What are virtual banks? What benefits do virtual banks offer?
Virtual banking is intensifying the competitive dynamics affecting Hong Kong banking. Competition in Hong Kong is off to a slow start as possible growth prospects are being hindered by economic uncertainties. You have probably heard the term “Virtual Bank” a lot recently, and may have received a referral from a friend. What are virtual banks and what benefits do they offer?
What are virtual banks?
Virtual bank does not have any physical branches. The tool to communicate between the bank and the client is a smartphone or tablet, allowing uninterrupted access to bank representatives anytime, anywhere. Virtual banks must follow the same regulations that the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has set out for traditional banks.
Most virtual banks have partnered with ATM payment systems in Hong Kong or even worldwide so you can withdraw money all over the city or the world without any extra charges. You can also transfer money to a traditional bank through the app after you link up the accounts.
However, virtual banks currently do not issue or accept cheques, do not offer brokerage services (cannot buy and sell stocks). You also cannot rent a safe-deposit box to place your valuables in.
What benefits do virtual banks offer?
Digital banking service has moved banking online and does not require any physical branches, this helps to reduce rent and manpower costs. The service can also be accessed anywhere and almost anytime making it very suitable for new generation of consumers.
1. Instant Global payments
Rather than using expensive methods to transfer money internationally, you can pay and accept payments with the use of virtual banks. This means with just a click you can immediately send money to any country. All you need for this luxury is a virtually global account. This single account will help you collect, hold, and send payments in multiple currencies and channels.
2. Greater Flexibility
Every business owner wants to have flexibility while operating their business account. Fortunately, virtual banks have been set up to deal with the needs and issues of customers in a way that suits people the most. With virtual banks, service is available 24/7, and transactions are designed to be made online or using a mobile device. With this development, the banking sector has become faster and more efficient, allowing customers to have real control over their finances.
3. Attractive Promotion Offer and Passive Income
Virtual banks have fewer expenses such as they can save having real branches costs and to allow the customers can earn some passive income. For example, interest rates at virtual banks can be 1,000 times higher than a traditional one.
*The offers are subject to banks’ terms and conditions which may be changing from time to time.
4. No worries when you lose your card
All your purchases and cash withdrawals can be done seamlessly with just one card so you do not have to carry various cards everywhere you go and try to find the right card every time. The card does not print your card number, expiry date, verification code so you don’t have to worry about when you lose your card. Instead, just access private information electronically on the app.
5. Environment friendly
A virtual bank is eco-friendly. No paper statements. No staffing or housing of operations. Also, you do not have to drive to the bank again and again, saving fuel as well.
How do you open an account?
Opening an account at a virtual bank is easier than at physical banks. You will only need to download an app, send your HKID card picture and fill in basic information such as your mobile phone number and a valid email.
*Some banks only allow Hong Kong residences to set up account right now.
May Planning will be pleased to provide guidance for your new start-up company in Hong Kong or overseas, feel free to contact us at May Planning. We will be happy to assist you.
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