Digital Banks vs Traditional Banks [Which Is Better In 2024?]

Updated On: 09/23/2023 is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

As we thrust into the digital era, banking services adapt fast along with every other sector of the economy.

A fresh wave of new-age financial institutions, digital banks, has disrupted the traditional banking landscape. 'Digital banks vs traditional banks' is a hot topic of debate as you weigh their relative merits and decide which best meets your requirements.

Digital banks, filled to the brim with updated software and technology, are redefining convenience in consumer banking.

Traditional banks, on the other hand, are dependable stalwarts grounded on years of daily operation and trust.

To navigate this dynamic landscape, allow us to simplify and streamline your understanding of these two very different types of banking entities.

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What Are Digital Banks?

What Are Digital Banks?

Digital banks are online-based financial institutions that offer traditional banking services such as savings and checking accounts, money transfers, and personal loans.

They operate without physical branches, allowing customers to manage their finances entirely through digital platforms such as mobile apps or websites.

Digital banks often offer perks like lower fees, higher interest rates, round-the-clock customer service, and innovative tools for managing money.

Advantages of Using Digital Banks

Digital banks are gaining momentum due to the numerous advantages they offer. Let's delve into some of the most significant benefits:

  • Lower Fees: Digital banks often have fewer overhead costs than traditional banks, allowing them to charge fewer fees.
  • Convenience: Without physical branches, digital banking is available 24/7. This allows users to manage their finances anytime, anywhere.
  • Easy Account Opening: Setting up an account with a digital bank typically involves a simple online process that can be completed in minutes.
  • Real-Time Tracking: Digital banks provide instant updates on transactions and balances, facilitating better financial management.
  • Innovative Features: Many digital banks offer tools for budgeting, savings goals, or automatic categorization of expenses for easier tracking.
  • Enhanced User Experience: User-friendly interfaces and seamless transaction experiences make digital banking appealing to tech-savvy customers.
  • Global Accessibility: Digital banks allow you to access your financial data from anywhere in the world with internet connectivity.
  • Flexible Operating Hours: Access to services outside conventional banking hours provides added convenience for customers.
  • Eco-Friendly: Since they operate online, digital banks have a smaller carbon footprint than traditional banks.
  • Competitive Rates: In many cases, digital banks offer higher interest rates on savings accounts and lower interest rates on loans.
  • Integration: Digital banking services often integrate easily with other financial apps and services.
  • Customization: Many digital banking platforms allow account personalization according to user preferences.

Digital banking platforms enable swift transactions without long waiting times typical at physical bank branches.

The increasing ubiquity of smartphones makes this banking mode even more accessible and prevalent among users worldwide.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Digital Banks?

Despite the surge in popularity, digital banks have their own set of drawbacks. Here are some disadvantages for your consideration:

  • No Physical Branches: There's no place for face-to-face customer service with everything online. It can prove challenging, especially for complex issues.
  • Dependence on Technology: You need a stable internet connection to access your account and perform transactions. This could be a limitation in areas with poor connectivity.
  • Security Concerns: Threat of cyber-crimes like hacking and phishing attacks pose significant risks to online banking users.
  • Limited Services: Some complex services that their digital counterparts may not provide traditional banks offer.
  • Cash Handling: Large cash transactions or deposits can be troublesome as digital banks lack physical branches.
  • Younger Institutions: Many digital banks are relatively new and may lack longstanding trust and reputation.
  • Regulation Variability: Digital banks across different countries may not be regulated uniformly, adding uncertainty.
  • Potential for Technical Glitches: Your ability to conduct transactions could be temporarily halted due to technical difficulties or system updates.

Conducting due diligence before choosing to bank digitally can help mitigate potential downsides.

What Are Traditional Banks?

What Are Traditional Banks?

Traditional banks, also known as brick-and-mortar banks, are financial institutions that provide a full range of financial services, including checking and savings accounts, loans, and credit services.

