Dedicated to Deposits: Deals, Data, and Discussion

Review of the New Internet Savings Account at Darby Direct - Nationally Available

POSTED ON BY

Darby Direct
Update 11/07/09: The savings account rate is now 1.75% APY.

Update 5/01/09: I'm afraid another bank changes the availability of its online savings account. From the bank's website:

Effective May 1, 2009 available to Georgia residents only.

Dary Direct is offering a no-minimum internet savings account with a 3.00% APY as of 4/12/09. It looks like a typical online savings account. Some of the features as described in the bank's FAQ include:
  • Open to all residents of the United States. You must be a United States citizen at least 18 years of age to apply online
  • No monthly fees, no minimum balances
  • Interest is accrued daily, compounded monthly and credited at the end of each month.
  • Initial deposits begin to accrue interest 2 business day after being processed. They are available to be withdrawn after this 2 day period
  • Electronic statements only
  • Customer support available by phone (1-866-599-4256), email, and secure BankMail
  • Limited to the typical six online withdrawals as required by Regulation D
  • For bank-to-bank ACH transfers, you can link your Online Savings Account to any other account at another financial institution
  • Wire transfers are also accepted
As is typical, the bank doesn't provide many details on its bank-to-bank transfer system. The three important features of bank-to-bank transfer services include the number of links allowed, limitations on the amount of the transfers and the speed of the transfers. The first two are usually known by the customer service (I'll check on Monday). The speed of the transfers usually requires personal experience since customer service generally quotes the worst case.

Update 4/13/09: I called the bank several times today, and the line was always busy, but I was finally able to contact a Darby Bank representative. Below is a summary of the info I received from the rep:
  • The bank-to-bank ACH transfer service is free
  • For the number of links to external accounts, the rep didn't think there was a limit. However, a reader who just opened an account said it looks like it allows up to three.
  • (Update, see below) There are small limits in the transfers that you can initiate at Darby Direct: $2,500 per transaction and $5,000 per month for inbound, $2,500 per transaction and per day for outbound. They may consider increasing these limits on a case-by-case basis.
  • 2 to 3 day holds on ACH deposits. Interest starts accruing on the day the funds are deposited.
  • There's no hard credit inquiry.
  • They don't allow beneficiaries to be listed.
If you've already opened this account and found something to be different than what's described above, please leave a comment. The CSRs are often not 100% right on the account details.

A big downside is the limitation on the ACH transfers. A $2,500 limit is small. However, it appears you should be able to originate ACH transfers at your other bank. Plus, they also accept wire transfers. Update 4/21/09: Readers have reported that the inbound transfer limit using Darby Direct's own transfer service has been increased from $2,500 to $10,000 per transaction. If you originate your ACH transfer from your existing bank, there is no transfer limit.

Not allowing beneficiaries to be listed may also be a major issue for some. This will mean that you won't be able to go above $250K in one account for the current FDIC limits ($500K for joint accounts).

Is Darby Direct a Legitimate Bank?

Yes, I think it's legit. The bank is an online division of Darby Bank & Trust Co., a member FDIC (FDIC Certificate # 14580). As is common for internet banks, the FDIC only lists the bank's main website URL in its database, and DarbyBank.com doesn't seem to have any references to darby-direct.com. That always makes me a little concerned. However, the application link at darby-direct.com takes you to the uMonitor.com domain. uMonitor.com provides online account opening and funding service to several banks and credit unions. One of the banks is Bank2 which I reported on last month. So I feel confident that it's legitimate.

How Long Will It Remain Competitive?

The other issue I'm sure many have is how long will this bank keep the rate competitive. I don't see any intro-period guarantee. On the front page, it states "Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of November 1, 2008 and may vary.&quot (I wonder if we had missed this for the last 5 months). Even though there's no minimum balance requirements, it's still a hassle to open a new account only to see the rate fall to mediocrity after a few months. I doubt they'll be a rate leader for the long term, but they could remain competitive for a while. Darby Bank is a little larger than Citizens National Bank, which I reported on in September 2008. The bank's internet division, CNB Bank Direct, continues to offer a competitive rate on its online savings account.

