What is a digital bank? Everything you need to know!
Like it or not, everyone needs to have a bank account to manage their finances. In general, most have only had contact with something more traditional, but little by little digital banks are becoming better known. For those who still don't know, a digital bank is an option with less bureaucracy and that can solve most of your problems without you having to leave your home.
That is, you do not have to travel to physical agencies or wait in lines to perform simple tasks. Fortunately, digital banks have become increasingly common worldwide, including in Brazil. If you are curious to know everything about digital banking and if you should use it, check out our guide below!
What is a digital bank?
Anyone who has never heard of a digital bank before can get a little confused at first. After all, it seems almost impossible to be able to resolve everything about your financial life directly from an app or websites.
To start with, it's good to clarify by saying that they don't have much to do with those credit card or even digital wallet apps, like PayPal. Instead, digital banks offer a checking account, investment options (if you want to win money), the possibility of paying bills and making transfers.
Only everything works online, so you don't have to go to a physical establishment. This can be great for anyone looking to earn extra income when working from home.
After all, you don't need to distance yourself from your work to solve something related to your money or account. It is also worth mentioning that just like traditional banks, digital ones also offer credit and debit cards.
Other than that, in many digital banks, the advantage is that there is no annual fee to keep the card.
Digital bank vs traditional bank: which is the best?
Now that we know a little about how digital banking works, it's worth talking more about how it compares to the traditional bank. It is clear that the two formats have positive and negative points equally.
So keep in mind that no format is perfect or ideal for all types of customers. The question is which of the two best fits your type of use and needs.
Well, you can't make a comparison between banks without mentioning the rates and fees that we are so used to. As we know, all traditional banks charge fees for you to have a checking account with them.
Basically, only the most basic versions do not charge fees, but the use of these accounts is very limited and does not fit most people's usage. This is where digital banking has its first advantage.
Most digital banks do not charge any fees for you to open and maintain your checking account with them. Even for managing your money, making transfers or paying bills, there is no extra charge.
Normally, only withdrawals and certain special transfers end up charging some fee.
2. Mobile apps
Currently, almost no type of service can justify the lack of a mobile app. Fortunately, this means that even traditional banks have had to modernize in this regard and offer applications.
But the difference in functionality between the traditional and digital banking apps is very noticeable. That's because digital banking apps are the main way to manage our accounts.
With the traditional bank, this is merely a secondary form. There are still many simple actions that could be resolved in apps, but that traditional banks insist that they are done in physical branches.
With the digital banking app, everything can be solved in seconds and without bureaucracy. Other than that, its interface is usually more pleasant and easier to learn to use.
Among the functions that we find in the digital banking apps are ways to check all kinds of information about your account. This is especially true for credit and debit card transactions.
This is great for finding out exactly when your card was used, what the amount, what establishment, etc. Thus, you have greater control and can be notified if someone has misused it.
Since we mentioned cards in the last topic, it is worth mentioning more of them in our comparison of traditional and digital banks. Both offer credit and debit cards, as we already know.
As we mentioned before, digital banks have the advantage of offering cards without any type of annuity. Other than that, it is possible to use virtual versions of the same if you don't want to carry the plastic one everywhere.
Of course, there are traditional banks that also offer similar options, but it is even rarer compared to digital ones.
What are the best digital banks?
Now that we know more about what a digital bank is, it is also worth talking about the best current options. There are many interesting alternatives that you can use today, especially the ones we will show you below.
First of all, let's talk about NuConta, which is the digital account of the popular Nubank. This digital bank has no fees, so you can make unlimited, free transfers to other banks.
Still, it is one of the few that do not have withdrawals directly from the account. If you need to, you can only make withdrawals from your credit card and you will have to deal with a rather annoying rate.
Fortunately, you are not dependent on the Nubank card to have a NuConta. Another aspect to be mentioned is that deposits by boleto are free and can be made from R $ 20.00.
If you are interested, just access the link.
Our next suggestion is Agibank, which has also become quite popular. It does not have account maintenance fees, but its other free services are more limited.
