motusbank Review: The Newest Online Bank For Canadians

May 9, 2020
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At Yore Oyster, we strive to help you make wise financial decisions. We're committed to giving you the most relevant, actionable advice anywhere.

Account Type & Credit Cards8
Interest Rate on Savings Account8
Investment Options3
Loans6
Account Fees10
Deposit & Withdrawal Options8
International Usage10
Usability10
Balance Protection (CDIC/DGCM coverage)10
Customer Service4
Total77
We recommend motusbank if: You prefer doing all your business online and not having to go to a branch. If you’re also interested in buying a house soon and getting good mortgages rates, then motusbank’s high-interest savings accounts are certainly for you.

We don’t recommend motusbank if:  You prefer an online bank that offers credit cards with great benefits. In which case you should check out Tangerine. Or if you prefer a bank that also has a physical location. In which case you should check Oaken Financial. 

What Is motusbank?

motusbank is a full-service digital bank that was launched in April of 2019, making it one of Canada’s newest digital online-only banks. motusbank was launched by the popular Meridian Credit Union that has been around for over 75 years and is based on Ontario, being one of the largest credit unions there and the third-largest nation-wide.

It is is also a federally chartered bank in Canada and a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). It is a completely digital bank with no physical location and it is available in all provinces except Quebec.

How To Open An Account In motusbank

To open an account on motusbank you need to be:

–       A Canadian resident

–       Have a valid email address

–       Have the age of majority in your province of residence

Fill in your personal information: First, you need to provide motusbank with all the required personal data. This includes your full name, address, social security number and home address and whether you will like a debit card or not.

Next, you’ll be asked to confirm what you typed. All of this process will be online, of course, no need to visit any location. And just like that, you’re all set for motusbank.

Does This Bank Have A Referral Program?

motusbank does not have a referral program per se. 

The closest it offers is a sharing link that allows you to invite family and friends to join the bank and get Price Drop. This feature allows motusbanks users of the mobile app to upload, view and store receipts you get from merchants when you purchase goods and services. Once it’s uploaded, Price Drop will search the internet for eligible items to identify lower prices for the same product or service from merchants that participate in offering price protection.

#1 Account Types:

These are the bank account types that motusbank has to offer:

Savings

High-interest savings account features:

–       No minimum balance

–       No monthly fee for self-serve transactions

–       2.25% interest rate

–       Unlimited debit purchases and withdrawals

–       Automatic savings option available to help reach your savings goals faster.

  TFSA Savings Account Features:

–       No monthly fees

–       Tax-free withdrawals

–       No minimum balance

–       Earns a 2.53% rate

–       Eligible deposits insured up to $100,000 by CDIC

–       Contribute up to $6,000 per year, the TFSA dollar limit for 2019

–       Automatic savings option available to help you reach your savings goals faster

RRSP savings account features:

–       Zero monthly account fees and no minimum balance required

–       Anything you earn is tax-sheltered until you withdraw it

–       2.10% earning rate

–       Automatic savings option available to help you reach your savings goals faster

No Fee-chequing Account

Features:

–       0.25% interest rate

–       Zero monthly account fees and no minimum balance

–       Mobile cheque deposits with Deposit Anywhere™

–       No-fee access to over 3,700 EXCHANGE Network ATMs across Canada

motubank Account types: 8/10

#2 Interest Rate On Savings Account

Offering an impressive 2.1% interest rate for its High-Interest Savings Account (HISA), motusbank is a great choice even among banks like Tangerine and Oaken that offer similar rates. Another great thing about this interest rate is that it’s permanent, not promotional. This is important because banks will usually offer very high introductory interest rates just to gain more customers, but after a few months, you’ll be stuck with an average savings rate at best. For its part, motusbank provides a consistently great rate on its HISA.

motusbank Interest Rate on Savings Account: 8/10

#3 Investment Options 

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

motusbank offers GICs that can be used inside registered RRSP, TFSA or RRRIF or non-registered accounts. The rates presented are:

Registered

–    18-month GIC – 2.40%

–       1 to 5-year fixed-rate GICs – 2.75%

Features:

–       Start with as little as $100

–       Your principal and return are guaranteed and deposits are insured by CDIC (up to for the 1-5 year GIC)

–       For the 1 to 5 year fixed rate GICs you can choose from 1 to 5-year non-redeemable investments.

Unregistered

–       18-month GIC – 2.35%

–       1 to 5-year fixed-rate GICs – 2.70%

Features:

–       Your principal and return are guaranteed, and the CDIC insures deposits up to $100,000.

–       For 1 to 5 year fixed rate GICs you can start with as little as $100 and choose from 1 to 5-year non-redeemable investments and non-redeemable investments.

motusbank investments: 3/10

Related: Looking for eco-friendly investment options? Check out WealthBar for a practical and effective way to earn money while helping the world.

#4 Loans

More than just GICs and Savings accounts, motusbank also offers an array of personal loans for their customers or as they call them, members. The minimum amount of customers can borrow is $5,000. The process is done through an online application that only takes a few minutes to complete. You can also get an initial rate quote that won’t impact your credit score.

Personal loan

When you qualify for a personal loan, you get the full amount of the loan upfront, and then you pay back in monthly installments. The interest rate is either fixed or variable, but your monthly payments remain the same over the life of your loan. The amount you can loan and the interest rate you’ll be charged will be determined by a number of things, like your credit score and your ability to pay it off.

Borrow up to $35,000

Interest rate starts at 5.15%

Terms range from 1 month to 5 years.