These banks operate physical locations where customers can visit to conduct transactions or seek financial advice in person.

Services can also be accessed over the phone, via ATMs, or online. Traditional banks are typically federally insured, providing high security for deposits.

What Are the Advantages of Using Traditional Banks?

When we consider the value proposition offered by traditional banks, your choice to stick with brick-and-mortar might depend on these key factors:

  • Physical Presence: Walking into a branch and interacting face-to-face can feel comforting. This is especially true for complex transactions or addressing problems that require a personal touch.
  • Established Reputation: Traditional banks have existed for decades and are entrenched in the financial world. This long-standing history can translate into trust and reliance.
  • Personal Relationships: A familiar bank teller who knows you by name or a personal banker handling your loan application – all of these personal relationships add a human element missing in digital banks.
  • Cash Transactions: Traditional banks would be your best bet if you deal with cash regularly. From depositing cash or checks to withdrawing large amounts, physical banks facilitate these processes smoothly.
  • Complex Services: Services like notary certification, safe deposit boxes, brokerage services, etc., are available at traditional banks but may not be offered by online counterparts.
  • Safety Perception: Traditional Banks provide FDIC insurance, which assures the safety of deposits up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Not Internet Dependent: Unlike digital banks, traditional banking services aren't reliant on Internet connectivity. You can still perform transactions when your WiFi is acting up.

Traditional banks cater to personalized and comprehensive services that make them appealing. For operations like getting certified checks or dealing with international wire transfers, they provide concrete solutions that are hard to find elsewhere.

Disadvantages of Using Traditional Banks

Traditional banking comes with its share of drawbacks that you, as a bank customer, may find somewhat inconvenient or limiting. Let's consider key disadvantages to bear in mind when dealing with traditional banks:

  • Higher Fees: Traditional banks charge more for their services than digital banks. You may often encounter monthly maintenance, minimum balance, and transaction fees.
  • Less Convenience: Since transactions often require physical presence inside a bank branch during specified (usually business hours), the convenience factor takes a hit.
  • Slower Technology Adoption: Traditional banks are not always the quickest to integrate new technology into their service offering due to the complexities of reworking their extensive systems and processes.
  • In-Person Transactions: For those relying on digital services for most of their tasks, visiting the bank for certain transactions might prove inconvenient, especially if you value your time highly.
  • Less Competitive Rates: Traditional banks often do not provide interest rates as favorable as those offered by digital banks due to high operational costs reflected in their pricing structure.
  • Limited Digital Banking Services: While efforts are underway by many traditional banks to bolster their digital offerings, they are still playing catch-up with dedicated digital banks.
  • Bureaucracy and Red Tape: Processes can be slow-moving and require paperwork that might feel archaic compared to the seamless digital procedures online banking affords.
  • Limited Accessibility after Business Hours: Most traditional banks operate only during business hours,, which can be limiting if you need 24/7 access to personal banking assistance.

The choice between traditional and digital banking will depend on your individual needs and preferences – understanding these drawbacks will aid an informed decision-making process.

Also Read: Are Digital Banks Safe In 2024? [Complete Detailed Guide]

Financial Products: Digital Banks Vs Traditional Banks

Financial Products: Digital Banks Vs Traditional Banks

When selecting the most suitable financial institution for your needs, you must gauge their services carefully. Let's peel back the layers of the financial products offered by digital and traditional banks.