Transfers between Agibank accounts are free and those with a checking account can make up to 4 TEDs per month free of charge. Withdrawals can be made without paying fees up to 4 times a month at ATMs and 2 times at lottery shops.
The deposit per ticket is also limited, allowing you to generate a maximum of 10 free tickets per month. It is worth mentioning that this digital bank offers credit and debit cards to its account holders.
If you are interested, you can find out more about Agibank by following the link.
Inter is really one that could not be missing among the options that you should know. Like so many others, this digital account does not charge for the services it offers.
This means that you have unlimited and free withdrawals and transfers available through the app. Outside of that, you can still issue slips for deposit freely and allow you to make investments, take out insurance and ask for loans or financing.
The biggest disadvantage is that they do not offer credit cards to account holders. Still, it is worth checking when accessing the following link.
Next, we have another digital bank that also does not charge a maintenance fee. Pag is a service that has grown a lot in recent months and also offers great benefits to its users.
Those who open a checking account, for example, can request their credit and debit card for free. The cool thing for those who end up making a lot of transfers is that it offers free and unlimited TEDs.
There is also the possibility to generate slips for deposit at no cost. If you liked the idea, you can check out more at the link below.
Another very cool option is Neon, another great acquaintance of those who have already stopped to research more about digital banks. It is even worth mentioning that it is one of the most modern since it even answers Siri's voice commands.
That's because it has compatibility with the iPhone and iPad virtual assistant, something not often seen in other bank apps. Other than that, it also has no maintenance fee and brings two types of account: standard and Neon +.
To use Neon +, just make 10 purchases using the digital bank's debit card. When you activate Neon +, you get unlimited free transfers.
The great disadvantage of Neon is that it does not offer a credit card and charges withdrawals that you make at ATMs. Still, it is worth knowing more about it by accessing the link.
6. Sofisa Direct
Sofisa Direto, on the other hand, allows you to make unlimited TEDs and deposits as long as the amount is equivalent to or greater than R $ 30. One of its only limitations is that withdrawals are limited to 4 free withdrawals per month.
Fortunately, they offer a credit card and allow you to make investments. Learn more about Sofisa Direto by following the link.
Despite not requiring a Bradesco account, Next belongs to them. They offer three account types, with at least one of them being fee-free.
You can easily purchase debit and credit cards and the app even has a built-in finance manager, which allows you to better manage your budget.
Next also has a fixed income investment option, but it is good to know that its profitability is lower than that of a savings account. Other than that, Next allows only one transfer to other banks per month.
Next customers can transfer money to each other free of charge. You can see this and more when accessing the link.
8. Social Bank
Social Bank is definitely one of the most interesting among our suggestions. At least on this list, it is the only one that allows loans to other account holders, with a return of 2% per month.
Other than that, it does not charge a monthly maintenance fee or for internal transfers. Unfortunately, DOCs and TEDs are priced, so keep that in mind.
Social Bank also offers a card for purchases, which in practice works simply as a debit card. If you want to know more, check the link.
9. Banco Modal More
Banco Modal Mais is another that has no maintenance fees and even offers free transfers and withdrawals. Only, of course, this ends up with a monthly limitation.
The cool thing is that as it was created by an investment broker, you have access to the platform. This cuts the need to transfer money to invest in Treasury Direct, CDBs, LCIs and LCAs, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no credit card and bank operations can take longer than normal. Anyway, we think the advantages are worth getting to know you better by accessing the link.
The digital bank known only as “Original” is aimed at people with higher than normal income. Even so, he is one of the few to charge a maintenance fee.
But with that, you have unlimited withdrawals and free transfers at your disposal. Original also offers debit and credit cards for ATM purchases and withdrawals.
It is also worth mentioning that the digital account also gives you access to an investment and insurance platform. You can check out more by checking the official website.
What did you think of the digital bank?
Were you able to take advantage of our guide to learn more about what a digital bank is? Just don't forget to leave your comment telling us what you think of this new type of bank and if you believe it is really worth it.