Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

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FIREGuy88
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Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by FIREGuy88 »

Mercury has launched personal checking accounts: https://mercury.com/personal-banking

There is an annual fee, but some of the features look quite good.

Bogleheads - what do we think? Could this be a viable competitor to Schwab?
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whodidntante
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by whodidntante »

They have a nice website. But I don't understand why I should pay $240 for it.
slondr
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by slondr »

What is Mercury?
hoofaman
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by hoofaman »

What's the value of a checking account these days? It's something I use to pay credit cards via ACH transfer, aside from that, I don't use these accounts for anything else, keep $0 in them typically
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9Iron
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by 9Iron »

Mercury is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by Choice Financial Group; Member FDIC.


Not my cup of tea ….
Harmanic
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by Harmanic »

You can get the same features from a Fidelity cash management account.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by nisiprius »

It's sure no competitor to Schwab. FIREguy88, how did you even hear about it?

$240/year for bankING services, from "a financial technology company, not a bank," with customer service and, so some extent, safety, dependent on a middleman through which all your deposits flow to and from the bank.

Obviously (?) that's not very interesting, even at a 5% APY. DepositAccounts is showing a slew of available high-yield savings accounts with rates of 5% or slightly over, so that's not a sensational rate. And on a deposit of $24,000, a fee of $240/year is similar to subtracting 1% from the APY. On an FDIC-max deposit of $250,000, a fee of $240/year is like subtracting about 0.1%.

Obviously (?) the kicker must be Mercury Treasury. Whatever that may be,
Mercury Treasury is not insured by the FDIC; not deposits or obligations of Choice Financial Group or its affiliates; not guaranteed by the bank or its affiliates; and may be subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal.
Without any clue as to what Mercury Treasury is, it's hard to say for sure that it's not "a competitor to Schwab" but I'd be astonished if it is.
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by cosmos »

FIREGuy88 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 7:56 pm Mercury has launched personal checking accounts: https://mercury.com/personal-banking

There is an annual fee, but some of the features look quite good.

Bogleheads - what do we think? Could this be a viable competitor to Schwab?
No thanks. I will stay with Schwab and let the zoomers rely on the phone based fintechs.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by nisiprius »

At least my searches have led me to discover a word to describe these "we-are-a-fintech-not-a-bank" thingies. They are "neobanks." Well, OK, then.

For the record, Charles Schwab Bank SSB is a bank.

FDIC listing

Image
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lostcoast2023
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by lostcoast2023 »

I am generally not a fan of FinTech startups that just provide a fancy UI on top of some random bank, but this appears to have some pretty compelling features, and offering Yubikey support is a big plus.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by UpperNwGuy »

FIREGuy88 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 7:56 pm Bogleheads - what do we think? Could this be a viable competitor to Schwab?
I am not willing to put any of my money into Mercury.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by nisiprius »

lostcoast2023 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:01 pm I am generally not a fan of FinTech startups that just provide a fancy UI on top of some random bank, but this appears to have some pretty compelling features...
Like?
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lostcoast2023
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by lostcoast2023 »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:01 pm
lostcoast2023 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:01 pm I am generally not a fan of FinTech startups that just provide a fancy UI on top of some random bank, but this appears to have some pretty compelling features...
Like?
I don't have an account, but looking at their website, I like the idea of "Receive‑only accounts" and ACH approvals. It was not clear if these were available to consumers or just business accounts.
tj
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by tj »

Never heard of it, don't see how it's a competitor to Schwab.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by toddthebod »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 8:48 pm Without any clue as to what Mercury Treasury is, it's hard to say for sure that it's not "a competitor to Schwab" but I'd be astonished if it is.
https://mercury.com/treasury

They'll invest your money in VUSXX and only charge you 0.5% for the privilege (on top of the $240, of course.)
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by friedplantain »

Mercury offers a fantastic business banking platform. Easy, secure, $5M FDIC insurance, no fees for any features, virtual debit cards on demand, user permissions for employees etc, and nicely integrated with common business applications (Quickbooks, Stripe, etc). However, the cost for this is 0% yield on idle cash, unless you qualify for Mercury Treasury ($500K minimum at present). I use this for my business and recommend Mercury for business.

I’m not certain that it offers enough on the personal side to justify $240 annually when similar cash management features and yield can be achieved with other no annual fee options, such as with Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity accounts and a money market mutual fund (either held as the core / settlement position or purchased within the account). Similar virtual card features are offered by Privacy.com for no fee with some limitations.
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FIREGuy88
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by FIREGuy88 »

Thanks all for your thoughts.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by Goodman60 »

friedplantain wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:32 am Mercury offers a fantastic business banking platform. Easy, secure, $5M FDIC insurance, no fees for any features, virtual debit cards on demand, user permissions for employees etc, and nicely integrated with common business applications (Quickbooks, Stripe, etc). However, the cost for this is 0% yield on idle cash, unless you qualify for Mercury Treasury ($500K minimum at present). I use this for my business and recommend Mercury for business.