Digital Banks

Digital banks offer an array of financial products, usually accessible right from your smartphone. They launch with a more tech-savvy clientele in mind and hence the focus on products that can be managed primarily online. Some of their staple offerings include:

  • Checking accounts: Similar to traditional banks, digital banks also provide checking accounts for everyday payments and withdrawals.
  • Savings accounts: Digital banks commonly offer savings accounts with competitive interest rates.
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): Deposit a lump sum for a fixed term and earn guaranteed returns.
  • Personal loans: Unsecured loans based on creditworthiness are useful for consolidating debt or financing major purchases.
  • Credit cards: Virtual or physical cards are provided for making payments and purchases.
  • Overdraft protection: Protection from bounced checks or declined transactions when you overspend your account.
  • Mobile wallets: A secure way to store card details and make quick payments using only your mobile device.
  • Peer-to-peer payments: Transfer money to others digitally without needing physical cash.
  • Foreign currency accounts: Useful for those who work or travel overseas frequently, allowing for facile management of multiple currencies.
  • Investment platforms: Many digital banks provide platforms for investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and more, allowing you to grow wealth.
  • Mortgage loans: Despite not having physical locations, some digital banks offer mortgage services.
  • Business accounts: These are made for entrepreneurs and business owners. They provide digital tools to help manage business expenses seamlessly.
  • Business loans: Digital banks provide lines of credit or loans to help companies finance purchases or cover expenses.
  • Insurance products: Financial protection is offered in various forms - from travel insurance to mobile phone coverage.
  • Wealth management services: Conceived for individuals with significant wealth, these services include financial planning, investment management, and other financial services.
  • Retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs): Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) provide a tool for long-term savings with certain tax advantages.
  • Money market accounts: Typically offering higher interest rates than savings accounts but with more restrictions.
  • Prepaid cards: Like gift cards but reusable. You can keep adding funds as per your preferences.
  • Bill payment services: Streamlining the process of paying all your bills within one app or online platform.
  • Budgeting and financial planning tools: Digital banks often provide comprehensive tools that allow you to track your spending, create budgets, and plan for your financial future. These tools can often integrate with other financial accounts to give you a holistic view of your finances. They might offer insights into your spending habits and suggest ways to save more effectively.

Traditional Banks

Traditional banks have been the cornerstone of the financial industry for centuries. They have molded their services and offerings around the ever-changing needs of individuals and businesses.

As institutions, traditional banks offer a comprehensive array of services that are accessible at physical branch locations as well as through online platforms.

This combination of physical presence and digital access aims to provide maximum convenience to customers.

  • Checking accounts: The bedrock banking service facilitates daily financial transactions like receiving salaries, paying bills, or purchasing checkbooks or debit cards.
  • Savings accounts: Designed for longer-term deposit storage, these accounts help consumers store money safely while earning interest over time.
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs): These are time-bound deposits that allow customers to earn higher interest rates than regular savings accounts by agreeing to leave funds untouched for a set period.
  • Personal loans: These encompass various forms, including car loans, student loans, and unsecured personal loans, which can be used flexibly based on individual needs.
  • Mortgages: Traditional banks offer mortgages with various repayment terms and interest rates for larger purchases like homes.
  • Home equity loans: If you need large amounts of cash and have considerable equity in your home, you can borrow against it with these types of loans.
  • Credit cards: Offering flexibility in payments along with rewards like cash back or air miles, credit cards provided by traditional banks are popular financial tools. These banks often also provide support in case of lost cards or suspected fraud, unlike some newer fintech companies.
  • Business checking and savings account: Catering especially to business requirements, these accounts have features like high transaction limits or free commercial bill pay facilities.
  • Business loans: Traditional banks extend credit to businesses through term loans, lines of credit, or commercial mortgages. These credit forms help businesses manage cash flow, purchase equipment or even expand operations.
  • Commercial real estate loans: For business owners looking to buy, renovate, or refinance their commercial properties, traditional banks offer specialized real estate loans.
  • Auto loans: These are used specifically for the purchase of vehicles. They come with fixed interest rates, making them predictable and easy to account for.
  • Student loans: To assist students in funding their higher education, traditional banks offer loans that often have lower interest rates than other forms of credit.
  • Overdraft protection: An important service provided by traditional banks that prevents checks from bouncing or debit cards from declining if a customer doesn’t have enough money in their account at the time of a transaction.
  • Safe deposit boxes: Customers can rent these boxes within the bank's safe or vault to secure important documents, jewelry, or other valuable items.
  • Money market accounts: A hybrid between checking and savings accounts, these offer higher interest rates than checking accounts but have restrictions on several transactions.
  • Retirement accounts (e.g., IRAs, 401(k)s): These tax-efficient accounts help consumers plan and save for retirement.
  • Investment services: Unlike regular banking services, many traditional banks offer investment advisory and brokerage services. This is useful for customers looking to invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.
  • Insurance products: Banks often partner with insurance companies to provide life insurance, property insurance, auto insurance, and more in combination with other bank products.
  • Wealth Management Services: Tailored especially for high-net-worth individuals who need more comprehensive financial planning, including estate planning, real estate management, and tax strategies, along with regular banking services.
  • Foreign currency exchange: If you are traveling abroad or dealing in international trade, a foreign currency exchange service provided by your bank can be helpful.
  • Wire Transfers: Traditional banks enable wire transfers as a fast way to send money across states or even internationally. It's safe, secure, and can be tracked.
  • Traveler's Checks: A remark of a traditional banking system, traveler's checks provide travel-friendly benefits like easy replacement in case of loss or theft and acceptance at many places globally.

