If you’re looking for a new bank account, now is a great time. The internet has given rise to a very large number of banks that all need new clients. As a result, today’s banks are offering lower fees, easier applications, impressive cash sign-up bonuses, and easy access to lending, credit cards, and more. Banks hope that this will entice new clients to choose them over others. Smart online users are finding these banks in a quick and simple way: by looking online for the best offers.
The Rise of the Challenger Banks
There are a few reasons now is a particularly good time to get a new bank account. First of all, over the last several years there has been a rise of a new kind of bank called a ‘challenger bank.’ Challenger banks have been growing since 2008 when regulations were relaxed to create more banking competition, but they have particularly exploded over the last several years. In fact, the challenger bank Revolut has been one of the fastest growing banks in Europe.¹
Challenger banks are banks that tend to be entirely online and focus on creating a simpler yet powerful solution for today’s digital world. Many of these banks can be set up in just minutes online. Traditional banks can take weeks to get approved for, and sometimes require in-person interviews to open. Challenger banks also tend to provide beautiful and easy to use mobile apps making purchases and transfers incredibly simple, compared to the clunky old interfaces offered by many traditional banks.²
Don’t Dismiss Traditional Banks
Traditional banks realize that they are under threat by the challenger banks. They know that they have lost and may continue to lose clients to challenger banks. In fact, thousands of local bank branches have disappeared over the last several years due to the rise of online banking.³
But traditional banks aren’t just sitting back and relaxing as the market changes. Many of these banks have been doing all they can to improve their own services and remain competitive. Some have created challenger bank spinoffs of their own, while others have undertaken extensive work to make their own services more attractive.
For example, many banks are offering welcome bonuses for opening a new account and meeting some basic criteria. HSBC, for instance, is currently offering up to HKD44,300 in welcome bonuses for new Premier accounts. Note that there are specific criteria and funding requirements necessary to qualify.⁴ Other banks have dramatically improved their user interface, mobile apps, customer support, fee structure, and interest rates.
In addition, traditional banks still have advantages that are tough to beat. Many of them still offer the ability to physically go into a branch to take care of any of your banking needs. They’re also more likely to have a wide range of services, from business bank accounts to investment accounts, multi-currency accounts, lending, and mortgages. Challenger accounts will usually have a few of these features, but not all – they’re still catching up.
It’s Time to Take Advantage
Many of us signed up for our bank account many years ago and never thought to consider anything else. However, if you haven’t looked at what’s currently in the market in a while you could be missing out on some fantastic offers that could result in huge savings on your everyday banking.
Whether it be a nice cash welcome bonus, lower fees, cheaper mortgage or interest payments, better customer service, or zero-fee transfers and ATM withdrawals, everyone can benefit in some way.
What’s best is that it doesn’t take much to find these great offers. Banks want to make their offerings as visible as possible, and an online search will easily reveal all of the great benefits today’s banks are offering to attract new customers. You might be surprised by just how much banks are offering clients currently to make sure they continue to remain successful for the years ahead.