Vivid Money is a relatively new neobank that stands out by emphasizing new banking practices such as cashback or managing sub-accounts. Investment is also a big part of the experience: company stocks, cryptocurrencies, and even precious metals. But is it a neobank that has a place among the top players in the industry?
Vivid Money Features
|Account maintenance fees||None|
|Mobile payment||Apple Pay/Google Pay|
Vivid Money in a Nutshell
In recent years, a dozen or so USDpean neobanks have emerged based on the same mobile model and seeking to differentiate themselves from one another. Vivid Money is one of them, and focuses heavily on its investment and cashback features.
Vivid Money is a German neobank (like N26) and is relatively new, having been founded in 2019 by two Russian entrepreneurs, Alexander Emeshev and Artem Yamanov. These individuals are no strangers to the world of finance, having previously worked as executives for the Russian bank Tinkoff Bank.
Vivid Money’s business model was created around the SolarisBank Fintech company’s BaaS (Banking-as-a-Service) platform, enabling it to benefit from a banking license while offering its customers its own specific products, such as stock investments, cryptocurrency, and precious metals.
Today, Vivid Money is available in most USDpean countries and continues to expand its activities thanks to its regular investments. The company is currently valued at USD 775 million.
Pricing: one free card, one paid card, that’s it!
Vivid Money’s banking offer is as clear as can be. Only two types of cards are available, each with distinct benefits:
|Account Feature||Vivid Standard||Vivid Prime|
|Price||Free||$9.90/month (3 months free)|
|Type of debit||Authorization system||Authorization system|
|International payment||Free (in foreign currency)||Free (in foreign currency)|
|International withdrawals||Free (in foreign currency)||Free (in foreign currency)|
|Cashback||Maximum $20 cashback per month||Maximum $100 cashback per month|
|Cryptocurrency||1 free crypto transaction per month (1% beyond)||Unlimited crypto transactions|
The formalities are similar to what other online banks and especially neobanks offer. This is also the case with international payments and withdrawals, although the process is a little different. Vivid Money does not offer free payment or withdrawal for each transaction, it is necessary to buy foreign currencies oneself from the application in order to store them in a “Travel” sub-account. Fortunately, Vivid Money automatically detects the corresponding currency and the right sub-account so that there are no fees. It would have been nice if this could have been done more simply, as one must know this system beforehand before travelling abroad.
How to fund your account?
It is not necessary to make a defined and mandatory deposit to access your Vivid account. However, upon opening, the bank offers to make an initial transfer for full use. By default, if your account is linked to a Gmail address, money transfer via Google Pay is selectable, but it is of course possible to make a one-time transfer from another account via the card number, an IBAN, or by adding another bank from the hundreds available.
Be careful, however: if you have a free Vivid account, transfers cannot exceed USD 1,000. To exceed this limit, you must have a Vivid Premium account or subscribe to a monthly boost (USD 3.40).
An account in a few minutes
Account opening at Vivid is done exclusively via the mobile application. The operation takes no more than five minutes and requires only a few documents in addition to the tax number and a photo of both sides of the identity card, which can be validated by the application itself.
Once the smartphone is validated by a code sent by SMS, you have direct access to the application and your entire account without delay, which is very convenient.
From the outset, it is clear that Vivid Money is focused on its “Pocket” system, which are sub-accounts with their own IBANs and characteristics that you give them: regular money, cryptocurrencies, diverse investments, or precious metals.
The emphasis is on the complete organization of your money and investments. It is also possible to create up to 15 Pockets and share them with whoever you want. It is very practical and particularly easy to use, and we appreciate the idea.
Initial deposit and overdraft management
Vivid Money is accessible for free and does not require any initial deposit, regardless of the subscription level. No overdraft authorization is issued. You therefore commit to fund your account to ensure a positive balance. If, by mistake, the account becomes negative, it will no longer be possible to make any payments or withdrawals.
Few neobanks regularly offer welcome bonuses or account opening bonuses. However, it may happen that Vivid Money highlights some offers when opening a Prime account, including money transferred directly to the account.
For a neobank, acquisition strategy often involves an attractive referral system. In this regard, Vivid Money offers a program based on two rewards for the referrer:
- $30 signup bonus, once the account has been validated
- Up to $70 credited to the cashback sub-account per referral.
