- Dave, the Mark Cuban and Diplo-backed fintech startup, rolled out its new Dave banking service in June, announcing a $110 million raise at the same time. I tried out the online-only bank, and my feelings are very positive. I could see myself using it instead of my Chase checking account.
- It is the first checking account to partner with CreditPop, which reports a user’s rent payments to credit agencies, allowing them to build credit without taking out any loans. This service could be invaluable for Dave users who are finding it challenging to build credit, and is a definite step forward in banking features.
- The service is similar to other online-only challenger banks. It offers a network of no-fee ATMs, overdraft-protection that includes the option for a $100 advance, and access to the same budgeting features that made Dave popular in the first place.
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Dave, the Mark Cuban and Diplo-backed fintech startup, rolled out its new Dave banking service in June, announcing a $110 million raise at the same time.
I reviewed their original overdraft-killing service, and felt that it had some great features. However, the app also made it very easy for users to give an optional tip that could be equivalent to the highest payday loan rates.
I tried out Dave’s new banking service, and my feelings are much more positive. It works similarly to other online-only challenger banks. The user does all of their banking within the Dave app, can access a network of ATMs that require no fees for cash withdrawals, and pays no fees beyond the $1 monthly fee that’s already a part of Dave’s non-banking services.
The service also doesn’t allow overdrafts, protecting users from aggressive fees. As of now, Dave banking is only available to users of their app, who can sign up for a waitlist.
While the market for challenger banks has become increasingly crowded, Dave banking is a little different. It is built ontop of an already popular app, giving it a built-in audience. It also is the first checking account to partner with CreditPop, which reports a user’s rent payments to credit agencies, allowing them to build credit without taking out any loans. This service could be invaluable for Dave users who are finding it challenging to build credit, and is a definite step forward in banking features.
Dave users will be familiar with the banking homepage— it has the same look and features as Dave’s original service.
A user can select which bank account they’re accessing through the dropdown menu in the middle of the screen. Other than the name of the bank, there’s no real indication on this screen whether the account is Dave’s or a third-party bank’s.
That’s a good thing. My favorite feature of the app before was its predictive budgeting features, which lets a user see their lowest likely balance before their next payday. Dave keeps this function intact, and it remains a winner.
In order to access Dave’s advanced banking features, a user has to set up direct deposit. Dave makes it easier than my bank.
Dave is streamlining some of its best features behind direct deposit. It makes sense: they’re not charging users an additional fee for the services, so they need users deposits to be able to keep their service profitable. Direct deposit allows users to receive payday advances of up to $100, which is $25 more than non-banking users can receive, and allows them to build credit with their rent payments.
Dave makes direct deposit simpler than any banking app I have used. If your employer uses ADP, Gusto, or GoDirect, you can click on the link in the app and be sent directly to your direct deposit page. If not, the app makes it easy to find your account and routing numbers by including them all on one easy-to-access page with an icon that copies the information to your phone’s clipboard.
If you’re not interested in direct deposit, or need to send money to your account outside of your paycheck, there are other easy options. You can deposit a check or send a transfer from your other bank accounts. You can even add money quickly through a debit transfer. The first transfer is free, and after that, it costs 0.45% percent of the amount transferred plus a 30 cent fee.
I funded my account with debit transfer, because I wouldn’t be able to get this article out in time with direct deposit. I sent the money at the end of one business day, and it was all in my account by the time I checked at the beginning of the next business day.
I wasn’t able to try out the credit-building features, but from Dave’s support website, it seems like a very easy process.
It is revolutionary to be able to build credit from paying rent (and eventually, from utility bills as well) with a checking account. This feature gives Dave banking a definite edge, especially among its userbase who might have a hard time building credit.
I wasn’t able to try it out because I wasn’t able to wait for direct deposit to hit my account or for my rent to be taken out, but it seems like an easy process. According to their support website, you would simply find your rent payment on the homepage, confirm that it is rent, and then CreditPop (the service Dave is partnering with) will automatically flag all future rent payments to credit agencies.
There are no surprises with Dave’s debit card.
I received my debit card within a week, a quick turnaround. There’s no special features for the debit card, but it does include Dave’s cute mascot, Dave the bear.
ATM coverage is pretty good in New York, though I was unable to find any nearby ATMs that would let me deposit cash.
As you can see, there are a fair amount of ATMs near Business Insider headquarters where a Dave user can withdraw cash without fees. As a Chase user, this actually looks a lot like my Chase ATM availability. Dave’s website suggests that some ATMs allow a user to deposit cash, but I couldn’t find any near me. I imagine that this feature will be easier to find as Dave banking matures.
I tried out one of the ATMs near me. This ATM was inside of a 7-Eleven – it appears in NYC at least that a good fraction of available ATMs for Dave are inside of 7-Elevens. I was able to withdraw $100 without any fees.
There was one hiccup. The ATM showed my available balance as $604, more than double the $300 that I had in my account. I think this is a problem on the ATMs side though, as my Dave app kept the correct balance amount.
I also checked ATM availability near my Connecticut hometown. There was definitely a significant drop in available ATMs, slightly worse than the coverage of the local bank that I use in Connecticut. This is to be expected, and it would still be an acceptable amount of coverage for my needs.
Dave has two helpful features that allow digital users to easily pay anything from their rent to an online shopping bill.
Dave lets users send paper checks directly from their phones, a godsend for someone like myself who avoids physical banking as much as possible. There’s no fee to send a check, and it will be sent by mail within 10 days. This makes it a great solution for any financial situations which require a check, as long as a user plans ahead
Dave also offers a virtual card number, which protects a user’s actual card number from identity theft. The number can be used online, and if a sketchy vendor steals the information, it is totally separate from the physical debit card information. This fix will help protect users from being left without a way to pay if they are a victim of identity theft.
Dave does a great job of making the smaller parts of banking easy to access and easier to use. I especially like the ability to quickly set daily transaction and ATM limits.
Dave banking’s greatest strength is its simplicity. This really shines when doing the small banking chores that are somehow much more complicated when dealing with a traditional bank.
Dave allows you to freeze a card if you’ve lost it with just one click, and unfreeze it just as easily if you find it. The last time I lost my debit card with Chase, I had to actually fully cancel my card. Dave’s service is perfect for a sometimes-forgetful person like myself.
International alerts are very easy compared to Chase. All you need to do is tell Dave where and when you’ll be traveling to within the app, and they’ll do the rest. With Chase, I had to actually do this all on my computer browser the last time I traveled internationally.
Most distinctively, Dave allows you to set your own daily transaction and ATM withdrawal maximums. These easy safeguards could help a budget-conscious user from overspending in one day by simply blocking transactions that go over the limit.