So we all see the high CD rate and money market, and its a bump-up CD, so its compelling.
I go to their site to see if they have a chat or contact email to ask questions about limits, fees, etc. No way to contact them digitally... I see they have a Twitter, I tweet to them my questions, and they just send links to their product page-- which dont answer my questions at all because they are just basic blurbs.
I decide I'll just open an account and read the disclosures there. I get through the account setup, and it says I will get an email confirmation. I never get an email (using gmail), checked spam, deleted messages, nothing. I click 'resend email', nothing. 2 days later still nothing. I decide I'll try to open an account again in case the first one timed out or something. Tried again today, same experience, never any emails, so I cant even create the account.
Also funding is by WIRE only.
Rates are competitive but this bank is clearly run by people that have zero experience running an online bank. If youre local or want to play phone tag, sign up, but everyone else should avoid it.
The opening deposit with the application can't be by ACH. Only wire transfer. After that, any additional deposit via the internet has to be initiated on the external bank's web site because Merchants has no facility online to link external accounts. Your account on Merchants site is view only.
Tracy at the Richmond branch was so exceptionally rude that I felt I was speaking to a scam caller! I and my brother in law will both be closing our accounts within the month. The customer service of this bank is clearly untrained! If I could give a 0/5 star rating for Customer Service I would.
I recently had the "pleasure" of working again w/ MBoI. Did the application for FDIC coverage to "sweep money" with MBoI to other FDIC covered banks for FDIC coverage for a balance over $250K. Almost flawless process. They are on top of things. Communication (they answer the phone locally too!), safety and customer service are A+. The .75% APR may not be the "best" but, w/o fees, or "gotchas" it's VERY decent. (Hopefully, they will soon raise this rate back to the 1% sooner than (too) later (?) to stay competitive w/ other banks lifting rates as the Fed increases rates as well). No doubt this is a gem among liquid accounts for parked cash. A+
I got an email from them describing a product called Insured Cash Sweep where they will place any funds on deposit that exceed your FDIC/NCUA insurance limits with them at other insured FIs but you get the same yield as at Merchants, currently 0.75% for Money Market. Theoretically operates like a single account but with effectively higher insurance limits.
I'm trying to understand the fine print.
The yield on Merchants' Money Market, recently lowered from 1% APY, remains (at least for now) at .75% APY.
But they have suddenly -- very suddenly, without any warning -- discontinued originating eternal transactions. In practice, they have just deleted ALL my ACH links on their site!
Could this be a way to retain cash, by attempting to stem the tide of outflow? Who knows, but here's Merchants' story, via email to me, within the past hour:
Policy and procedures with the Money Market Accounts are being changed, since this is a regulated "Savings Account", we no longer can offer external transfers, bill pay, debit cards or ACH origination. I can get you checks if you would like, and we will wire funds without a charge when you need to move funds to another financial institution. But we can only receive funds into the account if you either do a wire or initiate an ACH transfer from the other financial institution.
I repeated the online application using different browsers, guided by the bank representative, etc., but only wasted time, yet disclosed personal information which is caught by many scammers these days. In the end, the bank representative suggested me to come personally to one of their branchs, 1000+ miles far from me. I've opened online accounts in profoundly strict banks without such problems.
I am still trying but it is looking hopeless. The support people have been excellent but they cannot do anything when the online application rejects you for lack of verification. All my info. is correct so should be no problem. Have spent hours on this but at least the people have indeed been helpful. Also, you can get locked out for 48 hours pretty easily. They can unblock you if you speak to the right people. However, if there is some big glitch the online application will reject you and there is nothing anyone can do.
