Robo advisors are getting more praises from expert financial advisory services like Forbes, Bankrate, and Investopedia. The ease of investing, higher yield savings, and complete FDIC backed securities have helped propel automated saving accounts (with robo-advisory features) into the mainstream investment markets. Many robo-advisors have become a core part of the products that online banks offer.
Complete digitization of transactions and online money management set online banks apart from traditional banks and their savings accounts. Many traditional banks have been slow to adapt to online technology and still require customers to visit branches and go through paperwork.
Online banks allow you to do everything online, which makes the banking process much faster and safer, especially in times when clients want to follow social distancing measures.
In this article, we look at the pros and cons of the banking services offered by the First Republic Bank compared to the products and services of the premium online bank: Unifimoney.
The Firs Republic vs. Unifimoney comparison is more than just an analysis of how a traditional bank stands against an online bank backed-up by cutting-edge technology. It’s about different financial institutions (through their banking/operating model) strive to create more value for their clients.
First Republic Bank is headquartered in San Francisco and is currently the largest bank in the state of California. It was reorganized in 2010 and offered much better interest rates than other traditional banks. While their yield is higher than most banks, the service quality leaves a lot to be desired.
The bank offers a variety of savings, checking, and CD accounts. They also offer money market and IRA savings accounts.
Unifimoney is a new and refreshing addition to robo-advisor saving accounts. The company offers multiple saving, spending, and investment options that can be accessed through a single account. It offers a high-interest rate of 0.2% on all savings while keeping the minimum investment limit as low as possible. You can open an account with as little as $1,000, but you will need to maintain monthly deposits of $6,000 or a minimum balance of $35,000 for no-fee banking.
Unifimoney also gives you FIDC coverage of up to $750,000 through affiliated partner banks. They also offer debit cards that can be used to make purchases and even allow cash withdrawal through affiliated ATMs. You don't need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a good return. With First Republic Bank, you would need to invest at least $500,000 to get the same return (i.e., 0.20%) that you can get with Unifimoney with just a $1,000 investment.
First Republic Bank doesn't specifically target or caters to high-net-worth individuals, but its services and the rates it offers are geared more towards high-net-worth individuals or high-earning professionals. It can be considered private banking to an extent. Unifimoney, on the other hand, is a premium online bank, and since it doesn’t suffer from the same overhead costs as a traditional bank does, it’s well-positioned to create more value for its users.
Both First Republic Bank and Unifimoney are full-service banks. A major difference between the core product they both offer, i.e., a bank account, is that Unifimoney, which aims to make money management simpler, more efficient, and productive, only offers one hybrid account that serves as both checking and saving. First Republic Bank, on the other hand, offers four checking, passbook savings, and two money market accounts.
Passbook savings accounts differ from online and traditional savings accounts in one important way. You need to have a passbook to make deposits or withdrawals to your account, which means you always have to visit a branch for those transactions. The Passbook Savings Account from First Republic Bank is no different. You'll need to go to a branch to add or withdraw money. You don't get an ATM card with your account either. This may not be convenient if you like having ATM access to your savings or if you prefer using mobile banking to make deposits.
The interest rates differ as well. Unifimoney offers a flat 0.2% APY on all balance amounts, whereas First Republic offers APY based on your account balance.
First Republic Bank also has full-featured banking services and relevant bank accounts for businesses. Both banks offer lending products. The First Republic has a more extensive range of products, including a line of credit. In contrast, Unifimoney offers auto-loans and student loan refinancing, two products the First Republic doesn’t offer.
First Republic Bank offers three investing modes:
All three include advice and management guidance from financial experts but on different levels (and at different costs). Eagle Invest is an automatic way to invest, and based on the personal intervention of a financial advisor, it might cost you between 0.4% and 1%.
Unifimoney allows you to self-direct your investments and also comes with a state-of-the-art robo-advisor, powered by cutting-edge AI and has proprietary features like a market correction index, which can predict and account for impending market crashes and manage your portfolios accordingly. Unifimoney’s different portfolios offer different returns, but its efficiency and return potential even in a turbulent market is evident in all of its portfolios.
The fee structure varies based on the robo-advisor tier you choose:
Even though First Republic Bank has an online wing, its physical presence is limited to 80 locations in seven states. Unifimoney serves clients all across the country. Unifimoney is poised to become one of the fastest-growing robo-advisor saving accounts in the market. It has attracted lots of potential investors, and its growth in assets is impressive.
The bank offers a complete digital wealth management solution that traditional saving passbook accounts cannot meet. You get the freedom to use your money as you see fit while still getting the benefit of a high-yield account.
As business transactions continue to shift online, both investors and banking service consumers will find Unifimoney useful for their needs. Its goal-oriented savings tools and checkbook options will appeal to retirement investors.
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The above does NOT constitute an offer, solicitation of an offer, nor advice to buy or sell specific securities. The opinions listed above are not the opinions of Unifimoney Inc. or Unifimoney RIA, Inc. but represent the opinions of independent contributors. These contributors may or may not hold positions in the stocks discussed. Investors should always independently research any stocks listed and form their own opinions, while recognizing that any investments made may lose value, are not bank guaranteed and are not FDIC insured.