Bank Overview

Statistics from the FDIC as of 12/31/08:
  • 7 offices in Southeast Georgia
  • 170 employees
  • $785 million in assets
  • $649 million in deposits
Financial ratings for safety and soundness:
Thanks to the readers who mentioned this new savings account in the Daily News & Deals post.

Edit 4/14/09: Corrected customer service number (Their FAQ under "How do I reach a live person" had 888 rather than 866. It should be 866).
  Tags: Darby Direct, Georgia, savings account

Related Posts

Comments
58 comments.
Comment #1 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Hi Banking Guy,
When you contact Darby, would you please ask the following questions?
Do they do a hard credit pull?
Can I have beneficiaries? If I can, can I add beneficiaries if I apply on line. Most banks do not let us add beneficiaries during the on-line application.
About the ACH speed, after a deposit posts to the account, is there a hold period before the money is available to withdraw? When do we start earning interest?
Thanks!

1
Comment #2 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Having the rate set at 3% back on November 1, 2008 without any change since that time seems very odd. If people start to flood them with deposit money, I think the eventual result will be what we have seen with other small online banks that suddenly got a lot of new business.

1
Comment #3 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just called the bank at (866) 599-4256, option3: no waiting.

1
Comment #4 by xninjagrrl (anonymous) posted on
xninjagrrl
I opened one of these accounts this morning just to see if it seemed legit and it does. I can login to my account using the regular darbybank.com website. Also, the darby-direct.com site states: Darby Direct deposit accounts are offered by Darby Bank & Trust Co. Member FDIC. Deposits are insured to the maximum permitted by law.

I checked the regular darbybank.com site for this 3.00% rate and could not find it anywhere.

1
Comment #5 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Why would you want to bank with an organisation which has the following contradiction in terms:

"Open to all residents of the United States. You must be a United States citizen at least 18 years of age to apply online."

All (legal) RESIDENTS of the US are not CITIZENS. Darby Direct look like idiots with their contradictory statements alone. They probably mean (legal) residents of the US but an inability to state that clearly show them to be incompetent at best! Find a better place for your money.

1
Comment #6 by DataIsGold (anonymous) posted on
DataIsGold
I also opened the account last night. Signed up for online access this morning. It looks like you can link up to three other banks for ACH transfers.

1
Comment #7 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To anonymous @ 1:14 PM. It is not a contradiction in terms. Read the sentences separately.

Open to all residents of the United States (so non-citizens can apply).

You must be a citizen (presumably for a credit check) to apply on line.

A citizen can apply on line, via telephone, or by mail. However, a non-citizen resident can only apply via telephone or by mail.

1
Comment #8 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Baloney!

1
Comment #9 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Thank you for choosing Darby Direct. We welcome all residents of the United States to apply.

This application process should take approximately 10 minutes, and you will need the following items:

Driver's license or a passport
U. S. social security number
U. S. citizenship or resident alien status

This is what it says..... note "resident alien status", not baloney.

1
Comment #10 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I e-mailed Darby Direct 5 day ago and asked questions about the money market account but still had no response. Sure, I can call the number, but I'm the kind of customer who wants the questions answered on paper for evidence incase my money is not handled the way I would accept. Not sure if I will still open an account with them.

1
Comment #11 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
How can a bank not let you designate a beneficiary? If I die, who would get my money? I'm new to all of this, so please enlighten. Thanks!