Offering this extensive range of services makes traditional banks stand out in the financial sector. They give their customers multiple ways to manage their money and financial responsibilities.

Future Prospects: Predictions for the Next Decade

As the world rapidly transforms into an increasingly digital space, digital and traditional banks will likely see significant changes. Here's our pick of the major shifts you can expect in the realm of financial services in the next decade:

Also Read: The 15 Best Banks For Digital Nomads 2024 [Complete Guide]

Digital Banks

Digital banks are on the fast track towards transforming their services to meet changing user concerns, regulatory landscapes, and advances in technology:

  • Global Expansion: As digital literacy rates continue to soar worldwide along with smartphone penetration, expect these online-only entities to extend their footprints on a much larger global scale.
  • AI Integration: With AI (Artificial Intelligence) streamlining everything for personalized customer experiences to fraud prevention, digital banks will up their AI game twofold.
  • Regulatory Evolution: Fast-changing regulations will dictate new rules of engagement. Expect more robust laws protecting consumers and keeping industry players on their toes.
  • Green Banking: Sustainability is becoming a non-negotiable across industries. Digital banking counterparts will strive to enhance their green quotient with eco-friendly practices getting mainstream attention.
  • Enhanced Security: As security threats evolve continually, a considerable focus would be on deploying sophisticated, real-time security measures against potential cyber threats.
  • Financial Inclusion: With worldwide efforts for greater financial inclusion, digital banking solutions for unbanked or underbanked populations will gain meaningful traction.
  • Partnership Ecosystems: Collaborations with tech giants, FinTech innovators, and traditional bank peers will create broader service ecosystems that comprehensively serve consumers' varied needs.
  • Customized Products: Consumers desire personalized experiences. Expect custom-crafted banking products tailored uniquely to individual user's lifestyles and financial objectives.
  • Digital-only services: Unique banking services exclusive to the digital platform will grow in number and popularity. These may range from advanced budgeting tools to gamified savings programs.
  • Continuous Innovation: The need to stay competitive will provoke continuous innovation, from enhancing user-friendliness and accessibility to rolling out new features faster.

You can anticipate greater consumer education initiatives from digital banks. As more people come online and engage with digital banking platforms, ensuring users understand how to use these platforms best and protect their financial data will likely be a substantial focus.

So will the push for even quicker transaction times, ensuring instant payments become the norm rather than the exception.

As technology evolves and consumer expectations rise, digital banks are set to become ever more efficient, secure, and user-friendly.

Traditional Banks

Traditional banks have been a part of our communities for as long as most of us can recall. These financial institutions, with their familiar architectural profiles and familiar logos, represent more than just money.

They embody trust, stability, and a sense of being rooted in our societal fabric. They've weathered numerous economic storms while serving their clientele's diverse financial needs. Let's delve into some positives and negatives of traditional banks.


