Motusbank Review – A New Movement In Canadian Banking (2020)

Last updated on April 1st, 2020 at 11:44 pm

Motusbank is a brand new Canadian digital bank which is a subsidiary of the Meridian Credit Union.

In case you’re not familiar with the Meridian Credit Union, they’re one of the most popular credit unions in Ontario and Canada.

What makes the Motusbank stand out against the competition in addition to the various accounts they offer is the personal loan and mortgages you can get with them.

Read my complete in-depth Motusbank review to find out what they’re all about and is it the right bank for you to make the switch or open a new account.

Motusbank – Quick Overview

Motusbank is a Federally Chartered Bank in Canada, owned and operated by Meridian Credit Union. This bank was announced after the credit union purchased Roynat’s auto lease business from Scotiabank sometime ago.

In February 2019 the bank’s new name, Motusbank was announced.

Motusbank is entirely digital and thus it has no physical branches. On April 2, 2019, motusbank was officially launched across Canada.

Also Read – 7 Quick Ways To Build An Emergency Fund In Canada

Who Are The Meridian Credit Union? 

Meridian Credit Union is the fourth largest credit union in Canada, and the largest credit union in Ontario, serving more than 275,000 members with total assets under administration of over $14 billion.

Meridian offers banking, wealth management, credit products and services through 86 branches, and eleven Commercial Business Centres.

Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account

Now that we know who Motusbank are and what they do, let’s now take a look at the products and how they can benefit you.

First of all, Motusbank really makes banking easy

Benefits Of The Motusbank No Fee Chequing Account

  • Free, unlimited Interac e-Transfers

  • Unlimited debit purchases, bill payments and withdrawals

  • Deposit a cheque by taking a photo with Deposit Anywhere

  • No minimum balance required

You save big on fees

  • No monthly account fees

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

  • No daily banking fees

You get more perks

  • Earn 0.50% interest on every dollar

  • Your first order of 25 cheques is free

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

Motusbank Account Types And Interest Rates

Motusbank Savings and Chequing Accounts Interest Rates:

  • TFSA savings account – 2.35%

  • RRIF savings account – 2.10%

  • High-interest savings account – 2.10%

  • No-fee chequing account – 0.50%

  • RRSP savings account – 2.10%

Motusbank Loans and Lines of Credit Interest Rates

  • Personal loan – As low as 5.15%

  • A personal line of credit – As low as 5.65%

  • Secured home equity line of credit – Interest rate 3.75%

You can see all the rates by clicking the link here
 
 

motusbank

Motusbank Savings Account And Mortgage Rates 

Motusbank also offers a variety of other products including mortgages and GICS, but I left their current rates out of the above list as they change quite often. That being said, at the time of launch, Motusbank had a posted rate of 3.09% on ALL their mortgages.

That means you could get a 1-year fixed, 5-year fixed, or 5-year variable mortgage for just 3.09% which is a great rate. Don’t expect the fixed rates to remain the same as the variable rate as this is likely just a promotional rate.

Today I wanted to move some money finally into motusbank. I initiated the transaction from within motusbank to pull in money from my tangerine account where the deal ends at the end of January 2020.

I did it this way so I would hopefully keep maximum interest earning. BUT…I wanted to do $20,000 and it failed, had to do 2 transfers of $10,000. If I had started it from Tangerine it would go but then I lose a few days interest. This is a very low limit at $10,000 topped off with the snail’s pace at which motusbank moves money. I started a transfer with my wife’s account last Friday, June 14th and it just hit the account this morning, June 20th….for less than $10,000. SLOW!

BUT they still are offering 3% on 18-month GIC and this is looking pretty good at the moment. I am tired of chasing Tangerine deals.

Also Read – Top 10 Canadian Marijuana Stocks You Should Own In 2019

What Is Motusbank’s THE EXCHANGE Network? 

THE EXCHANGE Network is a group of banks and credit unions that have come together and agreed to let their cardholders use each other’s ATMs as if they were their own. This gives their cardholders access to thousands of ATMs across Canada, all surcharge-free.