1
Comment #12 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I submitted an online application last night. Very quick and finished in less than five minutes. It appears to use the CHEX system to verify identity. I didn't receive an account number and it returned my submission as a "pending application". So I will wait for a response back from the company. The toll free number listed in this article IS NOT correct. I also dialed this same number and kept getting busy signals (this was during non-business hours), so I said to myself "this number must be wrong". It seems that the number on one of their webpage listed 1-888 instead of 1-866 and I believe the WATS toll free number system gives you a fast busy signal for invalid or unassigned phone numbers (not sure way). I think that they will accept all applicants who have a US based ID regardless if you are a citizen or not. That is why you need some of identification from an issuing US government or state government agency. As for POD beneficiary (Totten Trust accounts), the online application does not show that option. For that situation, the account goes to either your joint applicant or your estate if you should die. If you want to establish a Totten Trust account, I would call the bank directly and not do it online.

1
Comment #13 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
By the way, Darby Direct does not offer money market accounts or CD accounts online. If you want those type of accounts, you must apply to Darby Bank instead (which requires a either a branch visit or via mail). I did not find a link to apply for accounts on the Darby Bank main website. I only found links to access online banking (which presumably is for people who already have accounts). I also found a news article where the bank reported that bogus cashiers checks using the bank's routing numbers were recently reported. One of the bank officers reported this incident to the Fed. Fake cashier's checks are a big business with scam artists now.

1
Comment #14 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Just from my experience, they responded to my email inquiry in 1 day and their phone hours are from 9 to 5 PM Monday through Friday. No weekends. If you call after hours, you get a recorded message to call back during business hours or you can also leave a message.

1
Comment #15 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
They do not list their current rates on their main bank website. I guess they don't have someone who keeps updating their web information on a daily basis.

1
Comment #16 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
After leaving 2 messages, I got through and talked to a rep. She said this rate has been going since November. They just advertised it on bankrate.com, so that along with this awesome blog (thanks again banking guy) is causing a flood of applications. She said they are backed up on processing, and it will be 2-3 days from applying to get approved (I applied Sunday night). She said they will likely call to confirm identity, but could be by email. She confirmed Darbydirect is affiliated with Darby bank. She said the 3.00% rate is not guaranteed, but, not expected to decrease soon. I was a little worried about this bank, but feel better now. I will await their contact.

1
Comment #17 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
DataIsGod,

Can you explain how you found out the external account linking process on their website?

1
Comment #18 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous @ 1:44 PM: Click the BillPay tab to open a BillPay window, then select Add account from the Transfers drop down menu.

1
Comment #19 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I got back an email from their customer service indicating that I did not answer all of the "out of wallet" questions? Does anyone know what that is? I don't recall seeing that term during the application process.

1
Comment #20 by dimossi (anonymous) posted on
dimossi
How long is it taking for initial deposits to go through? I submitted the application on April 13 and I have yet to see my initial deposit. In the meantime I have already added my checking account via the Bill Pay area. It seems odd too that I never received any call or e-mail saying I was approved, however I am able to log in, add transfer accounts, etc.

1
Comment #21 by DataIsGold (anonymous) posted on
DataIsGold
They withdrew money on the 14th, it hasn't shown up yet at Darby yet.

To anonymous, you actually setup your Transfer accounts through the billpay system. I may have been mistaken on the 3 account limit.

1
Comment #22 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I made a call to customer service 5minutes before 5:00 PM and was connected with a representative within 1 minute... And she was very helpful.

1
Comment #23 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My initial deposit was debited from my external funding account on 4/14, but today, 4/16, still did not appear when I checked online. My new account was there but balance was zero. I wrote and got this reply: "As stated during the application process, it will take
3-5 business days to complete the ACH process on both sides. Initial
deposits begin to accrue interest 2 business days after being processed." It sounds like I might not start earning interest until 7 business days after my funding account was debited! Can this be or am I misreading something?

1
Comment #24 by vini (anonymous) posted on
vini
dimossi, DataisGold: How do you sign in when there is no email of approval. The online banking signin asks for account number. I received only confirmation of submission after submitting application on 14th April but have not yet received any account number.