Traditional banks are adapting to the rapid pace of technological changes without losing their core value propositions. Here are key strategies that show how they're self-transforming:

  • Digital Transformation: In response to the digital age, many traditional banks have embraced technology by offering online banking services that mirror those provided by digital banks. This shift enlarges their reach while offering customers flexibility and convenience.
  • Partnerships with Fintech: Instead of competing head-on with fintech companies, many traditional banks choose collaboration. They partner with fintech firms to integrate new tech-driven features into their portfolio, providing customers with sophisticated financial tools.
  • Diversified Services: Traditional banks offer a broad range of services, from basic accounts to complex financial products such as mortgages, auto loans, business accounts, and wealth management assistance. This diversification is inherently helpful to customers seeking multifaceted financial solutions.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Being time-tested institutions, traditional banks are well-versed in navigating complex regulatory landscapes, which instills trust in customers about the safety and security of their funds.


Despite the enumerated strengths above, traditional banking also grapples with challenges:

  • Branch Closures: The cost-intensive nature of maintaining physical branches eventually leads to some closures, especially when digitally-inclined clientele prefer online transactions.
  • Customer Attrition: A consequence of branch closures is customer attrition; clients may switch towards more convenient platforms, especially if their local branch shuts down.
  • Operational Costs: Traditional banks face higher overhead costs due to physical infrastructure needs, employee salaries, and other related expenses. These costs sometimes result in higher fees charged to customers.
  • Legacy Systems: Having been around for years, some traditional banks are burdened with aging technology systems. Innovating upon or replacing these systems can be time-consuming and costly.

While traditional banks strive to keep up in an increasingly digital world, they also face certain disadvantages.

The critical takeaway is that the choice between digital and traditional banking hinges on your unique financial needs and preferences.

Who Can Benefit From Digital Banking?

Who Can Benefit From Digital Banking?

Digital banking can offer manifold benefits to a broad spectrum of users. Its features are designed to optimize the banking experience for everyone, from everyday consumers and business owners to travelers and expats.

Also Read: Is Digital Bank A Bank? [Complete Guide]

Everyday Consumers

For the average everyday consumer, digital banks bring an unmatched level of convenience.

  • Convenience: Forget about waiting in line at your local bank branch or rushing over after work before it closes. Digital banks operate online, allowing you to pay your bills, transfer money, or withdraw funds from the comfort of your home.
  • 24/7 Access: One of the key advantages of online banking is the ability to access your account anytime, anywhere. You’re no longer bound by a bank's operating hours – feel free to check on your finances in the middle of the night if that suits you!
  • Instant Transactions: Sending or receiving money is instant with digital banks. No more waiting days for checks to clear - do it all in real-time.

Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

Digital banking offers robust financial tools to help business owners streamline their operations.

  • Efficiency: With digital banks, you literally have all the financial resources you need at your fingertips. Pay bills, transfer money, and manage expenses without wasting time commuting or queuing at a bank.
  • Expense Tracking: Digital banks equip users with intuitive tools for tracking and categorizing expenses - crucial for budgeting and tax preparation.
  • Integration with Other Tools: Many digital banks allow integration with accounting software so you can sync transactions, simplifying accounting processes.


Hopping across borders? Everything is easier on the go, with digital banks offering incredible support features for travelers.

  • Global Access: Transfer money internationally without massive fees or troublesome exchange rates typical of traditional banks.
  • Currency Conversion: Convert currency at competitive rates from your mobile app – no more hunting down currency exchange kiosks or dealing with hefty fees.

Expatriates and Immigrants

Relocating to another country can be daunting, but digital banking can facilitate smoother financial transitions.

  • Cross-border Transfers: Send or receive money quickly and securely to and from your home country.
  • Multi-currency Accounts: Some digital banks support multiple currencies, saving you from the hassle of opening a new local bank account as soon as you land.