THE EXCHANGE Network is convenient, giving you surcharge-free access to your accounts regardless of where you travel within Canada.  Just because you are not with the Big Banks, does not mean you need to sacrifice convenience. Together, we have an ATM network that rivals the Big Banks and we keep growing.

All EXCHANGE ATMs are able to complete a cash withdrawal, PIN change, transfer, or balance inquiry and thousands have the ability to complete a deposit instantly into your bank account. Stop using ATMs that charge you a few dollars every-time you need some quick cash, and find an EXCHANGE ATM instead!

Also Read – Top 9 Reasons You Should Transfer Money Using Remitly

Motusbank Money Mover Vs. Interac e-Transfer

Depending on your needs, and how much money you need to send, you can choose between Money Mover or Interac e-Transfer.

Money Mover

  • Best for moving larger sums of money between your banks

  • Transfer up to $10,000/day, $70,000/week, $250,000/month

  • Unlimited transactions – always free

  • The transfer can take up to 3 business days

Interac e-Transfer

  • Transfer up to $3,000/day, $10,000/week, $20,000/month

  • Best used for sending money to friends and family

  • Unlimited transactions – for our no-fee chequing account

  • Deposit happens immediately

Also Read – 7 Quick Ways To Build An Emergency Fund In Canada

Motusbank Mobile App Review

You can deposit cheques with your phone. Set up mobile alerts. Check your balance, pay bills, move money, and more.

Here’s everything you’ll be able to do on the mobile app: 

  • Use Touch ID to quickly and safely sign in to your mobile app, with just a fingerprint, through your iOS or Android device

  • Make mobile cheque deposits with Deposit Anywhere – just take a photo of a cheque to move the money into your account

  • Examine your account balance(s) in seconds, without needing to sign in

  • Make mobile payments just by tapping your debit card

  • Use Mobile Bill Pay to instantly set up and access over 10,000 bill payees

Motusbank Mobile App is okay as it gets the job done. Just not as fluid or well built as the big banks like CIBC; overall UI could be a lot better as it feels like a mobile browser version at times. The app still has a fingerprint log in function despite my phone have face unlocking capability – it’s been more than a year and still, no face unlock. They pretty much ported the code for the Meridian app and just rebranded it to Motus.

You get all the basic functions including a quick peek on balances, e-transfers, and photo cheque deposits as well as opening new products in-app, and locating ATMs on the Exchange Network. No insights on spending or any of the other frills you may currently have with another financial institution.

Also Read – How To Use A My Service Canada Account In 2020

Motusbank Online Banking 

In this section, let us look at the Benefits and Features Of the Motusbank Online Banking

  • Start saving. Set up Auto-Save to round up debit purchases and have the difference instantly transferred to your savings account

  • Switch over your direct deposits from other banks – it’s fast and easy with ClickSWITCH

  • Stay connected with us through secure messaging, alerts and notifications

  • Use your email to sign in

  • View monthly e-statements and investment account details

  • Download transactions and direct deposit forms

Also Read – Top 7 Free Chequing Accounts In Canada

Motusbank Vs. EQ Bank

On comparing Motusbank with EQ Bank – The savings rate you get is slightly less 2.3% vs 2.25% but EQ Bank doesn’t offer any cheques. It does, however, offer the convenience of not having to move money back and forth to get the best daily interest rate as your savings is effectively your chequing with EQ Bank.

Another difference is, EQ Bank doesn’t offer even offer a fraction of the products that Motusbank does.

Motusbank Vs. Tangerine Bank

Comparing Motusbank with Tangerine, Tangerine has the advantage of a better interest rate on the promo savings they always seem to offer 2.5% vs 2.25%.

However, it is a pain having to move money in and out to get that rate. Tangerine also doesn’t offer non-secured credit lines and, most importantly, it charges for Interac e transfers. The Tangerine e-transfers suck.