I’m not certain that it offers enough on the personal side to justify $240 annually when similar cash management features and yield can be achieved with other no annual fee options, such as with Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity accounts and a money market mutual fund (either held as the core / settlement position or purchased within the account). Similar virtual card features are offered by Privacy.com for no fee with some limitations.
How does any financial institution offer $5M FDIC insurance?
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by toddthebod »

Goodman60 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 1:08 pm
friedplantain wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:32 am Mercury offers a fantastic business banking platform. Easy, secure, $5M FDIC insurance, no fees for any features, virtual debit cards on demand, user permissions for employees etc, and nicely integrated with common business applications (Quickbooks, Stripe, etc). However, the cost for this is 0% yield on idle cash, unless you qualify for Mercury Treasury ($500K minimum at present). I use this for my business and recommend Mercury for business.

I’m not certain that it offers enough on the personal side to justify $240 annually when similar cash management features and yield can be achieved with other no annual fee options, such as with Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity accounts and a money market mutual fund (either held as the core / settlement position or purchased within the account). Similar virtual card features are offered by Privacy.com for no fee with some limitations.
How does any financial institution offer $5M FDIC insurance?
They create accounts behind the scenes at 20 different banks and spread your money around.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by friedplantain »

Goodman60 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 1:08 pm
friedplantain wrote: Tue Apr 30, 2024 11:32 am Mercury offers a fantastic business banking platform. Easy, secure, $5M FDIC insurance, no fees for any features, virtual debit cards on demand, user permissions for employees etc, and nicely integrated with common business applications (Quickbooks, Stripe, etc). However, the cost for this is 0% yield on idle cash, unless you qualify for Mercury Treasury ($500K minimum at present). I use this for my business and recommend Mercury for business.

I’m not certain that it offers enough on the personal side to justify $240 annually when similar cash management features and yield can be achieved with other no annual fee options, such as with Vanguard, Schwab, or Fidelity accounts and a money market mutual fund (either held as the core / settlement position or purchased within the account). Similar virtual card features are offered by Privacy.com for no fee with some limitations.
How does any financial institution offer $5M FDIC insurance?
By using a bank sweep network. Similar to other financial institutions that use sweep networks (e.g., Fidelity Cash Management Account [$5M FDIC], Vanguard Cash Plus Account [$1.25M FDIC], Interactive Brokers Bank Deposit Sweep Program [$2.5M FDIC]).

https://mercury.com/vault
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by DEBTINATOR »

Why are folks saying "Competitor to Schwab"?

What's even good about Schwab Bank?
  • No Int'l ATM fees...OK
  • 0.45% hardly exciting

I haven't been able to find a single good checking account that isn't annoying, but Fidelity's MM change make make their CMA account the ONLY good checking account on the planet, still diving into the tradeoffs there.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by vtftw100 »

DEBTINATOR wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 1:51 pm Why are folks saying "Competitor to Schwab"?

What's even good about Schwab Bank?
  • No Int'l ATM fees...OK
  • 0.45% hardly exciting

I haven't been able to find a single good checking account that isn't annoying, but Fidelity's MM change make make their CMA account the ONLY good checking account on the planet, still diving into the tradeoffs there.
Wdym? No ATM (or any other type of) fees is a huge plus in a mainstream checking account. Fidelity is good too, but at the end of the day, it's not a proper bank. What other national bank do you know of that waives any/all fees + offers unlimited international ATM refunds + has decent customer service? I doubt you'd find any that do half of that without asking for massive assets (BofA PR, Chase Private Client etc).

High interest on Checking accounts is simply not the norm for mainstream banks. Chase is a hot favorite here and they offer no interest on any of their checking account regardless of asset size.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by beachtech »

FIREGuy88 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 7:56 pm Mercury has launched personal checking accounts
Do they give you paper checks? Doesn’t look like it: https://app.mercury.com/help/sending-checks

I still have to write paper checks a few times per year. Paying contractors, giving gifts, some tax payments... not a lot, but it comes up now and then. None of my paper check use cases would be ones where it would make sense to have the bank mail the check directly. Seems deceptive to call this a “checking account” without check writing capabilities.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by nisiprius »

beachtech wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 5:42 pm ...Seems deceptive to call this a “checking account” without check writing capabilities...
To me, too, but online banks have been doing it literally for decades so it must be legal. Apparently the distinction between "checking" and "savings" is some subtle regulatory distinction in your exact legal rights to withdraw money on demand?

It also seems deceptive to me for Mercury to claim to offer "bank accounts" when it is actually offering a fintech service to transmit your money to and from bank accounts at actual banks. This looks like language creep, other fintechs seem to use the word "bankING" and avoid saying they actually offer "bank accounts."

