By  Updated on Mon Feb 18, 2013

Green Dot’s New Mobile Checking Account Lets You Choose the Monthly Fee

Green Dot’s New Mobile Checking Account Lets You Choose the Monthly Fee

Following a period of tightening financial regulations, many banks have resorted to charge higher and/or new fees to maintain profits. Acknowledging consumer sensitivity to bank fees, Green Dot’s new checking account has a rather easygoing approach when it comes to fees.

Nearly one year after hinting at a new checking account, Green Dot — one of the biggest names in the prepaid card industry — has introduced its mobile-centric GoBank account. One of the account’s more interesting features is its optional monthly fee.

Initially, GoBank members don’t have to pay a monthly account fee. However, they do have the option to pay up to $9 per month. “Some people can afford to pay more than others,” said Steve Streit, founder and CEO of Green Dot, during a press event. “Asking to pay a fee creates a more respectful relationship.”

During a pilot test with family and friends, Green Dot found that many of them would voluntarily pay a monthly fee. But, it allows customers to punish GoBank (by not paying a monthly fee) if they feel that they were wronged, Streit added. The voluntary fee program resembles a-la-carte banking, which is a new trend that lets customers choose what they want to pay for.

Besides the optional monthly fee, GoBank charges four fixed fees: customized debit card ($9), out-of-network ATM withdrawals ($2.50 each), out-of-network balance inquiries ($1 each) and purchases from foreign merchants (3 percent of transaction).

The GoBank account

GoBank was designed so that consumers can bank entirely with a smartphone. Prospective customers can sign up for the account through the GoBank mobile applications (available for iPhones and Android devices), which offers budgeting tools, mobile check deposit, person-to-person payments and online bill pay.

A neat feature — not offered by most mobile banking apps — is “Slide for Balance,” which doesn’t require customers to log into their accounts to view their balances.

With the slide of a button, customers can move funds into an integrated account, called Money Vault, so that they don’t spend money that was set aside for safekeeping.

GoBank customers have fee-free access to more than 42,000 ATMs nationwide.

To deposit funds, customers can use a debit card, ACH transfer, direct deposit, mobile check deposit and Green Dot MoneyPak reload cards (usually around $4.95).

Future of banking points to mobile

Consumers with an interest in the financial innovations may already be comparing Green Dot’s GoBank account to accounts from Simple and Movenbank, two financial startups that aim to revolutionize consumer banking.

Simple strived to create an alternative to traditional banking by placing emphasis on transparency and ease-of-use, especially through mobile devices.

Movenbank is on a mission to cut out paper, plastic and hidden fees from the next-generation of banking. Movenbank plans to offers stickers that enable contactless payments through mobile phones.

According to a recent study by Juniper Research, there will be one billion mobile-banking users by 2017. GoBank’s new checking account may play a role in making this prediction come true.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/James.T.Robinson.III James Robinson

    I take out a loan so I am then holding the money of the bank. So I get charged interest for holding the bank’s money until I pay it back.

    I give money to the bank. The bank is now holding my money. It should work in reverse, right? The bank is holding my money and using that money in investments and loans to make more money. So I should get interest, right? With this bank you pay them on top of the money they are holding for you (and profiting from). NO THANKS!

    I can see charging for checks, or a new card, or overdraft as long as it’s reasonable, but a monthly “we hold your money ransom” fee?

    It’s just another way certain banks (not all of them do this) try to make the “other way round” seem like the consumer’s burden as well and I don’t do business with such a bank. Nickel and dime.

    • T.M.A.

      jack-ass

  • T.M.A.

    I believe you missed the point of this whole article. Nowhere do they talk about paying/not paying interest on deposited money to the bank, they are comparing a new banking system against the old one simply as far as fees are concerned. I, for one, am totally for a new option in banking where scumsucking corporate trash are not attemping to bleed the working class dry thru the implementation of obscene fees and hidden charges. You, Mr. Scrooge, can nickle and dime your way back to chase bank and keep paying your “reasonable” overdraft fees, and continue to feed the mega corporate monsters. Next time you get slapped with a $30 fee for overdrawing $0.75 for say a cup of coffee, i wonder if you will still see that as a reasonable and acceptable fee? I refuse to have any part of that nonsense. Maybe next time you wish to nay-say you could try and argue a relevant topic that is actualy expressed in the article you are posting it under? Instead of looking like a fool with some misguided impressions you are under as a result of your own failed logic, or lack of reading comprehension.

  • connie

    i need to no how i can get my money from green dot to my gobank card

  • Gloria Jacqueline

    What is the difference in using the “Square'” and “moblie banking”?