringing a whole new level of sleekness and convenience to managing your money. The GoBank app also allows you to check your balance with just a swipe of your finger, instead of going through a login process like you have to for nearly all banking apps. This is just to view your balance–if you want to pay bills or otherwise move money, you have to log in.
- Online checkbook: While writing checks can seem like an ancient custom of your ancestors, there are times when you have to use them. GoBank’s Online Checkbook functionality allows you to pay rent or bills and GoBank will mail the check for free. And on time, no less!
- Send money: Did you go out for lunch with a friend but didn’t have time to stop at the ATM? No worries–use the GoBank app to send cash to a friend in seconds.
- Massive ATM network: GoBank has a massive network of over 40,000 free-of-charge ATMs, and that number is growing. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you’re bound to find a free ATM with your GoBank card.
- It’s safe: You might wonder why we’re making a big deal out of GoBank, since there are so many apps out there today that allow you to move and manage your money. The biggest thing about GoBank is that they are actually a bank and not a payment intermediary. GoBank is safe, secure, and FDIC insured.