These bonuses are also credited to the referral on the accounts and sub-accounts they have just created.
*These benefits are subject to change at any time.
Insurance and services from Vivid Money
It was to be expected that Vivid Money does not offer any particular insurance, whether through a free or Prime account. The VISA organization is only present as a card issuer, and its insurance policy is not guaranteed in the case of a Vivid Money account. Therefore, do not count on your card for reimbursement of medical or repatriation expenses from abroad or for the reimbursement in case of loss or theft of valuable objects.
Other neobanks are much better off in this case, such as N26 or Revolut, which benefit from the dedicated Mastercard and VISA insurance policy on most cards.
A very comprehensive Cashback offer
In addition to investment, this is an aspect on which Vivid Money is heavily focused. Right from the moment you create your account within the first few seconds of accessing the application, Vivid Money strongly encourages you to use the “Rewards” tab, which corresponds to the famous system that allows you to accumulate money as you make purchases, in-store or online.
Naturally, the earnings will be higher (often double) if you opt for a Prime account. There are even “Super Deals” to unlock by inviting friends, with cashback refunds of up to 30%.
It can be seen that Vivid Money highlights the brands and services with which it is partnering, whether in fast food, fashion, cosmetics, or transportation.
It is even possible to search for a hotel or rent a car directly from the application and receive the corresponding cashback. Even Instagram is involved, as Prime accounts can unlock up to 20% cashback on a selection of services and brands simply by promoting them on the social network.
We have rarely seen a neobank focusing so much on this aspect, far ahead of N26 or even Revolut.
Vivid Money’s customer support is 100% managed online. The bank strongly encourages the use of the application, although it is possible to send an email to customer service. For the first solution, simply select the chat icon in the top right corner to access a support page. Strangely, the main FAQ questions are in English, while the answers are . The chat opens via the corresponding menu. It is also quite responsive with French language answers.
Otherwise, the FAQ is very comprehensive and covers most of the products highlighted by the bank, all accessible on the application without going through a browser page.
The perfect bank for cryptocurrency enthusiasts?
Vivid Money is a neobank designed for investors and, naturally, cryptocurrencies should have a good place in it. The neobank serves as a true exchange platform, like Binance or eToro.
It therefore allows you to invest and sell in fractional or whole amounts in around fifty cryptos, from Bitcoin to Ethereum, Litecoin, and even Dogecoin. In this case, a Vivid Money Prime account is recommended in order to have no limit on the number of authorized transactions without fees, a free account giving only one free transaction per month, with the others incurring 1% fees.
Our opinion on the Vivid Money mobile application
The Vivid Money application largely follows the organizational and design logic of other neobanks (mainly N26 and Revolut). The interface is very uncluttered with a horizontal menu placed at the bottom to navigate between the different tabs.
The homepage provides an overview of the Pockets and the activity menu for general expenses, regardless of the account. Another tab named “Payments” allows for the direct transfer of money to your Pockets or simply to someone else via a phone number.
The other menus concern business investment (ETFs) and cashback. For the first, in order to access the dedicated portfolio, Vivid Money administers a questionnaire to determine whether or not one is fit to engage in this type of enterprise, while warning of the risks.
It should be noted that Vivid Money clients do not actually own the shares themselves; everything is done through the bank’s brokerage partner, CM Equity. These are fractions of shares and not full ones, and it is possible to obtain them starting from 0.01 cents invested.
This investment component applies to ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and precious metals. Like a brokerage platform, one can see a preview of current values that are updated every 24 hours.
Cashback also takes up a significant portion of the application with a dedicated menu placed at the center of the main screen. Users can access ongoing promotions at numerous retailers with varying rates of return on purchases depending on their account type.
Vivid Money does everything it can to encourage users to upgrade to a Prime account, with Super Deals and the $100 maximum portfolio only accessible through the Prime account (with a maximum of $20 for a free account).
It can be seen that Vivid Money almost functions as a “Super App” in the sense that it is even possible to find a hotel room or rent a car through the neobank’s partners without having to leave the application. It’s too bad that everything isn’t directly integrated, as the application opens a web page in this case.
Overall, the application experience of Vivid Money is very satisfying and fundamentally different in approach than most other online banks and neobanks. Apart from a few translation hiccups and a small adaptation period required to get used to it, it’s all good.