Best banking apps for college students

Logo of Chime, the financial service provider.

 

Banking can be intimidating for those looking to open a checking account, but that doesn’t have to be the case. For years, banking has been complicated, with physical branches that required you to show up and sign extensive paperwork to open a simple checking account. Well, the days of brick-and-mortar banking are long gone with the realization of online-only banking services. From needing an easy place to send your direct deposit, to a savings account for the future, online banking is cutting edge in its ability to provide the finest financial services, with excellent customer service, ease of access and simple-to-use apps. As a generation that’s always on the move, being tied down to an old-fashioned local bank is simply a way of the past. This article will outline some of the best banking apps for college students and their most useful features that can help you make the best of your money. 

Why should you care?

Well, if you have a job, it’s likely your money is being deposited into a traditional checking account, with limited access to other financial tools. Traditional banks, such as Bank of America or TD Bank, may offer additional financial services, but often require you to create new accounts with their partners. Additionally, these banks often have old or outdated websites or apps. New fintech companies are constantly popping up with user experience a high priority in the way they design their apps. These mobile-first companies often create apps before they create websites, highlighting how important the mobile experience is to their users. As we continue to be an ever-moving society, the mobile experience continues to be critical in the way we interact with our financial situations. 

Chime

If you’ve been on social media, it’s likely you’ve seen Chime advertisements. Chime is all over social media with advertisement campaigns that target young consumers. If I could summarize Chime in two words, they would be "user experience." Anyone who’s used Chime will tell you how simple and clear the user interface is, with a smooth homepage, easy-to-use features and clear instructions on how to do financial activities. A simple to use checking account gives you access to a debit card, as well as additional financial tools such as a savings account and a credit builder. The mobile-first experience is great for a young consumer and gives you all the tools to get started building your credit and understanding how to use a basic bank account.

SoFi

SoFi is truly what it means to have an all-in-one financial app. SoFi allows you to open a free checking account, investment account, credit card and apply to loans, all in one single app. This ease of access is added to the fact that you are able to track other bank accounts and track your credit score all in the same app. This all-in-one financial app even allows you to open additional investment accounts from Roth IRAs to cryptocurrency investing apps. SoFi offers a wide range of financial tools for the average consumer. For those looking for an easy-to-use finance app that is mobile-first, SoFi offers a range of customer products while offering excellent customer support at the same time. 

With the world going increasingly more remote as we transition to a mostly digital society, online-only banking is one of the easiest ways to access many financial tools. I would encourage everyone to open several accounts, try out the features, and if one sticks, use it as your primary account. Opening several accounts helps you see and understand how different banks work. Online banking is here and it’s here to stay.

 

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