This review is for: eMoney Market
I've had money in the Virtual Bank eMoneyMarket account for almost five years. I had never heard of them, (or their parent company Lydian Private Bank), but they were giving the best rate at the time (better than ING Direct which I also had), and so I decided to move some money into their account. (I think they were among the first to try to compete with ING Direct for online-only savings accounts so they've obviously been around for a while.)
Overall, I've been generally happy with them, and never had any specific problems, although I have a few anecdotal experiences that make it hard for me to recommend them too strongly.
First, they've done some weird things with their rate balances over time. When I signed up, they gave a better rate the more money you had with them. But at some point a few years ago, I noticed (without them warning me) that they started giving a WORSE rate for having more money. I don’t know why they did this, but I quickly took money out of the account so the remaining money would earn a higher rate. I think they must have come to their senses because they switched this back so that the more money you have with them, the higher the rate.
The second annoying thing that happened to me with the bank, is that at some point they stopped sending me emails alerting me when I had a new online statement. I’m not sure if they stopped doing it because they didn’t want me to notice that they had lowered their rates, but either way, I couldn’t find any settings to switch it back so I would receive alerts when I had a new statement.
Finally, perhaps the thing that weirded me out the most about this account is that the email I used to sign up started receiving spam. I normally use a different email address for each account I use for privacy purposes, and I guess it’s possible that I used this one elsewhere, but I’m pretty sure they are the only ones who ever had it, and I have not had this problem with emails I have given to other banks. I’m not 100% sure this is their fault, but either way, it made me a little worried about their security processes, or fearful that they were somehow selling my information!
Regardless, despite these concerns, it says something that I’m still with the bank. Their online tools are good, their rates have generally been pretty competitive when I’ve compared them, and when I’ve needed to transfer money in or out, it’s been very easy and quick. Also, when I’ve contacted customer service, they’ve been really fast about getting back to me. Overall, I like them, but I definitely have some concerns.
Posted by Jsquared -- March 26, 2009
This review is for: eMoney Market
When looking for an internet only bank, how could I not check out a bank named "Virtual Bank?"
When I called to find out if any people worked there, or it was just computers, I got a very helpful (human) CSR on the phone and he helped me with a number of details on their eMoney Market. Fundamentally - these guys are 100% online. The only way money gets into or out of Virtual Bank is via ACH transfers. There are no mailed check deposits, no wire transfers, no atm cards, no checks, no billpay. Just an ACH system with $100k/trans limits.
I like the simplicity. In terms of applying, it's just as simple - entirely online, only ACHs accepted for the initial deposit, and nothing to mail. The CSR did mention that they will occasionally perform a random identify verification check where they request copies of IDs. Although this could be a bit of a pain when applying, it seems fair.
I heard a lot that I liked on the call, but then I checked their Health report here...and now I have major second thoughts - I feel pretty confident that going through a failed bank process with the FDIC will NOT be a simple process.
Posted by cashisking -- March 24, 2009
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