1
Comment #25 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
E-mails and transfers are a bit slow. As reviewed, it takes 3 days for regular transfers to post, the initial funding
may take longer. Created my acct last Friday, showed debit on my checking Monday, didn't show up in my savings @ Darby until today.

When I first signed up, I only got a confirmation number via e-mail, no account info or login info for the website.

Gave it a few days, then decided to call the bank. They were able to get me my savings account number, which
I used to gain access to online banking. Still never got anything via e-mail other than my confirmation number.

I confirmed via CSR that there are no transfer limits when they are initiated from other institutions (doing an ACH push).
The 2500 per trans, 5000 per month USD limit when using Darby's own transfer service is a bit of a hassle to be honest.

However, if they keep the 3% savings rate up for awhile, or at least near the top of savings accounts, these small hassles
are worth it.

Linking external accounts takes at least 2 days, as next day does 2 trial desposits, and the day after that does 2 trial withdrawals.
Both cancel out so your external account's balance is unchanged. Both deposits and withdrawals add up to $1.00 each.

Customer service via phone has answered all my questions so far. They do call you back same day if you leave a message. They
are very courteous, knowledgeable, and friendly.

1
Comment #26 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"...as next day does 2 trial desposits, and the day after that does 2 trial withdrawals."
In my case, trial deposits and withdrawals were made on the same day. As for the initial deposit, it was debited on 4/14 and credited today: within Darby's policy, but it sure seems that either Darby or iPay is playing on the float.

1
Comment #27 by dimossi (anonymous) posted on
dimossi
vini... after completing the application it told me my account number and said I would be notified of approval. But when I went onto the website it let me go ahead and fill out the form to enroll for online banking, which then allowed me to sign in and see my account.

I have yet to see my initial deposit.

I did confirm my linked account and my trial deposits and withdrawals happened the same day.

1
Comment #28 by Sandra (anonymous) posted on
Sandra
I applied online for an account on Monday. Today (Friday) I got this email from Darby-Direct:

"Thank you for applying with Darby-Direct for our High Yield Online Savings account. We regret that your application was not approved by the Experian ID Verification process based on the information you submitted. We do not perform a credit check for the savings account but it is necessary to perform an identification verification. ... You are welcome to re-apply at any time."

At least Darby told me what the source of the problem is. I've ordered a free credit report from Experian by mail (they won't let me see it online).

1
Comment #29 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I applied online and got the following email response as well.

Thank you for applying with Darby-Direct for our High Yield Online Savings account. We regret that your application was not approved by the Experian ID Verification process based on the information you submitted. We do not perform a credit check for the savings account but it is necessary to perform an identification verification. Some customers have placed credit freezes with the credit reporting agencies and this would prevent us from performing our identification verification. If you have placed a credit freeze on your credit file you will need to contact the credit reporting agencies (again we utilize Experian) in order to remove the freeze. You are welcome to re-apply at any time.

What a rep told me was that there were four questions asked during the application process to verify your identity. I opened several other bank accounts in this same manner. As I recall when I applied, I was ABSOLULTELY SURE that my four responses were correct to the four questions. This means that either the credit reporting agency has incorrect information for me or the bank has an issue processing the verification information. I already got a copy of my credit report from the major credit agencies and found nothing wrong on them. Some of the four questions asked did not involve anything on the credit reports (one was asking if a certain person had lived with me and another if I had a type of car). I answered these two questions plus the other two correctly as far as I know (since I am the only person who would know the answers to them). Since other people have also had issues opening accounts at this bank, this makes feel a bit leery about this application process. Also, the bank disappeared from the Bankrate.com listing. Not sure why.

1
Comment #30 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Anonymous @ 4:22 PM: Were your browser's cookies enabled for darbybank.com and umonitor.com before starting the application?

1
Comment #31 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I opened an account with Darby earlier today via their website; A rep called me a few hours later and provided my account #. Also told me that the daily ACH xfer limit (inbound) was being raised from $2.5k to $10k (effective 4/20/09); I also confirmed that there is no $ limit when you originate your ACH transfer from your existing bank. So far this looks fairly promising with good customer support and easy setup via their website.