A former and satisfied Marcus and CIT account holder who's had ZERO problems with either of them (but, couldn't get an SFGI account opened after 3 attempts last month) but, the .55% APY rate (and dropping!) is just to low to accept with an almost 6 digit balance; All I can say: my MBoI opening went "perfect" for their 1% money market; applied online Saturday, 1 biz day later (Monday) I got a CALL from a human, who led me through "the process", I checked next day, the trial deposits showed, I confirmed online and then the ACH withdraw a day after, all in all took 3 days from start to finish opening the account. (The linking of accounts for ACH will take another 2 days though - see below). I also called today, just one ring, on a Friday afternoon no less, I got a human with a name (a manager !) for my account number etc., and opened my online portal. So far, no issues, the online app worked as described though it was a bit slow and the account description says "checking" even though it's the 1% "Money Market", (but, it worked), and MB clerks and manager were personable, On three calls they answered the phone fast and were VERY polite! Answers of same questions by different reps were consistent. The online system is a bit "clunky feeling" and "overprotective" of information but, it links your accounts elsewhere, has free bill pay, et all, etc., and does seem to work ok. Lotta features on the site, it appears anyway this is a VERY good bank for your FULL banking business: checking, credit cards, savings, bill pay, loans, Waiver of ATM fees, etc., (The human touch - fast and personable has been admirable) et all if one was inclined to switch and didn't want a Credit Union or a monster mega bank! I'm only looking for a high(er) interest account to park "liquid savings" of $50-$100K (outside my CD ladder) without the xfer limits, call hold times, special rules, et all etc., (they say to call or email for any amount over $5K ACH from the MoIB site and an external ACH linked account can be any amount and works fine), hassles and other problems of Vio, Regions Bank, Ally, "fintechs", etc., all the other problematic online banks that I read about on this board. All seems excellent, so far so good! My ACH external test xfers were also not a problem (My "Bank": First Command Bank, Fort Worth, TX has THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE, and my ACH From FCB to MBoI was flawless!) and $22K and $50K~ xfers went and were available overnight to Merchants. On the negative side, you should expect from opening online to setting up/linking a transfer account for an ACH xaction on the site with MBoI to be completed that the "process" will take a week. I also recently called for a PoD on the account "No problem". :) Paperwork was emailed in minutes and printed for hardcopy to return. (Be nice if it could be accomplished online though :) Thus 5 star ratings with a drop to 4 for the online system describing the account as checking and the fact of having to call for PoD and not completing online, and limits of internal ACH over $5K and not a direct online email portal (though it's easy to find/lookup). Nice folks too at MBoI!
I had the same initial experience abc71m describes- application fail - including 48 hour lock out of further application processing.
As Ken Tumin stated in his blog on Merchants, the website is light on documentation. When I clicked on their "contact us"' drop down, all that appears is a list of branches. I too called the Carmel Midtown branch, since it was listed first and I assume it might be the main branch since the Deposit website indicates it is headquartered in Carmel.
I informed the person who answered that I was having difficulty with the online application -from there on my experience was entirely different from that described by abc71m- I was was told that for those issues I needed to call a different number, which turned out to be the Richmond branch.
They were able to immediately access my blocked application and after some consultation with back office staff, indicated that the problem was with my driver's license number. But all they could tell me was information from the error codes in their system, they could not actually see what information was on the application. Of course like what is too often the case with computer support experiences, they first indicated I must have input my # incorrectly. Not likely, as their system indicated there was an error on the application page, (but not which data item) so I reviewed every item and the clicked on "continue". Third try locks you out for 48 hours (but they don't tell you that online). Then they said my state must have identified a problem with my license status that their system picked up. The representative then gave me her work email so I could send them a screen shot from my state's online license account showing all was in good order. There was no effort/offer to provide a work around to their application system, even though I had provided my license status. Just wait 48 hours and try again.
Apparently your experience may vary.
I don't think this is the bank for me
If their accounts portal is as bad as the application, your money will disappear into an internet void, like my application did 3 or more times.
Update 11/30/2020 After much back & forth with the bank, I was able to complete the process. The online application is confusing but not impossible is where I'm at with that. However, only after opening the account do I learn there is an incoming & outgoing limit of transfers capped at 5000. If you want to do more than that, you have to call or email them and then they set it back to 5k. That's not going to work for me.
Should they have solvency problems, I could see a situation where you can't get someone on the phone. Their balance sheet is solid right now; but the with the current economic climate in a severe state of flux, that could be an issue at some point.
Also, the person answering the phone is a newish hire and she guesses at answers to questions. I asked 'do you have bill pay with this account'. No was the response. When I actually got into the account there was indeed bill pay. That's more of a reflection of poor training than anything else.
They should tell their employees if they don't know an answer to not 'guess' if they're not sure. This is financial services not your hair stylist. She was a very nice young lady though. They just wasted my time with this given the limits on moving money in and out. I suppose one can push or pull money out from another account however if you're ok w/ these strange quirks that leave one feeling uneasy.
Also I went through the process of giving them external account info to set up the account, wait for trail deposits etc only to find the account had to be linked again once my online access was set up. Who set up this online portal for them? Additionally, many of the employees who answer the phones there were hired this year. High turnover isn't good in banking either.
Feel like I'm getting dumber when I waste time like this. Too old, but rates let's admit, have been criminally low for a long time.
The user agreement says they can charge you 2 dollars for each transfer in or out. They said 'we don't charge that tho'. lolz Everything that could possibly be sketchy This type of nonsense by a mid sized bank is NOT a good sign, in the sense of recent events.