ONE Finance Review: A Unique Online Banking Option With No Fees

GOBankingRates Score

ONE App
4.1
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
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Quick Take: ONE Finance is an online banking platform that encourages users to build good savings and budgeting habits. While it has minimal product offerings compared to a traditional bank, it offers a decent APY on its saving product. 
  • Checking Account
    4.0
  • Savings Account
    4.0
  • Banking Experience
    4.3
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Decent savings APY for qualified account holders
  • Unique service that breaks the primary account into sub-accounts using "pockets"
  • No overdraft fees for eligible users

Cons

  • Balance limits for earning savings APY
  • Deposit and withdrawal limits

ONE Finance Overview

ONE Finance is an online-only banking platform that offers a cash management account to help you save, spend and grow your money with no hassles and no monthly fees.

A unique feature called “pockets” allows you to set up one checking account that can serve as both a checking and savings account. Within the account are Spend and Save “pockets.”

ONE Finance is a finalist on GOBankingRates’ Best Checking Accounts of 2023 list.

Key Features

GOBankingRates’ ONE Finance review considered the following noteworthy features to determine its rating. 

Checking Account

The Spend pocket serves as the ONE Finance checking account. It comes with a debit card you can use to make purchases, pay bills and withdraw cash.

Withdrawals are free at any U.S. Walmart location. Users who receive at least $500 in qualifying direct deposits in a 31-day period also can withdraw money for free from over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.

You can deposit cash for free with any Walmart cashier or at the customer service desk or money center — U.S. locations only. The deposit is immediately available in your Spend pocket.

ONE Finance gives you two ways to deposit checks: mobile deposit, which uses your phone to upload photos of the check, and direct deposit. Mobile check deposits take four business days to clear. Direct deposits are made available to you as soon as ONE Finance receives them; so, if your employer initiates the deposit before payday, you’ll receive your pay early. Eligible new customers can receive a $25 bonus for setting up direct deposit.

The Spend pocket doesn’t earn interest. However, the debit card offers 2% cash back on purchases made at Walmart, gas stations and drugstores during the first 12 months after account opening. The rewards are credited to your account daily, and they never expire.

Savings Account

While ONE’s Spend pockets are non-interest bearing, the Save pocket earns a nice annual percent yield, especially for those who set up qualifying direct deposits with ONE and meet other minimum requirements.

The ONE Finance account allows up to three custom saving pockets in addition to the Save pocket. Custom pockets are a great way to build an emergency fund or save for other goals using money you want to keep separate from your regular savings.

The Save pocket earns APY on combined Save/custom-pocket balances up to $5,000 and 1.0% APY on any balance over $5,000 unless the account holder has qualifying direct deposits with ONE. With direct deposit, account holders can earn APY on balances up to $25,000.

To maximize your savings, turn on Round-ups in the mobile app to round debit card purchases up to the nearest dollar and deposit the difference into your Save pocket. The other way to deposit money into Save is by transferring it from your Spend pocket.

Banking Experience

ONE Finance provides a satisfying banking experience for users who prefer a simple set of basic banking features over the sometimes complicated — and expensive — accounts offered by traditional banks.

ONE Finance offers a few unique benefits that customers don’t often see with traditional checking and savings accounts.

ONE Finance does not charge overdraft fees like traditional banks typically do. At ONE’s discretion, an eligible account holder may overdraw their Spend pocket by up to $200. The overdraft amount is due immediately and is automatically debited from the account holder’s next deposit. You qualify for overdraft protection by having received at least $500 in qualified direct deposits in the previous 31 days.

ONE customers can get customer service via Chat on the ONE website or by phone at 855-830-6200. Both are available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.

Digital and Mobile Experience

The ONE Finance website has an extensive Help section with FAQs that answer most questions a new or existing user is likely to have. However, the mobile app is less useful, at least for Android Users. It rates just 2.8 out of 5 stars on Google Play. Apple users fare better: The app is rated 4.6 stars in the App Store.

How To Apply

New customers can set up accounts on the ONE website or use the ONE app. Customers may need to submit pictures of their government-issued IDs when joining. Customers must be 18 years or older and reside in the U.S.

New customers can fund their ONE accounts in the following ways: 

  • Direct deposit
  • Transfer from an external bank
  • Wire transfer
  • Mobile check deposit
  • A peer-to-peer service such as Venmo, PayPal or Cash App

Comparable Online Bank Options

Here are two other online bank options to consider that are comparable to ONE Finance.

Varo

Unlike ONE Finance, Varo has a full-bank charter, and it offers cash advance loans and credit-builder programs in addition to checking and savings. Qualified savers can earn a to APY.

Acorns

Acorns offers a checking account, but savings options consist of retirement and investment accounts. It can be a better choice for users with cash they want to sock away for the long term, but they’ll pay at least $3 per month for a subscription.

Final Take

ONE Finance is best for those trying to build better budgeting and savings habits. The platform’s “pocket” system can help those who struggle with budgeting. What ONE Finance lacks in product offerings it makes up for in unique deposit account features and great APYs. However, its product offerings are very limited. Those who prefer to handle most of their banking needs with one bank should look to other banks. 

FAQ

Here are answers to some common questions about ONE Finance.
  • Is ONE Finance a real bank?
    • One Finance is not a bank, but it does offer financial products that are FDIC-insured through its banking partner, Coastal Community Bank.
  • Is ONE Finance a legitimate bank?
    • With the many financial platforms available, consumers should always determine the legitimacy of any platform before using it. ONE Finance is a legitimate financial platform providing deposit accounts. All deposits are FDIC-insured through ONE Finance's banking partner, Coastal Community Bank.
  • Is ONE Finance a good bank?
    • While ONE Finance is not an actual bank, it is a good option for those who want the ability to manage checking and savings in one account easily. Qualified account holders on this financial platform can earn a very good APY on savings.
  • Which bank is behind ONE Finance?
    • Coastal Community Bank provides banking services for the ONE Finance platform.
  • Is ONE Finance the same as Carbon?
    • No. The two are unrelated. Carbon, a Nigerian banking platform, is affiliated with One Credit, a Nigerian lender.
  • Who bought ONE Finance?
    • Hazel, a fintech company launched in partnership with Walmart and investment firm Ribbit Capital, acquired ONE Finance in April 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

Methodology: To determine rankings for the Best Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) APY on the checking account; (6) overdraft fee amount; and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1), (2 and (5) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (4) was weighted 1.5 times.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 6, 2023.

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About the Author

Andrea Norris has been in the web publishing business for the past 15 years both as a content contributor and a copy editor specializing in personal finance, frugal living, home and auto topics. She writes both short and long-form content and is well-practiced in SEO keyword research and writing.
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