Underserved Populations

Digital banks are an excellent tool for financial inclusion, providing access to basic banking services to marginalized and underserved populations.

  • Financial Inclusion: Digital banks can reach people who are unbanked or underbanked. This includes those who don't have easy access to traditional brick-and-mortar banks due to geographical constraints or other socio-economic issues.
  • Lower Costs: With fewer overhead costs, digital banks often provide cheaper banking options. This can include lower fees, no minimum balance requirements, or more affordable account options.

Tech-savvy Millennials and Gen Z

The digital nature of these new-age banks resonates well with the younger, tech-friendly generations.

  • User Experience: Digital banks prioritize user experience with intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces that make banking hassle-free.
  • Innovative Features: Things like real-time spending alerts, budget tracking tools, cryptocurrency options, and gamified savings are just some innovative features that attract tech-savvy users.

People Seeking Better Interest Rates

If earning high interest on your savings is a priority, digital banking might be for you.

  • Competitive Rates: Online-only operations mean digital banks have less overhead and can pass those savings onto customers through more competitive rates than brick-and-mortar alternatives.

Environmental Advocates

For those mindful of their carbon footprint, choosing a digital bank is a step in a greener direction.

  • Paperless Transactions: Paper consumption drops dramatically since all transactions are conducted online via apps or websites, and account statements are electronic.

Individuals with Mobility Issues

People with mobility or health issues who find it challenging to visit physical branches will find solace in the accessibility provided by digital banks.

  • Accessibility: With remote banking available at your fingertips 24/7 from home, individuals facing mobility constraints do not have to worry about commuting to a physical branch.

Freelancers and Gig Workers

Freelancers and gig economy workers who need flexible, on-the-go banking can benefit greatly from digital banks.

  • Flexible Banking: Many digital banks offer features like flexible payment dates, instant invoice payments, and easy expense tracking that cater to the unpredictable nature of freelance work.

Who Can Benefit From Traditional Banking?

Who Can Benefit From Traditional Banking?

There are several groups of people who stand to benefit greatly from traditional banking. This form of banking is not outdated, as some may believe, and it can provide many advantages to its users.

Senior Citizens

Senior citizens often prefer traditional banking over online or mobile banking. Often, they're accustomed to in-person service and might not be as comfortable using digital platforms.

Also, traditional banks offer direct conversations with bank employees who can explain complex bank transactions or issues.

Business Owners

Business owners, especially the ones dealing with a significant amount of cash transactions, often find traditional banks more beneficial. They might have to make frequent deposits or withdrawals that exceed the limits imposed by digital platforms.

Individuals Seeking Loans

Traditional banks often have a wider range of loan products and better rates than alternative financial institutions. It’s also easier for borrowers because they may discuss their needs face-to-face in the bank.

People Valuing Relationship Banking

Some customers value personalized service where they can develop a long-term relationship with their bank —a level of interaction that's usually less achievable via online banking services.

Individuals Without Regular Internet Access

For individuals without steady access to the Internet, traditional banks allow them to conduct banking activities with ease. They can perform all banking activities by visiting their nearest branch without worrying about connection issues.

Customers Seeking Complex Financial Services

Some more complex financial services (e.g., taking out large loans or mortgage refinancing) may require visiting a physical location for consultation and document signing procedures. Traditional banks cater to these requirements effectively.

Safety-Conscious Individuals

Cybersecurity threats are real for online banks. Those who are more cautious about their account safety might prefer traditional brick-and-mortar banks where they think funds are likely more secure.

Community-Oriented Individuals

Many people appreciate community-oriented banking practices where funds are returned back to local economies through loans or investments made by the bank. Traditional local banks serve this purpose well.

Individuals Preferring Paper Records

Some people find hard-copy records easier to understand and manage. Traditional banks allow customers to keep their transaction records and bank statements in paper format, an option usually not offered or limited by online-only banks.

Digital Banks Vs Traditional Banks: Which Is The Superior Choice?

