Most of us can agree that a trip to the bank—especially to open a new bank account—is a cumbersome errand that we all wish to avoid. Yet, managing your finances is one of the most important things you can do plan for and ensure your future. That’s where virtual banking comes in.
Virtual banking has seen a rapid rise in popularity in Hong Kong since first hitting the market this year. It’s especially been a game-changer amid the coronavirus crisis when crowded bank halls and germ-ridden bank notes are being avoided like the plague.
It’s fair to say that virtual banking is a fairly new innovation, and the whole concept may seem a bit daunting for the uninitiated. But once you get started, you will soon appreciate just how convenient and beneficial using a virtual bank account can be. To help you out, we’ve consulted the experts at Mox to let you in on some essential things you should know about virtual banking.
Gone are the days when you had to work your schedule around a bank visit and suffer through long lines just to set up an account. With no brick-and-mortar presence, virtual banks completely remove the need for registering new accounts, making transactions, or paying bills at a physical location. Instead, all these services can be completed anytime, anywhere—whether you’re in the comfort of your own home or on-the-go!
That’s right—you don’t even have to go to a physical bank to open and activate a new account (a.k.a. “onboarding”). And with Mox, there are no opening fees or minimum deposit, either! All you need is a Hong Kong identity card, a mobile phone, and a few minutes to spare, and you’ll be ready to start banking.
Don’t think we’re exaggerating. Mox’s fastest recorded onboarding time is just 2 minutes and 58 seconds—that’s less time than it takes to whip up a bowl of instant noodles! And since the Mox app has tons of essential banking features built in, you can start depositing or spending money from your phone right away. Connect your Mox account to Apple or Google Pay and you’re off to the races!
One of the main selling points of virtual banks is the multitude of banking products and services they offer in one easily accessible mobile app. From making payments and peer-to-peer transfers to accessing cash and saving money, virtual banks converge a broad suite of financial services into a single, versatile platform, providing customers with an all-in-one banking solution.
Taking the all-in-one concept a step further, Mox Bank came out with Asia’s first-ever all-in-one numberless card. All your purchases and cash withdrawals can be done seamlessly with just one card—meaning no more carrying around a sea of cards everywhere you go and shuffling through your wallet trying to find the right card every time! Additionally, with no number, expiry date, or verification code printed on the card, you don’t have to worry about losing personal data. Instead, just access private information electronically on the Mox app.
Let’s be honest—managing personal finances doesn’t come easy for a lot of us. From tracking daily spending to creating saving plans, it can all be a bit overwhelming. But with the aid of virtual banks, your fiscal woes don’t have to be the bane of your existence. Virtual banks have an advantage over traditional banks in that they often have financial tools to help users organise their financial life built into their apps.
Mox Bank specifically has a whole slew of cutting-edge financial tools. Trying to save up for a car or house? With the Mox app, you can set up sub-accounts called Goals, name them as you like, personalise them with an image, and track your progress in real-time. Tools such as the Savings Calculator can help automate your savings, and help you build towards your targets with insights and information. It’s great for big-ticket items like mortgages, but also medium objectives like holidays or furniture purchases.
Want to manage your money in a more holistic way? You might think you know roughly how much you’re spending on transport, utilities, and leisure, but Mox’s “Spend Insights” feature will give you a wake-up call. It’ll give you a detailed breakdown of your spending habits and, once you’ve realised how much of your monthly expenditure goes towards takeout and taxis, help you make better budgeting decisions. A dollar saved is a dollar earned, after all!
Speaking of smart spending, one way to make shrewd purchases is by taking full advantage of cashback rewards. Many banks offer cash rebate deals, but the rebate process is typically quite long-winded, with customers having to send in applications or wait a long time to get their money back—at which point it’s often in the form of coupons or reward points.
Mox Bank has a particularly good cashback scheme, with one percent unlimited cashback on all eligible spending on your Mox card that gets credited to your account as real money daily and accumulates interest daily. From now until 31 December you can even earn up to $1,000 with Mox’s exclusive “super cashback” offer, which offers five percent cashback for purchases made at their 30 founding merchants, including Circle K, McDonald’s, CSL, Foodpanda, and more!
While the super cashback is a limited offer, you can find special promotions from Mox’s partner merchants on the app’s “Discover” page year-round—and since the partner businesses have been handpicked with the Mox user’s spending habits in mind, they’ll actually be relevant to your lifestyle.
For a totally seamless shopping experience, hook your Mox card to Google Pay or Apple Pay to make payments with a few taps on your phone. Make fussing around with your wallet a thing of the past and give yourself more room for shopping bags!
If you’re looking to park your savings somewhere lucrative where you can earn some passive income, virtual banks are the way to go. Bypassing hefty sums of operation and overhead costs, virtual banks typically offer better interest rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. With Mox, users can enjoy one percent annual interest rate for deposits under one million dollars, and unlike most banks that pay interests on a monthly basis, Mox deposits interests into your account every single day—yes, even on weekends and public holidays!
It’s fair to say that virtual banks offer a convenient and simple way to manage your money, but they are by no means created equal. While all virtual banks in Hong Kong are licenced and monitored by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Mox is the only local virtual bank that is backed by a well-trusted international bank. You can count on it to be safe and secure. A joint venture created by Standard Chartered in partnership with PCCW, HKT, and Trip.com, Mox officially launched in September with the mission to “grow your money, your world, and your possibilities” by providing a wide array of digital banking services to customers. Open to all Hong Kong residents—including US citizens—all you need is a Hong Kong identity card to apply for a free account. And with no hidden fees, no minimum balance requirements, and no annual fee for the Mox card, the cloud-based bank checks all the boxes when it comes to accessibility for all. Click here to find out more about their services and benefits!