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Varo Bank Review: A Comprehensive Analysis of a Modern, Mobile Banking Solution

Updated: Sep 7, 2023


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Varo Bank Review

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Varo at a Glance

Varo is a very low-cost bank with no monthly fees or minimum balance on checking and savings accounts. They also have a HUGE network of free ATMs. Because they don't have physical locations it makes it a bit more difficult to deposit money, unless you setup direct deposit. So, they are best suited for the mobile-native/preferred.


Varo Bank App and Card
Varo Bank App and Card

Introduction: Varo Bank Review

As a frontrunner in the realm of neo banking, Varo Bank has carved out a strong reputation in the industry, offering a suite of financial services all through a user-friendly mobile app. This comprehensive review aims to provide a balanced and detailed analysis of their offerings, especially focusing on the checking account and savings account options. Varo Bank has presented itself as a great solution for a variety of users, but how does it compare when we consider "Varo Bank vs. other online banks?" This evaluation aims to provide the answers.


It's essential to remember that online banking solutions like Varo Bank often serve specific niches exceptionally well. Whether you're a beginner to digital banking, a millennial looking to manage finances efficiently, someone with a bad credit history seeking a fresh start, a frequent traveler requiring seamless banking access, or an individual aiming to save more money or earn high interest, Varo Bank has specific features catered to you.


This review will guide you through Varo Bank's key features, benefits, limitations, and what real users are saying about their experiences. Understanding these aspects should help you make an informed decision about whether Varo Bank is the right online banking solution for your needs.


Varo Bank: A Revolution in Digital Banking

Founded in 2015, Varo Bank set out on a mission to bring financial inclusion and intuitive technology to the world of banking. It wasn't long before they established themselves as a trustworthy name in the digital banking arena.


As the first all-digital bank to receive approval from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for a national bank charter in the United States, Varo Bank pioneered a new path in the industry. Their commitment to financial technology, customer-centric services, and a unique banking experience have been fundamental to their growth.


Mission and Vision

Varo Bank's mission is to empower individuals to take control of their finances through innovative, user-friendly, and cost-effective mobile banking solutions. They envision a world where everyone has access to affordable financial services that are as easy as sending a text or shopping online.


Notable Partnerships and Affiliations

Throughout its growth, Varo Bank has forged strategic partnerships that help enhance its services. Notably, Varo Bank has partnered with The Bancorp Bank and Temenos, a banking software company, to deliver an efficient banking experience. These partnerships have enabled Varo Bank to provide services that can cater to specific demographics like millennials, beginners, and people with bad credit, making it a versatile solution when comparing "Varo Bank vs. other online banks".


The next sections will delve into the specific features that make Varo Bank a compelling online banking solution, and how these features can contribute to your personal finance goals, whether you're looking to save money or earn high interest through a high-yield savings account.



Varo Bank App


Account Types and Features

Varo Bank offers two primary account types: Varo Bank Account and Varo Savings Account. Both are designed with the modern banking user in mind, offering a range of benefits and features.




Unfortunately, Varo Bank does not currently offer joint accounts or business accounts. However, they are always working on expanding their services, so it's worth keeping an eye out for future updates.


Varo Bank Mobile App

The Varo Bank mobile app is the central hub for managing your finances. Here's what you can expect:

  • User interface and design: The app's clean, intuitive design ensures easy navigation and a seamless user experience. Key features and functions are easily accessible, making it simple for users to manage their accounts on the go.

  • Functionality and features: From transferring money to depositing checks, the app provides all the essential banking features you need. Additionally, users can access budgeting tools, track spending, and set financial goals within the app, making it an all-in-one financial management platform.

  • Security measures: Varo Bank takes your security seriously, employing biometric authentication (fingerprint and face recognition) and secure encryption to protect your data. The app also allows users to lock and unlock their debit card instantly, providing an extra layer of security.

  • Customer reviews and ratings: With high ratings on both the App Store and Google Play, users are generally satisfied with the Varo Bank app experience. The app's ease of use, feature set, and performance are often praised by customers.

Customer Service and Support

When it comes to customer service, Varo Bank offers several channels for assistance, ensuring you get the help you need when you need it:

  • Availability and channels: Reach out to their support team through in-app chat, email, or phone. Varo Bank's customer service is available seven days a week, making it convenient for customers to get assistance outside of regular business hours.

  • Responsiveness and quality: Most customers report satisfactory experiences with Varo's support, although response times may vary during peak hours. The customer service team is knowledgeable and dedicated to resolving customer concerns and inquiries.

  • Customer testimonials and experiences: Many users praise Varo Bank's helpful and friendly customer service. Their ability to quickly resolve issues and provide timely assistance is often highlighted in customer reviews.


Varo Bank Has $0 Monthly Fees
Varo Bank Has $0 Monthly Fees

Varo Bank's Fee Structure

Varo Bank prides itself on offering a transparent and consumer-friendly fee structure:

  • Account fees: There are no monthly fees, minimum balance requirements, or foreign transaction fees for Varo Bank Account and Varo Savings Account. This allows customers to focus on managing their finances without worrying about hidden costs.

  • ATM fees and network: Access over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs across the United States. Out-of-network ATM usage may incur fees, but Varo Bank provides a convenient ATM locator within the app to help you find the nearest fee-free ATM.

