Fi.Money or simply called Fi is one of the very first Neobanks launched in India.
It’s a completely digital bank account that comes with a bunch of modern features built exclusively for millennials and Generation Z users.
I’ve been testing the Fi Neobank app for about 2 weeks now.
And here’s my full Fi.Money review. In this article, you will find everything you need to know about Fi and if you should start using their banking app.
What is Fi.Money?
Fi is a neobank, which means you won’t find its physical branch to walk into. It’s a completely digital experience.
Being a Neobank also means that Fi itself isn’t a bank.
Fi has partnered with Federal Bank and uses its infrastructure to provide financial services.
Federal Bank is where your money is deposited and regulated. Fi is an intermediary between you and Federal Bank, providing you with a much better platform than Federal Bank.
Since Fi isn’t a bank itself, they can make the digital banking experience as smooth as possible without worrying about various regulations and charges.
This, however, doesn’t mean they are not as secure as traditional banks. Fi uses the same bank-grade security for their customers. Your messages are encrypted, transactions protected by the OTP, and you get to use UPI along with your Fi account. Federal Bank also powers UPI transactions through Fi app.
You’re getting every feature you get with traditional banks except a physical presence. There are no branches or managers to meet in person. For some, this is a deal-breaker, like my father. But for us, the digital generation, we prefer not to visit banks.
And there’s no need to visit a bank for anything whatsoever. So opting for a bank account from a Neobank like Fi might be a better way to the bank.
Let’s take a look at what Fi has to offer.
How does Fi.Money Works?
Fi provides you with a digital savings account. There’s no option to get a current account as of now.
It’s a zero-balance savings account.
Your savings account is opened at Federal Bank. So if you already have a Federal Bank savings account, you would need a Re-KYC to open a Fi savings account.
Your money in your Fi savings account earns you the same interest as Federal Bank offers at any point and time. As of now, it’s 2% per annum.
You can deposit money in your Fi savings account via UPI, NEFT/RTGS/IMPS or internet banking. You get a debit card, an option to open fixed deposits and small smart deposits for specific goals in life. You get a checkbook, Demand Draft option, physical statements when needed, and more.
The account opening process is fully digital. You have to submit identification, address and tax ID plus perform a video KYC to get no-limit savings to account with Fi.
Fi works like a traditional bank in every sense apart from having a physical presence. There aren’t many differences between your usual bank account and Fi accept two things:
- Fi isn’t a bank itself. So it’s not liable for anything regarding your money. The partner bank, which is Federal Bank in this case is controlling your money.
- You can’t enjoy certain features like Lockers, Cash Deposits, and In-Person customer assistance.
Fi comes with tons of features. More than any other Neobank has to offer at this moment.
Let’s take a look at each feature Fi comes with and how they can help you save and get more out of your banking experience.
Fi Save – Smart Deposit
Smart Deposits are a way to save money for specific goals and occasions you might be planning. For instance, saving money for buying a new gift on Diwali or something like that. Maybe a vacay.
Fi allows you to choose from some of the pre-created smart deposits (new goals are added periodically). Or you can create a new one, and adjust the goal amount, time frame and interest rate.
This isn’t a fixed deposit nor a recurring deposit. You can add or withdraw money from your smart deposit account whenever you wish.
FIT Rules for Smart Deposit
Fi also has a feature called FIT rules.
What do the FIT rules do exactly?
Using FIT rules, you can automatically define certain actions within your Fi account. Such as depositing INR 1000 every Monday automatically in a smart deposit account of your choice.
There are some fun seasonal FIT rules as well, such as “When Ronaldo scores a goal, put aside INR 200”. Of course, you can customize this rule, and change Ronaldo to someone else, as well as change the amount to put aside.
Transactions can trigger fit rules as well. One FIT rule will be “Put aside INR 10 whenever you order something from Amazon”.
These small rules will help you save money and grow a small savings deposit account passively.
