Motive Financial Review

An online bank that offers competitive rates on savings accounts and a convenient banking platform.

Lisa Rennie
Updated August 27, 2020


Motive Financial is an online bank that offers banking products and services without brick-and-mortar branches. Previously named Canadian Direct Financial (CDF), Motive Financial is a subsidiary of Canadian Western Bank, a Schedule I bank that is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). That means the funds you deposit with Motive Financial are insured by the government, no matter what may happen to Motive in the future. 

The online bank offers high-interest rates and no service charges thanks to its low overhead. This provides consumers with the opportunity to grow their deposited funds and reach their savings goals a little faster.

Let’s check out Motive Financial in a little more detail to help you decide if this is the right digital banking platform for you.

What Accounts Does Motive Financial Offer?

Motive Financial offers a variety of savings, checking, and investment accounts.

Savings Accounts

Motive Savvy Savings Account
  • Earn 2.05% interest 
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • 2 free transactions per month
  • $5 for additional withdrawal transactions
  • Free transfers between Motive accounts
  • Free THE EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
  • $1.50 for Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
  • $1.00 for Interac e-transfers
Motive Savings Account
  • Earn 1.25% interest
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance
  • Free withdrawals
  • Free transfers between Motive accounts
  • Free THE EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
  • $1.50 for Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
  • $1.00 for Interac e-transfers
TFSA Savings Account
  • Earn 2.05% interest
  • No minimum balance
  • Tax-free returns
  • Withdraw funds at any time

Chequing Accounts

Motive Cha-Ching Chequing Accounts
  • Unlimited free transactions
  • Free Interac e-transfers 
  • No monthly fees
  • Second largest ATM network in Canada
  • 50 free personalized cheques 
  • Earn 0.25% interest 
  • Free THE EXCHANGE® Network ATM withdrawals
  • 2 Free Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
Motive Chequing Accounts
  • No daily banking fees
  • Unlimited free transactions 
  • No monthly fees
  • Earn 0.60% interest
  • Unlimited monthly withdrawals
  • Free THE EXCHANGE® Network ATM withdrawals
  • $1.50 Non-EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals
  • Guaranteed interest
  • Tax-deductible contributions
  • Tax-free earnings until withdrawn
  • Competitive interest rates starting at 1.60% on a 12-month term
Non-Registered GICs
  • Guaranteed interest
  • Receive interest payments annually or allow it to compound until maturity
  • Competitive interest rates starting at 1.60% on a 12-month term

Pros and Cons of Online Banking at Motive Financial


  • No fees to transfer money between accounts. If you have more than one account with Motive Financial, you can transfer funds between them without paying any fees. 
  • No account minimums or monthly fees. You won’t be charged any fees if your bank account is under a certain amount.
  • Clean and user-friendly website. This is especially handy for those who aren’t technically savvy.
  • Reach your savings goals. By setting up recurring transfers between your Motive account and your other accounts from another bank, you can achieve your savings goals quickly.
  • Free Interac e-transfers. Send or receive money from others who have an account at a Canadian bank using their email or mobile phone number.


  • Not available in Quebec
  • Application process may take longer

Overview of Accounts

Motive Financial Savings Accounts

FeatureMotive Savvy Savings AccountMotive Savings AccountTFSA Savings Account
Monthly Fee$0$0$0
Minimum BalanceNoneNoneNone
Interest Rate2.05%1.25%2.05%
Mobile App Available?YesYesYes
Special Features-2 free transactions per month-Free transfers between Motive accounts-Free THE EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals-Free withdrawals-Free transfers between Motive accounts-Free THE EXCHANGE Network ATM withdrawals-Tax-free returns-Withdraw funds at any time

Tangerine Chequing Accounts

FeatureMotive Cha-Ching Chequing AccountMotive Chequing Account
Daily Fees$0$0
TransactionsFree, unlimitedFree, unlimited
Interest Rate0.25%0.60%
ATM withdrawalsFree within THE EXCHANGE® Network Free within THE EXCHANGE® Network 
Special Perks50 free personalized cheques 

Motive GICs

TermMotive RRSP GICNon-Registered GICs
12 Month Term1.60%1.60%
24 Month Term1.80%1.80%
36 Month Term1.90%1.90%
48 Month Term2.00%2.00%
60 Month Term2.15%2.15%

What Customer Support Does Motive Financial Have Available?

There are a few ways to reach customer support at Motive Financial:

  • By phone: 1-877-441-2249 or 1-866-673-3918
  • By email:
  • By fax: 1-877-441-2250
  • By mail: 

Motive Financial

Suite 3000, 10303 Jasper Avenue NW

Edmonton, AB T5J 3X6

How to Open an Account With Motive Financial

Opening an account with Motive Financial is a standard procedure. You’ll be required to fill out an application form and provide a few pieces of information about yourself, including your full name, date of birth, Social Insurance Number (SIN), address, contact information, occupation, and desired accounts. You’ll be asked to confirm your identity so Motive Financial can verify that you are who you say you are.

The process only takes a few minutes, after which Motive will then qualify your application.

If you’re looking to open an RRSP or TFSA account, you’ll need to complete an application form, print and sign it, then mail it to Motive Financial’s mailing address provided above. 

Is It Safe to Bank With Motive Financial?

Yes, your money is safe with Motive financial. It is affiliated with the CDIC, which will insure your funds in the event that anything should happen to the bank. Plus, Motive Financial employs encryption tools and has a robust security system behind the website to help keep your personal information safe. 

Who is Best Suited For Online Banking With Motive Financial?

Motive Financial may be an ideal banking platform for people who:

  • Are looking for a convenient way to do their day-to-day banking and investing
  • Want a tool that will help them reach their savings goals faster
  • Prefer an online bank that comes with the security of CDIC insurance
  • Are looking for no-fee banking solutions 

Final Thoughts

Motive Financial offers competitive interest rates on savings accounts and provides a convenient platform that allows you to do all your banking online. The website and mobile app are easy to navigate, and the security of knowing your funds are safe is a huge plus.