1
Comment #32 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Don't try to send inbound more than $2,500 just yet: my account was locked out for going above the limit. Had to call someone in customer service to get it unlocked.

Despite what the previous comment was, and the document on their website confirming this (https://www.darby-direct.com/source%20docs/transferaccount.pdf)

it appears the limit raising from 2,500 to 10,000 per day inbound hasn't been enabled in the BillPay portion just yet.

1
Comment #33 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
"Don't try to send inbound more than $2,500 just yet": are you referring to Darby Direct's Billpay ACH pull?

1
Comment #34 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Yes, sorry if that comment 2 up was confusing.

It was referring to Darby's BillPay service, and the limit of $2,500 per transaction when funds are pulled from other banks.

Transferring > 2,500 pushing funds via outside bank should not be a problem.

1
Comment #35 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
To Anonymous who posted on 7:43 PM, April 19, 2009

I haven't changed the security settings for my browser since I installed it. I was able to open accounts with the security questions from other bank websites with no problems. I don't see any reason why Darby Bank would be any different than accessing other bank's websites. Also, I did notice that they won't send you any printed statements, so you can only view and print them from logging into their website. If you lose online access, then you have to correspond with them by mail or phone I guess.

1
Comment #36 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Regarding the comments 2 and 4 positions up,

I retried the transfer of > $2,500 (but less than $10,000) using Darby's BillPay service at it was accepted this morning without an issue. Shows up as a pending transfer, posting in 3 business days (Fri 4/24).

Seems the limit was upped effective 04/21/2009 at least on the inbound transfer.

Again, when this is initiated from an OUTSIDE bank, there are no inbound limits to Darby.
All limits discussed above so far have been when pulling funds using Darby's own transfer service.

1
Comment #37 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
My experience so far with Darby hasn't been that positive. I tried opening an account on 04/12 and two days later, I can see the initial deposit was withdrawn from my source. So I called the customer support, and was told that there will be at least 2 days delay before they will officially open my account. Now, today is 04/21, and no account is opened yet. I am going to call them tomorrow and see what they did with the money...

1
Comment #38 by dimossi (anonymous) posted on
dimossi
I had to call today to find out what happened to my initial deposit that never went through. I opened the account on 4/13. They told me today that my account was set to "approved" but not "active". Then they also said the initial deposit was never initiated for some reason. My ACH deposit via the Bill Pay transfer funds function did appear to be going through. Hopefully everything is resolved now. That was pretty annoying and strange though.

1
Comment #39 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Like Bank Guy said,
Darby bank's customer support line is often busy, and I personally do not like their system of forwarding you to a voice mail box after only two minutes of wait time.

Even after you leave your message, there is no telling as to when they will get back to you. Plus, it actually gives people the impression that they don't care.

1
Comment #40 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I too received the account denied due to verification email today. My credit is perfect!!!

Darby Direct obviously has a problem with verifying users (glitch) or they are intentionally denying people because of demand for this high interest yield account.

1
Comment #41 by CornHusker (anonymous) posted on
CornHusker
I opened one on 04/22 night. received email saying pending status, but at the end of application, I got my account number, so I signed-up online access. Linked accounts from both of Darby-side and other side (like GMAC). All went smooth. Darby allow at least nine(9) external accouns, that's how many I already linked, I believe I can link more. But they don't give your free money, as it does two deposit and two withdraw (need verify four numbers), so better link only checking account.
The account I think it is MMA, you can use Billpay, you can order checks, and the FAQ said, limit 6 withdraw 3 of them can be checks.
Till now, I didn't get final approval, they didn't process my initial deposit of $1 yet, but my account have $1.6 from GMAC verify process. :-p
I hope the rate can hold for a while, I just opened redneck for less than a month, and I need to open darby now...

