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Have you heard the breaking news? Canada’s fastest growing credit union, Meridian, has just launched their new digital bank, motusbank, Find out more in our motusbank review.

*Disclaimer: This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Have you heard the breaking news? Canada’s fastest growing credit union, Meridian, has just launched their new digital bank, motusbank. Consumers were given a preview back in February 2019, but now we know the full details since the bank has been accepting applications since early April.

Although motusbank is fully digital, they’re still offering full-service. You can easily get assistance by making a phone call, but activating any additional products such as a home equity line of credit, mortgage, line of credit, or savings account can all be done online.

There’s also a handy app, which allows you to do all your online banking using your phone. Deposit cheques with your phone, set up mobile alerts, check your balance, pay bills, move money – it’s all possible once you install the motusbank app.

About motusbank – a Full-Service Online Bank

Right away, we can tell you that motusbank’s products are highly competitive to what’s available on the market. The high-interest savings account is currently paying an interest rate of 2.00%. That’s similar to Savings Plus Account account’s everyday interest rate of 1.70%* and it’s worth noting that Tangerine has a promotion where new clients earn 2.50%* interest for the first 5 months on their first Savings Account, TFSA or RSP Savings Account. This may matter to some people, but motusbank is appealing to customers who aren’t interested in chasing the highest interest rate. What they’re offering is fair rates and a wide range of products that will appeal to people in different financial situations.

*Interest is calculated daily on the total closing balance and paid monthly. Rates are per annum and subject to change without notice.

Account TypeInterest Rate 
No-Fee Chequing Account0.50%Visit Site
High-Interest Savings Account2.00%Visit Site
TFSA Savings Account2.25%Visit Site
RRSP Savings Account2.00%Visit Site

motusbank Accounts 

A High-Interest Savings Account – With No Fees

Even though their high-interest savings account doesn’t come with the highest interest rate in Canada, it’s still highly competitive: at 2.00%, the interest rate is still better than what the big banks offer. Also, with big banks, you typically get a set amount of transactions each month, unless you have a premium account or you meet the minimum balance requirement. But with motusbank, you get unlimited transactions with no monthly account fees and no minimum balance required. To find out more or to apply click here.

A No-Fee Chequing Account With a Decent Interest Rate

motusbank will pay you 0.50% interest on every dollar you deposit. This may seem low, but most of the big banks don’t pay any interest at all, so it’s actually a great rate. There are no monthly fees or a minimum balance requirement and you get additional benefits such as unlimited Interac e-Transfers, mobile cheque deposits, and access to 3,700 EXCHANGE Network – one of Canada’s largest ATM networks. If you need to access your cash abroad, you can get cash in the US through the Accel and Cirrus networks, or the Cirrus network if you’re travelling internationally. You can find out more here.

Great Investment Accounts

 What may also interest potential clients is that motusbank offers a variety of investment products. Their Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) pays 2.25% interest while the RRSP savings account has a rate of 2.00%. You only have access to savings accounts if you decide to set up an RRSP or TFSA with motusbank. That means you won’t be able to invest in things such as stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds, like you would with a robo advisor or discount brokerage. This may not matter to some savers who are looking for a place to stash their cash, but for people who are planning for the long term, they may want to consider additional options.

As for their guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), the rates are currently at 2.50% for an 18-month TFSA GIC. You can earn 2.70% but it needs to be within your RRSP and it gets locked in for 5 years. These rates are higher compared to other digital banks so it’s likely a promotional rate.

Competitive Mortgage Rates

Looking for a mortgage? No problem! If you like predictability when it comes to your finances, motusbank offers a range of 1-5 year fixed-rate mortgage rates at competitive interest rates. You can find out more here.

“We believe that every Canadian deserves a shot at owning a home,” says Dave Baldarelli, COO of motusbank. “Because we’re committed to offering a truly tailored and personalized approach, we’re giving our members an opportunity to choose what mortgage term fits their needs best. motusbank is a simple and hassle-free way to bank with a seamless and exceptional digital experience. There’s the added comfort in knowing that knowledgeable and professional staff are just a phone call away to help people make important decisions that require customized solutions.”

It’s Safe!

Whenever a new digital bank comes online in Canada, many consumers are rightfully concerned about the security of their money. motusbank may be a new digital bank, but they’re also a Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation member – which means your eligible deposits are insured up to $100,000.

Remember, motusbank is a fully owned subsidiary of Meridian, which currently has more than 300,000 members and $20 billion under management. So your money is in good hands!

The Bottom Line

For Meridian, opening a new online bank was a good move, as they were looking to expand their brand outside of Ontario. By introducing motusbank, Meridian will be able to reach more Canadians while offering a suite of products that are high in demand.

“This is a truly momentous and exciting day, not only for our organization but also for the millions of Canadians who have told us they are eager for an attentive, competitive and digitally-friendly alternative to the Big 5 banks,” says Bill Maurin, President and CEO of Meridian and motusbank.

We couldn’t agree more.

Article comments

16 comments
Nikhil says:

It seems the happier motusbank customers are quieter than the ones who may have complaints, as may be expected.