The benefit of having such automation is you don’t actively need to put money into the smart deposits account, so you being lazy or forgetful won’t affect it. It’s liquid, so you can be worry-free. Your funds aren’t frozen in any way.
Fi Money Plant – Reward System
One of the biggest attractions Neobank has is the rewards. Banks like SBI, HDFC, or even Kotak, which claims to be built for the modern generation, don’t reward banking with them as much and in a way that makes the customer feel good.
Neobanks like Fi, do it differently.
Fi has a reward system where you earn Fi Coins for specific transactions when you first signup and then save your money.
This is what I personally love about Fi. Unlike Jupiter, another Neobank, which rewards you for spending money, Fi rewards you for good financial habits like saving your money.
Rewards come in the form of a money plant. Which grow when you click on them and you get rewarded with Fi coins.
You can redeem these Fi coins as vouchers for various online shopping websites such as Amazon. You also earn cash rewards depending on the current offer being run by Fi at any time.
There are many seasonal offers that come with an opportunity to earn both Fi points and cash rewards.
Fi Fixed Deposits
Want to put some money away so you don’t spend it on things you don’t need? Fi also offers Fixed Deposits.
Just like your savings account, this is also regulated and facilitated by Federal Bank.
These FDs aren’t boring either. You can customize the name of your fixed deposit to match your goal and withdraw anytime you wish. Without any charges or penalties.
The interest rate on these FDs ranges from 2.50% to 5.60%. Depending on the tenure of your FD (1 year to 10 years), those interest rates will vary.
Like always, use these FDs to block the money you wish to spend on something important in the future. Not as a wealth-creating investment instrument. In my opinion, don’t put your money in FD at all, unless it’s for saving tax or getting your first secured credit card to fix or build your credit score.
Fi Debit Card Benefits
This is something I enjoy a lot. FI doesn’t charge forex markup fees on international transactions. You can use your Fi card for those USD subscriptions without paying extra charges.
When you are spending $300+ every month, you will save a lot when you don’t have forex markup charges. It’s usually around 3.5%.
Plus, offers applicable on Federal Bank debit cards are also available to Fi debit cardholders. Note that the Jupiter debit card doesn’t come with the same offers and benefits.
Fi debit card comes with other VISA benefits. Including PayWave.
You can adjust the transaction limit, freeze the card, or block the card forever with one click. The debit card comes free with your Fi savings account and in case you lost it, you will get another one for free. No card re-issuance charges for the first time.
Fi also offers exclusively curated offers on its debit cards. You can get discounts on various online e-commerce and services platforms through Fi exclusive offers. This is separate and not limited to Federal Bank offers.
With Fi smart assistant you get a deep insight into your financial activity.
How does this work?
Fi will connect with your Gmail account and scan your emails associated with e-commerce and other transactions online. Doing so, enables Fi to bring up search results for queries like “How much did I spend on Amazon”?
Simply asking “Amazon Spends” would work too:
I use a different account for financial activities and shopping. So me connecting my Gmail account with Fi isn’t putting my confidential info at risk. You need to make sure you’re not connecting your work or business Gmail account with any app unless you’ve full confidence in it.
This smart assistant will also show you any active subscriptions, bills, upcoming expenses, and more.
Should You Open You a Fi Savings Account?
This is an important question, especially if you are considering another neobank that has Federal Bank as a partner. Such as Jupiter.
Once you open an account with Fi, you can’t open an account with Jupiter without doing a re-KYC with Federal Bank.
I rated Fi as the #1 neobank on my list.
I find it much better than Jupiter regarding UI, features and banking benefits.
However, Fi support team is pretty slow. A lot slower compared to Jupiter, which even has its own community forum.
You need to identify what’s your deal-breaker. If it’s anything but support, Fi is a great neobank and you can definitely prefer opening your savings account with them.
If you want a great banking experience, a smart AI assistant to quickly find transactions, bills, and other info you need, and a smooth in-app experience, you should definitely try Fi.
Do you use Fi?
Let me know how your experience was or any questions in the comments.