I first wrote about Vio Bank in August 2018, about two weeks after this new internet division of MidFirst Bank made its debut. At that time, the High Yield Online Savings (HYOS) account earned 2.10% APY. By June 2019, the HYOS was earning 2.52% APY and securely near the top of DA’s bi-weekly Liquid Summary. In late September 2019, the rate began to drop, and over the next seven months, the APY decreased by 82 bps in eight rate changes. The HYOS currently earns 1.70% APY on all balances and can be opened with a minimum $100 deposit.
Funding and Accessing the HYOS
The initial deposit (minimum $100) must be made by ACH from the linked bank account named on the online application. After the account is established, up to five external bank accounts can be linked and deposits from those linked accounts can be made via ACH or wire. The speed of incoming ACHs is anywhere between 2-5 business days, with hold times for incoming ACH being 2 or 3 business days.
This is a “true” savings account, with no ATM/debit card or check writing available. Any withdrawals must be made through ACH or wire. In the past, withdrawals initiated through Vio Bank’s online banking platform were limited to $5k per day, with an aggregate monthly total of $20k. That policy has changed for the better. According to Vio Bank’s Online Banking Agreement document,
External Transfers (inbound and outbound combined) are limited to and may not exceed $25,000 per day and per transaction and are limited to and may not exceed $100,000 per calendar month. Furthermore, the number of both inbound and outbound External Transfers is limited to five (5) transfers per day and nine hundred and ninety-nine (999) per calendar month.
The Online Banking Agreement provides a great deal of useful information about the ins-and-outs of Vio Bank transactions.
As stated on the FAQ page.
Vio Bank doesn't limit the amount of incoming and outgoing ACH Transfers initiated by a third-party transfer service or another financial institution, but such transfers are subject to the Funds Availability Policy in your Account Agreement and under applicable law.
This is advantageous for DA readers, allowing them to use their accounts at other banks that don’t have small ACH limits to push or pull funds in or out of a Vio Bank HYOS account.
Vio Bank also allows customers to make deposits into their account by mailing a check (there is no pre-established limit for checks sent through the mail), depositing a check through the Mobile Deposit Service (limited to $100,000 per day and $250,000 per month) available in the Vio Bank Mobile App or by incoming wire transfer (there is no pre-established limit for wire transfers).
Since I first wrote about the HYOS account in 2018, the number of fees has actually decreased: no charge if the account is closed within 90 days of opening (was $25) and the charges for incoming wires, either domestic or international, have been eliminated. While there is no monthly maintenance or service fee, there are a couple potential charges to be aware of:
- $10 excessive transaction fee for each withdrawal in excess of six per statement cycle.
- $5 per month for paper statements ($2 for each additional copy requested)
- $30 for an outgoing domestic wire (international wires not available)
Multiple payable-on-death (POD) beneficiaries are allowed and Social Security numbers are NOT required for beneficiaries. Non-profit associations can now be named as a beneficiary, as can trusts. While there is no set number of beneficiaries that can be named, the online application can only accommodate two beneficiaries to be named at a time. To add more (or remove) beneficiaries, you can download the “Request to Add or Remove a POD Beneficiary” form.
Once you have signed and notarized this form, please submit it to Vio Bank via email to [email protected], fax to (405) 840-0862, or mail to P.O. Box 76149, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73147.
High Yield Online CDs
Vio Bank’s product line includes several High Yield Online CDs that initially offered good but not great rates. More than a year ago, the CD rates started dropping and currently range from 0.50% APY (12-month) to 1.60% APY (120-month). While these rates are anything but competitive, they’re still higher than the rates offered on MidFirst Bank’s Fixed Rate CDs or MidFirst Direct’s Online CDs.
Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Vio Bank offers accounts to US persons, which is defined as “a citizen or resident of the United States” 18 years or older with a valid Social Security number.
Only individual and joint accounts can be opened with Vio Bank, with custodial accounts and trust accounts not permitted. As mentioned above, trusts can be named as a beneficiary.
As an internet bank, Vio Bank has no brick-and-mortar branches. Opening a High Yield Online Savings account (or any other Vio Bank product) can only be done online.
As an online division of MidFirst Bank, Vio Bank operates under MidFirst Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
Vio Bank/MidFirst Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.10% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. In the past year, the Bank increased its total non-brokered deposits by $3.19 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 36.46%. Please refer to our financial overview of Vio Bank/MidFirst Bank (FDIC Certificate # 4063) for more details.
Note: Vio Bank’s FDIC Coverage page states,
Deposits held at Vio Bank are deposits of MidFirst Bank and are combined with any other MidFirst Bank deposits for FDIC insurance purposes. MidFirst Bank deposits includes deposits at MidFirst Bank and any of its divisions including Vio Bank, MidFirst Private Bank, 1st Century Bank, and MidFirst Direct.
MidFirst Bank (one of the five largest privately-owned banks in the United States) traces its roots to Midland Mortgage Company, which was founded in 1950 by a group of Oklahoma City area bankers. The name was changed to MidFirst Bank in 1982, following the purchase of a thrift charter. Through continued growth and market expansion, today’s MidFirst Bank has assets of nearly $23 billion and 78 branch locations in Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona, and California.
How the High Yield Online Savings Compares
When compared to the nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that do not require a large minimum balance, Vio Bank’s High Yield Online Savings APY currently ranks third.
The above rates are accurate as of 4/30/2020.
To search for the best Savings Account, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to DepositAccounts.com’s Savings Account Rates page.