I have to think that the appeal must be branding, and that the chief customers will be people who are already doing business banking with Mercury. Obviously the brand name means something exciting to some people posting in this thread, and not to others.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by nisiprius »

toddthebod wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 11:30 pm
nisiprius wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 8:48 pm Without any clue as to what Mercury Treasury is, it's hard to say for sure that it's not "a competitor to Schwab" but I'd be astonished if it is.
https://mercury.com/treasury

They'll invest your money in VUSXX and only charge you 0.5% for the privilege (on top of the $240, of course.)
Funny, I couldn't find that one the website when I posted that. It also includes
Mercury Treasury Solutions with Morgan Stanley

Strategic cash investment services — eligible to customers with account balances over $25M.

High-touch, white glove service
Well, if they are doing a lot of touching, I'm glad they are going to be wearing gloves.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by MBB_Boy »

They are a well known and successful entity on the business side. Their new consumer checking foray is designed cater to the same crowd, not general public. It's for founders and other entrepreneurs who want to consolidate.

Almost all of their features are available for free elsewhere. The only unique thing is their idea of setting up sub-accounts with different permissions and debit cards. Could be useful for families I suppose. But not for $240.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by MBB_Boy »

nisiprius wrote: Sat May 04, 2024 5:59 am
beachtech wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 5:42 pm ...Seems deceptive to call this a “checking account” without check writing capabilities...
To me, too, but online banks have been doing it literally for decades so it must be legal. Apparently the distinction between "checking" and "savings" is some subtle regulatory distinction in your exact legal rights to withdraw money on demand?

It also seems deceptive to me for Mercury to claim to offer "bank accounts" when it is actually offering a fintech service to transmit your money to and from bank accounts at actual banks. This looks like language creep, other fintechs seem to use the word "bankING" and avoid saying they actually offer "bank accounts."

I have to think that the appeal must be branding, and that the chief customers will be people who are already doing business banking with Mercury. Obviously the brand name means something exciting to some people posting in this thread, and not to others.
To be fair, it's called Mercury Personal. They aren't using the term checking account. It's personal banking
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by BabaWawa »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:01 pm
lostcoast2023 wrote: Mon Apr 29, 2024 9:01 pm I am generally not a fan of FinTech startups that just provide a fancy UI on top of some random bank, but this appears to have some pretty compelling features...
Like?
OMG, you got nsiprius to post their shortest ever! Love it. :sharebeer
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by exodusNH »

nisiprius wrote: Sat May 04, 2024 5:59 am
beachtech wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 5:42 pm ...Seems deceptive to call this a “checking account” without check writing capabilities...
To me, too, but online banks have been doing it literally for decades so it must be legal. Apparently the distinction between "checking" and "savings" is some subtle regulatory distinction in your exact legal rights to withdraw money on demand?
Back when the Fed was enforcing fractional banking, checking/demand accounts had higher requirements than savings accounts. There are also obscure regulations that prevented interest on checking accounts (which is why New England had NOW accounts) but allowed it in savings accounts, with the 6 "convenient" withdrawal limit.

It's all, frankly, pretty stupid now, but gubbermint.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by zie »

MBB_Boy wrote: Sat May 04, 2024 12:28 pm
Almost all of their features are available for free elsewhere. The only unique thing is their idea of setting up sub-accounts with different permissions and debit cards. Could be useful for families I suppose. But not for $240.
Well said.
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Re: Mercury Has Launched Personal Checking Accounts - Competitor To Schwab?

Post by DEBTINATOR »

vtftw100 wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 2:13 pm
DEBTINATOR wrote: Fri May 03, 2024 1:51 pm Why are folks saying "Competitor to Schwab"?

What's even good about Schwab Bank?
  • No Int'l ATM fees...OK
  • 0.45% hardly exciting

I haven't been able to find a single good checking account that isn't annoying, but Fidelity's MM change make make their CMA account the ONLY good checking account on the planet, still diving into the tradeoffs there.
Wdym? No ATM (or any other type of) fees is a huge plus in a mainstream checking account. Fidelity is good too, but at the end of the day, it's not a proper bank. What other national bank do you know of that waives any/all fees + offers unlimited international ATM refunds + has decent customer service? I doubt you'd find any that do half of that without asking for massive assets (BofA PR, Chase Private Client etc).

High interest on Checking accounts is simply not the norm for mainstream banks. Chase is a hot favorite here and they offer no interest on any of their checking account regardless of asset size.
It's possible I'm spoiled. My credit union has done this (minus the international ATM fees) for a decade, and I've been using BofA + Merrill Edge for the best-in-the-market Credit Card and free checking ATM privileges for around 3 years.

Like 8 years ago when we went to Europe and Africa I opened the Fidelity account for the international ATM usage. It worked like 1 of 10 times, spent time on hold with customer service, it was miserable. Regular debit card worked fine of course and it probably cost me a few bucks. Maybe Schwab is that much better.
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