Digital Banks Vs Traditional Banks: Which Is The Superior Choice?

The choice between digital banks and traditional banks largely depends on individual preferences and banking needs.

Digital banks could be the superior choice for those who prioritize convenience, low fees, and 24/7 access to their account.

If you're comfortable with technology and prefer to bank from your smartphone or laptop without visiting a physical branch, a digital bank might serve you well.

Traditional banks could be better for those who prefer in-person service or have more complex banking needs. If you prefer personal interactions for your banking issues, require services like notary or cashier's checks, or frequently deal with cash transactions, a traditional bank might be your ideal choice.

The superior banking system is one that best fits your personal lifestyle and financial needs. In recent years, many consumers are finding that a mix of both digital and traditional banking offers them the best of both worlds.

Also Read: 20 Reasons Why Digital Banks Are The Future Of Banking 2024

Top Digital Banks

The upswing of digital banks has transformed the way people handle their money, and the competition in this space is fierce.

Many digital banks offer customer-friendly features, competitive interest rates, and low fees, making them enticing options for individuals searching for a tech-forward approach to banking.

There's a growing list of formidable contenders in the market, but three digital banking giants that have carved out a notable niche are Wise, Revolut, and SoFi.


Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is an online platform spotlighted for its transparent and cost-effective approach to international money transfers.

Founded in 2010 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, Wise serves millions of customers worldwide with its services extended to over 70 countries.

Aside from its core product of international money transfer services, users can also open borderless accounts which allow operation in multiple currencies.

On the surface level might look like a bank account- but at its heart is a tailor-made solution to help users transfer money across borders cheaply with no hidden costs.


Revolut has quickly emerged as one of the leading digital banks since its inception in 2015. This UK-based financial technology company provides an extensive range of services, including currency exchange, cryptocurrency trading and peer-to-peer payments - all with just a few taps on your smartphone.

Drawing strength from innovation lines across their products- Revolut also provides budgeting tools and instant spending notifications (which traditional banks were slow to implement).

Above all else stands their offering in Exchange Rates: one can spend abroad in over 150 currencies at the interbank exchange rate.


Social Finance Inc., commonly known as SoFi was founded back in 2011 as a student loan refinancing company but has evolved into holistic online banking hub equipped with financial literacy education for customers exploring their options.

From budgeting tools to career counseling services, SoFi covers a lot of ground in helping you improve your financial health.

When it comes to digital banking services, SoFi delivers closely from traditional banking offerings - with robust features like no-fee checking and high-interest savings accounts, personal loans, insurance - even investment opportunities.

High-yield savings is a strong play from SoFi: they promise higher returns compared to the national average offered by many traditional banks.


Ally Financial has been a trailblazer in the digital banking landscape since its start as an online-only bank in 2009.

It was one of the first to roll out 24/7 customer service and consistently stays at the forefront of cutting-edge banking trends. With no minimum deposit requirement on accounts, free access to over 43,000 ATMs nationwide, and competitive interest rates for savings accounts and CDs, Ally offers a high-value proposition to its customers.

Ally stands out with its dedication to customer-centric policies like no hidden fees or penalties for early withdrawal from CDs.

Also Read: Who Owns The 27 Biggest Digital Bank? [2024 Biggest Banks]


San Francisco-based Chime is heralded as one of America's fastest-growing neobanks that Founded in 2012. Their digital banking platform stays fresh and user-friendly by promoting fee-free banking services integrated into an intuitive mobile app.

Chime caters predominantly to a younger demographic with money management tools including automatic savings options with round-ups on purchases and encouraging savings with paychecks credited up to two days early.

Chime's offer is simple yet compelling: it provides a seamless banking experience without the standard banking fees.


Varo Money was the first fully online bank to receive approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Since launching in 2017, it has put forward robust checking and savings accounts that boast impressive interest rates. Varo benefits their users with no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees.