My Personal Banking Experience With Motusbank

I recently opened a chequing and a HISA account with Motusbank and so far its been really good. I haven’t fully transitioned over from Tangerine yet as I am waiting on the 90 days to pass because I want to see if they give me what I have with Tangerine in terms of the hold policy. Their website says only $100 available right away, Tangerine gives me $5000. I would be annoyed if they didn’t match that. Other than that, here is my feedback:

  • If I were single, I likely wouldn’t do it because I find EQ the easiest in terms of use. Not having to set up transfers to keep as much as possible in savings is handy. Their interest rate is slightly better as well. However, I am not and my wife and I have everything joint. For this reason, Motusbank currently presents the best options.

  • One benefit for me is that there are a lot more ATM’s on the exchange network than available Scotiabank machines that Tangerine uses. About double as per official numbers. In my case, I have an exchange ATM down the street whereas I have to drive to a Scotiabank machine

  • Free Interac e-transfers is a big benefit. Previously I had left a balance in EQ specifically for this purpose and used Tangerine for everything else. I really want to find a way to get all my services at one institution without having to really sacrifice anything. Motusbank seems to be the first entrant that can actually give me what I want.

  • One big negative is losing the Tangerine Cafe. If you are buying a car or removing subjects on a mortgage you often need a bank draft in a hurry. In the case of Motusbank, you will be waiting for them to mail it. Not a big deal if you are in Ontario, but I am in BC and that might take a while. For this reason, I likely am going to at least keep the Tangerine accounts active or see if I can use my CIBC LOC for this then just transfer the funds after. I don’t have any balance on those so it would be a good use for them if needed.

  • The website for Motusbank is really nice. They had a few speed issues at launch but it works flawlessly now. Has pretty much every feature but the budgeting features that Tangerine has (which I don’t use anyways since I use YNAB)

  • The mobile app is just ok. Really slow to login but once you are in, it works as expected. I have done all the usual tasks in checking balances, mobile cheque deposits, etc. all work well. One thing I really like about it is that their alerts are actually useful. With tangerine, you just get a notification that says “you have an orange alert”. With Motusbank it gives you context without having to log in to the app like “your direct deposit is here” or “your preauthorized payment to xxx has been made” etc. which is really convenient.

  • I like that they have good everyday rates. With Tangerine, I called in and complained about their rates and they literally asked me how much money I have in my HISA (which isn’t with them right now as I was playing the promo game). I don’t keep the majority of my savings in a HISA because I am not an idiot and like returns, so that account usually caps out around 20k. After I told them that, they said they wouldn’t improve my interest rate. I am not sure if it was because it isn’t enough or too much. He then went on to tell me that they won’t be competitive with interest rates because they have so much money already in accounts and they don’t need to. I personally find the promo game annoying. Just give me a decent rate, to begin with, and stick with it!! On top of that, Motusbank is super competitive with mortgages and has the best rate on a HELOC in the country right now at 3.75%.

Hopefully, that helps. As you can see I put some thought into it but I am likely moving our accounts there for convenience without sacrificing interest rates. I am likely going to get in contact with them to see what they can do for me as well when my mortgage comes up for renewal.

Conclusion

To Conclude, Motusbank is one of the best online digital banks in Canada. I hope that I have given you as much information here as I could. 

If you wish to talk to Motusbank customer care representatives or contact the bank for more information you can reach them at – Toll-free: 1 (833) 696-6887, International: 1 (416) 925-7373

Please let me know your thoughts and comments below. 

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Motusbank Review 2019

4.15

Value For Money

3.8/5

Benefits

4.3/5

Rewards

4.5/5

Pros

  • If you’re looking for a single bank to open up a TFSA, HISA, mortgage, and more, then Motusbank is a good choice for you
  • Motusbank’s High interest savings account is easily comparable to some of the best high interest savings accounts in Canada. It has no fees, a competitive interest rate, and gives you unlimited transactions
  • Unlimited transactions – always free

Cons

  • EQ Bank’s interest rate is currently 2.30% so Motusbank lags them by just a touch
  • Don’t expect the fixed rates to remain the same as the variable rate as this is likely just a promotional rate

Sagar Sridhar

Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger and a computer engineer. He is agile certified and has a master's degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in leading publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. "Risk comes from not knowing what you're doing" - Warren Buffet

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