1
Comment #42 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Applied today, but I think application will be denied. Although I got completely through the application process, I was not given a confirmation number at the end. Then, after returning to the home page, I noticed "effective May 1, 2009 available to Georgia residents only." Should have acted yesterday!

1
Comment #43 by CornHusker (anonymous) posted on
CornHusker
is Darby has any relationship with Silverton, both in GA?

1
Comment #44 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I guess I got lucky and just snuck under the wire for out of state eligibility. I sent 4 emails with questions over a 2 day period. Each email was answered within ½ to 2 hours of being sent. The online application was straightforward and I was immediately able to initiate the bill pay feature.
Per Jennifer D. White, Internet Banking Administrator at Darby-Direct:
Darby-Direct on-line savings account can be opened only via ACH transfer initiated by Darby online application with initial funding limit of $10,000. Additional funds can be added via a transfer feature of Darby Bill Pay or via either ACH or wire transfer initiated by an external bank. Wire transfer from an external bank can be made immediately after completing online application, even before initial ACH transfer has been processed. No mailed funds are accepted. Inbound transfer limits of Darby bill pay are $10,000 per day & $25,000 per month; outbound limit is $2,500 per day. There is no dollar limit to deposits made via ACH or wire transfers initiated from external banks. More then two beneficiaries can be added after the initial application. A signature card is not required for FDIC insurance. https://www.darby-direct.com/source%20docs/transferaccount.pdf

1
Comment #45 by meshugy (anonymous) posted on
meshugy
I also just snuck in...and they just sent out this email guaranteeing 3% till Sept!

"As of 5/5/2009, all existing darby-direct accounts will have a guaranteed rate of 3% APY through September, 30, 2009. Again, as a thank you for your patience, we are guaranteeing your rate to remain at or above 3.0% APY through September 30, 2009. There is no need to call us. This guarantee will automatically be in affect for your darby-direct online savings account.





You will notice at darby-direct.com that we are advertising a lower rate of 2.25% APY for new accounts. In addition, new account applications are limited to residents of the State of Georgia. This will not affect you or your access to your account at darby-direct.com. We are grateful for your business and these changes will allow us to improve our systems and support plans to enhance your experience with darby-direct."

1
Comment #46 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
I received the same email. Guess I will have to call to get an account number, still waiting. Appears they want to keep these deposits thru the summer real estate season. Like all community and regional banks 3rd quarter '09 is make or break. The bulk of FDIC shutdowns will come during the thanksgiving/XMAS season or they will wait till Jan '10.

1
Comment #47 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Wow, at first glance this bank did not look good. However, they have made improvements and the process has been super fast and simple. BTW, interest is compounded monthly!

1
Comment #48 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Darby High Yield Online Savings Account is now 2.25%!

1
Comment #49 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Iy you call customer service hit #2 they pick up immediately #3 customer support goes to VM. Called and received account number for online banking. Appears you have to initiate ACH from outside bank. Can't find a transfer set up besides internal on their setup.

1
Comment #50 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Go here:

https://www.darby-direct.com/

On the left side click on Transfer Information.

1
Comment #52 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
any way to add pod beneficiaries for this account to extend FDIC insurance?

1
Comment #53 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
How about clicking on the “Beneficiary Request” link on the main page and then filling out and faxing or mailing the form provided.

1
Comment #54 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Nice to have the 3% lock until 9/30/09. I have a few nice sized CD's coming due in July and August. Excellent place to park money while looking around.

1
Comment #55 by CornHusker (anonymous) posted on
CornHusker
will be 2% after 09/31, still good rate

1
Comment #56 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
Down to 1.75%.

1
Comment #57 by Anonymous posted on
Anonymous
As of December 15, 2009 rate drop to 1.25%

1
Comment #58 by Brad (anonymous) posted on
Brad
Rate now seems to be down to 1.05%, however they don't make it easy to find it (look to page 9 of the 10 page account disclosure, it isn't on the front page in bbig font anymore)

1