Catering also extend towards the age of automated budgeting tools - they offer automatic savings tools featuring 'Save Your Pay' where you can set a percentage of your deposits for transfer into your savings account automatically.

The attractive features like early direct deposit & no overdraft fees combined make Varo an enticing choice.

Also Read: Understanding Varo Cash Advance 2024 [Comprehensive Guide]

Top Traditional Banks

Top Traditional Banks

When talking about traditional banks, or the stalwarts of the banking industry, there are a few names that instantly ring a bell.

Offering an extensive range of services coupled with the reassurance of physical presence, these key players continue to hold a strong position despite growing digital competition.

Bank Of America

Bank of America stands out with its comprehensive financial products and large network of branches and ATMs nationwide.

With core offerings encompassing checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, investment accounts, and small business services, it caters to a wide spectrum of customer needs.

BoA supports online banking via its well-designed website and mobile app. One notable feature is their Preferred Rewards program which offers exclusive benefits for loyal customers such as waived bank fees and loan discounts.

Also Read: How To Activate American Express Business Card In 2024?

JPMorgan Chase Bank

Renowned for customer service and wide accessibility amongst the traditional banks in the US is JPMorgan Chase Bank.

They offer varied financial services ranging from standard checking and savings accounts to mortgage loans and wealth management solutions.

Not just limited to personal banking services, they also have offers tailored for small businesses such as business lines of credit or commercial banking.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank holds one of the top spots when it comes to full-service nationwide banks in America. Their footprint spans across 28 states offering convenience to customers spread out geographically.

You can find feature-rich checking and savings accounts, mortgages, car loans along with comprehensive investing services on their roster.

Their online platform for managing your finances is also efficient offering functions like depositing checks by taking a photograph - one step closer towards digitization!

Citi Bank

One of the largest globally recognized banks, Citibank provides convenient and advanced banking solutions both online and in-person.

Their extensive product lineup includes checking and savings accounts, home loans, credit cards, wealth management services, and more.

They also offer substantial perks with their ThankYou Rewards program where you can earn points on everyday purchases.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs may be more commonly associated with its investment and wealth management services, but it also offers personal banking through its digital platform Marcus by Goldman Sachs.

This distinguished bank stands out for its highly competitive interest rates on savings accounts and personal loans. There's no minimum deposit to get started, making it a highly accessible choice for many.

Wells Fargo

As one of America’s leading traditional banks, Wells Fargo has made its mark through extensive service offerings including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgage loans as well as retirement services.

Its strong physical presence with thousands of branches and ATMs across the nation makes it a go-to option for those who appreciate in-person banking experiences.

FAQs about digital banks vs traditional banks

What is the major difference between digital banks and traditional banks?

Digital banks operate solely online with no physical branches, while traditional banks offer both online services and physical branches.

Are my money and personal information safe with digital banks?

Yes, digital banks utilize high-level security measures to protect your money and personal information, often comparable to those employed by traditional banks.

Can I deposit cash at a digital bank?

No, typically digital banks do not support cash deposits because they lack physical branches; however, some have partnerships with retail locations to accept cash deposits.

Do traditional banks offer the same technological conveniences as digital banks?

While many traditional banks have embraced online banking, their technological conveniences may not be as extensive or innovative as those provided by purely digital institutions.

What happens if a digital bank fails or goes out of business?

Most reputable digital banks are FDIC-insured which means customers' funds are protected up to $250,000 per depositor, in the event of a bank failure.


The choice between digital banks and traditional banks boils down to your specific banking needs and preferences.

Both offer unique advantages; digital banks excel in convenience and innovation, while traditional banks offer trusted physical presence and personalized service.

Invest time in examining your banking requirements, lifestyle, and comfort with technology before deciding.

Whether you lean towards the digital advancements or stick with the traditional stalwarts, it's clear that innovative solutions blended with reliability is the future of banking.

Michael Restiano

I support product content strategy for Salt Money. Additionally, I’m helping develop content strategy and processes to deliver quality work for our readers.

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