Personal Line of Credit

This loan revolves access to credit for ongoing purchases, allows you to borrow money when you need it but you get an approved limit. The interest rate is variable so even if your monthly payments remain constant, the interest rate itself can vary from payment to payment.

–       The interest rate can be as low as 5.65%

–       You only pay interest in what you borrowed.

Secured Line of Credit (HELOC):

this loan usually comes with a lower interest rate and a higher limit because it is secured by your home, you’ll get ongoing access to credit for larger purchases like home renovations or debt consolidation.

–       As low as a 3.75% interest rate.

–       The interest rate will vary.

–       You pay only what you borrowed.

Mortgages

Mortgages vary according to whether you’re looking for a variable or fixed rate and also the timeline you’re working with. motusbank offers mortgages with attractive rates that are ideal for those looking to fulfill their dream of buying a home.

Variable Rate

5-year variable rate mortgage:

– Customize a payment schedule that works for you

– Switch to a fixed term at any time

– Variable-rate of 2.89%

Fixed Rate

– 5-year fixed high ratio mortgage – 2.79% rate

– 5-year fixed-rate mortgage – 2.79% rate

Secured home equity line of credit

–       Pay only what you borrow

–       The interest varies, starting at 3.75%

Other Mortgages Features:

–       20% Lump Sum Prepayments: Pay down up to 20% of your original principal every year without a penalty.

–       20% Regular payment increase: Increase your normal monthly payments up to 20% without a penalty.

–       Skip-a-payment: Skip one month of mortgage payments per year.

–       Flexible payment schedule: choose how to pay your mortgage weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or semi-monthly. Save on interest fees by making accelerated payments.

–   They also offer various calculators that can help you:

o   Mortgage Affordability Calculator

o   Mortgage Payment Calculator

o   Mortgage Prepayment Calculator, and more.

motusbank Loans: 6/10

#5 Account Fees

One big advantage of motusbank is that they do not charge any fees on none of their accounts.  You may get charged small fees on stuff like the record-keeping fee that’s paid monthly for your statement, this costs only $2 though. Other than that, you don’t have to worry about getting charged any other out-of-the-blue fees for your accounts with motusbank. 

motusbank Account Fee: 10/10

#6  Deposit & Withdrawal Options

motusbank does offer great options to deposit and withdrawal. You get free unlimited Interac E-Transfers, you can make bill payments and deposit cheques by taking a photo with their Deposit Anywhere™ feature. 

This bank is also part of THE EXCHANGE Network, which is a group and banks and credit unions that have an agreement to allow each other’s cardholders to use their ATMs as if they were from each bank. This means, more access to thousands of ATMs surcharge-free!

Some of the things you can do with the EXCHANGE ATMs are:

  • Cash withdrawals
  • Pin changes
  • Transfers
  • Balance inquiry

motusbank also gives its customers the choice between using Money Mover or Interac-E Transfers to move their money. For larger sums of money between bank accounts, Money Mover is the best choice because it allows you to transfer up to $10,000 daily, $70,000 a week and $250,000 a month. These transactions are unlimited and free.

As for smaller sums, you can use the Interac e-Transfer to move up to $3,000 daily, $10,000 weekly and $20,000 monthly between account. This one is better for sending money to family and friends, and the transactions are also unlimited for their no-fee chequing account.

motusbank Deposit & Withdrawal Options: 8/10

#7 International Usage

motusbank can send you their debit card and PIN number so you can use to pay for everyday purchases or withdraw cash for free through their THE EXCHANGE Network associated ATMs. If you’re travelling to the US, you can still access your cash through the Accel and Cirrus networks and for international travel, the Cirrus Networks also has you covered. 

motusbank International Usage: 10/10

#8 Usability 

The motusbank app has a rating of 3.4 and 3.6 in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store respectively, overall reviews are good except for some compatibility issues with some mobiles. As for the website, it is very much user-friendly with bright colours and a nice, clean layout that anyone can get into with no problem. 

Motusbank website

motusbank Usability: 10/10

#9 Is The Bank Safe?

When you open an account with motusbank, you’ll be covered by the CDIC for up to $100,000. Meaning that if anything were to happen to the bank, the Canadian Government would return up to $100,000 of the money you would’ve lost. Here’s how the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation illustrates it:

motusbank Balance Protection: 10/10

#10 Customer Service

motusbank offers several choices to reach to them, whether you have questions or need orientation with your investments. Here’s their contact information:

Toll-free: 1 (833) 696-6887

International: (416) 925-7373

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM (EST)

Email: memberservice@motusbank.ca

You can also fill their contact form with your inquiries here

motusbank Customer Service: 4/10

In Summary

Bank motusbank
Accounts OfferedHISA, chequing.
Interest Rates 2.1%
Investments Offered GICs.
Referral Program Yes. 
Purchase CoverageYes.
International UsageYes.
Travel Insurance No.
Covered by the CDIC? Yes.

motusbank has really come through as a great banking choice, despite being a newcomer bank it provides its customers lots of choices on rates and accounts, as well as other products. Its loans are easy to apply for and easy to pay but the highlighting feature of motusbank is definitely its mortgages rates, they are excellent.

Of course, other features such as the flexible payment schedule and skip-a-month are pretty useful for those who need flexibility for managing their payments. Which is probably most of us.

However, if you’re interested in exploring other online banking ventures, you may want to check our article on Tangerine. Also, another great option for online as well as physical banking is Oaken Financial.

Online-only banking services seem to be changing the scene, which is great because they push more established banks to offer better benefits to compete. Some people prefer to have a physical branch of a bank they can go to and talk to a real person, but we’re glad there’s at least the option of going fully online if you want it or need it.