I have been with motusbank for a very short while only, and I am not looking to use their services for mortgages and line of credit.

For purely savings deposit (with a decent relative rate), and chequing account features, in my experience and for my requirements they have been quite satisfactory. They provide a debit card and 25 free cheques, which are handy.
EQ bank has neither of these options, to my knowledge.

Their agents have been quite responsive on call, and through in-account secure messages, even through COVID-19.

It depends on what you are looking for, I guess. I’d recommend them for usual chequing and savings usage.

Deb says:

We opened an application for a home equity line of credit at the beginning of Feb. We sent them everything they wanted. We have talked to customer service at least 5 times trying to find out what is going on. They conditionally approved us at the end of Feb and then nothing. No responses to emails. Even though customer services promises they will call us back they don’t. This bank is not passing the smell test. Something is seriously wrong. I am wondering if the regulators have stepped in and stopped their ability to lend money. Something is seriously wrong with this “bank”. I would not walk away from this business I would RUN!

chris says:

This bank sucks. I opened an account expecting the debit card and checks to be sent like the website says. I message them a week later asking what was taking so long. They say that my debit card would be sent out immediately and I would receive it in 4-7 days. This is ridiculous, who do these idiots think they are. They have stated or advertised on their website that the debit card and checks would be sent out after opening the account. Now they think I’m going to wait another 4-7 days. Time to call the regulators and file complaints. They wanted to be a bank and to be free of a necessitated reserves on their lending… well their going to see that massive regulations come as part of the deal. If your looking for a bank that tells you one thing and then does another this may be the bank for you!

Paul Revere says:

Questions:
If they have a limited catering towards Québec clientele, does Motusbank provide service in French? I dont see a bilingual page? Also, with Motusbank, can I pay my bills, like school taxes in Québec? It’s a full service bank, isn’t it?

Paul Revere says:

I have an account with Laurentian digital bank (2,25% interest), Alterna bank (2% interest) and Tangerine (only for their special offers, I presently get 2,75%). I move my money around, but Motusbank is not excluded, I’m just waiting for a better offer. Anyone?

Kelly Lee says:

MotusBank worse bank terrible lousy service

Jenn granich says:

I was with Motus bank for a year and I was happy. But then I made the mistake of being short $1.29 they charged me five dollars for being short then they charged me $40 for being $1.29 short. I called and asked why I was being charge so much and if they could waive this fee they refused. I said I guess that I would have to find another bank and they agreed. Horrible customer service. This was the first time in a year that I needed an overdraft.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Jenn,

That’s unfortunate! Take a look at our Complete Guide to Canada’s Best Banks: https://youngandthrifty.ca/complete-guide-canadas-best-online-banks/. You may find something that fits your needs.

Scott says:

I can only guess you must be paid for writing a review on motusbank since the bank is terrible. First off, the app is plain, slow and mind numbing bad. When you deposit a cheque through the app, the hold funds for 30 days…yes 30 days. They give you access to the first $100 after you’ve been a client for 90 days (which is the law). Also, they require you to hold on to the physical cheque for 90 days. If you deposit through the atm, they hold all funds(but the first $100 after 90 days being a client) even if it is cash. Yes , that’s right cash.
Dealing with their customer service is a joke, they give cursory, dismissive response to email and if you call them they are quite rude. The ONLY good thing about them is their rates. Also, as stated in this article, they are NOT a full service bank. They offer no credit cards whatsoever.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Scott,

motusbank isn’t perfect, but they do offer very competitive interest rates. If speedy transactions and responsive customer service is your #1 priority, I would suggest another online or brick-and-mortar bank. I use Tangerine and Scotiabank for my everyday banking, but keep my savings in a HISA at motusbank.

I hope this helps!

Alan says:

Not my experience at all. I’m a new customer so there is still time for them to get bad but to date I have spoken to 3 agents and they were all patient, courteous and helpful.

JF says:

Many sources on the internet right now state that Motusbank is not available for Quebec. This is not 100% true. I recently contacted Motusbank and they confirmed the following:

”We don’t currently meet the regulatory requirements of operating in Quebec; therefore, we cannot actively solicit business in the province. However, we can allow you to onboard as a new member but you will be restricted to acquiring deposit products only.”

”The only accounts you would not qualify for would be any lending products such as loans, overdraft protection, lines of credit and mortgages.”

Motusbank is a member of CDIC and protection covers all provinces in Canada.

I lived in the province of Quebec and I just finished opening my 2.50% TFSA saving account.

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi JF,

Yes, it’s true: the restrictions in Quebec only apply to lending products. Thanks for pointing this out!

Tom says:

Do you guy’s know if it’s like Tangerine, in order to keep your saving interest rate you have to call every 3 or 6 months to get a better offer ?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Tom,

The rates fluctuate at most banks. To stay updated, keep your eye on your motusbank account or website.

Alan Glover says:

I am a resident of Quebec and I just opened a TFSA with Motus and was invited to open any other accounts I desired. Perhaps the rules have changed since January 24, 2020, 43 days ago.