  • Overdraft fees and policies: Varo Bank does not charge overdraft fees. Instead, they offer a feature called Varo Advance, which provides small cash advances to eligible customers in need of short-term funds. Varo Advance comes with a small, transparent fee, but there are no hidden charges or interest rates.

Security and Safety Measures

Varo Bank is committed to protecting your financial information and ensuring a secure banking experience:

  • FDIC Insurance: Varo Bank is FDIC insured, meaning your deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.

  • Data encryption and privacy: Varo Bank employs advanced encryption techniques to protect your sensitive information and maintains strict data privacy policies in compliance with industry standards.

  • Fraud protection and monitoring: Varo Bank actively monitors accounts for any suspicious activity and will notify you immediately if they detect potential fraud. They also provide resources and guidance on how to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.

ATM Access

Varo Bank users have access to an extensive network of Allpoint® ATMs across the U.S., allowing for easy access to cash. This feature is particularly beneficial for "Varo Bank for people who travel frequently."


Advantages of Varo Bank

As we delve into the benefits of choosing Varo Bank as your online banking solution, we'll see why many consider it one of the best choices for their financial needs.


A User-friendly Mobile Banking Experience

Varo Bank's primary offering, their mobile app, has been designed with the user experience in mind. Its clean interface and intuitive navigation make banking tasks a breeze, making Varo a strong contender when considering "Varo Bank for beginners."


Fee-Free Banking

Eliminating common fees associated with traditional banking, such as minimum balance requirements, monthly maintenance, and overdraft fees, Varo Bank presents a compelling argument for individuals seeking to save money on banking expenses. This commitment to transparency creates an excellent case for "Varo Bank for people who want to save money."


High-Yield Savings Account

One of the most significant selling points of Varo Bank is the high yield provided by their savings account. By meeting certain requirements, users can take advantage of an APY that outperforms many traditional banks. For those interested in making their savings grow faster, this positions Varo strongly in the "Varo Bank for people who want to earn high interest" category.


Early Direct Deposit and Cashback Rewards Program

With Varo's early direct deposit feature, you can receive your paycheck up to two days in advance, providing added flexibility for budgeting and expenses. Plus, Varo's cashback rewards program allows you to earn money back on everyday purchases from select retailers, making it a more attractive online banking option.


Financial Education and Budgeting Tools

Varo Bank's commitment to helping its customers improve their financial health extends beyond just banking services. They provide a range of educational resources and budgeting tools to help users manage their money better, making it a valuable tool for beginners and millennials looking for a comprehensive banking solution.


While Varo Bank offers numerous advantages, it's essential to consider the limitations, which we'll explore in the next section. This will help provide a comprehensive perspective on the "Varo Bank vs. other online banks" question.


This last advantage is near and dear to The Saving Dude, it is our mission to help folks better understand personal finance and that very closely aligns with this offering from Varo Bank.


Varo Believe

Varo Believe is their card offering which helps you build credit. They call it "Your Worry-Free Credit-Builder Card". Since credit scores are such a huge part of our personal financial health, I'd say this is one of their better offerings. There is no interest, nor fees, so you aren't digging a bigger hole, and they don't give you the option to dig a hole for yourself. They allow you to build credit while protecting you from overspending.


Limitations of Varo Bank

While Varo Bank provides a robust online banking platform with various features, there are a few limitations worth considering.


No Physical Branch Locations

Like other digital-only banks, Varo Bank lacks physical branches. While this enables them to cut costs and pass the savings onto customers in the form of fewer fees, it could be a drawback for those who prefer in-person banking or customer service experiences.


Limited Product Offerings

Compared to traditional banks, Varo Bank's product offerings are somewhat limited. They currently offer a checking account and a high-yield savings account but do not provide other common banking products such as loans, mortgages, or credit cards. This could be a point of consideration when comparing "Varo Bank vs. other online banks."


ATM Access Limitations

While Varo Bank offers fee-free withdrawals at over 55,000 Allpoint® ATMs in the U.S., there may be limitations when traveling internationally or in certain rural areas. Additionally, deposits via ATMs are not supported, which may affect those who frequently deal with cash.


Relatively New in the Industry

Despite its considerable success since its establishment in 2015, Varo Bank is relatively new in the banking industry. While it has proven to be a disruptive force and has built a substantial user base, some potential users might have reservations about the bank's long-term stability.


In the next section, we'll consider what customers have to say about their experiences with Varo Bank. We'll analyze reviews and feedback to present a comprehensive picture of this online banking solution.


How to Open an Account with Varo Bank

Opening an account with Varo Bank is a quick and easy process:

  1. Download the Varo Bank app from the App Store or Google Play.

  2. Follow the in-app instructions to create an account.

  3. Provide the required personal information, such as your name, Social Security number, date of birth, and a valid form of identification (e.g., driver's license or passport).

  4. Complete the identity verification process, which may include answering security questions or uploading documents.

  5. Once your account is approved, you can start using Varo Bank's services.

Conclusion

Varo Bank offers a modern, feature-rich mobile banking solution designed to cater to the needs of today's consumers. With its user-friendly app, competitive interest rates, and transparent fee structure, Varo Bank is an excellent choice for those seeking a convenient and accessible banking experience.


Although it currently lacks joint and business accounts, its commitment to customer satisfaction and continuous improvement makes it a strong contender in the digital banking space. We encourage readers to share their own experiences and feedback on Varo Bank in the comments section below.

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