Old National Bank vs. Aspiration — Which Is Better?

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There has been a clear shift to digital banking over the past decade. Since 2015, the number of consumer visits to bank branches every month has declined from 52% to 32%. Customers are preferring on-demand banking over in-person services.

This puts conventional banks, which have long relied on their retail footprints to compete, in a precarious position. No longer can they rely on the advantage of having prime real estate for their branches.

The internet is perhaps the greatest equalizer for the banking services industry. A financial services startup can reach the same number of customers through its app that a multi-billion dollar global banking giant can. 

Banks of all sizes have been quick to adapt to this changing landscape. They have overhauled their online banking options and launched powerful apps that enable customers to perform most common banking tasks from the comfort of their own homes.

Millennials are one of the biggest reasons why banks are focusing so much on digital. A study conducted by Bank of America found that 60% of millennials prefer using mobile apps to make person-to-person payments regularly. 

Many financial services startups have thus been launched to cater to this demographic and to also cast a wide net and convert as many people as possible to digital banking. The strategy appears to be working. It’s for this precise reason that many conventional banking giants are now pouring billions into fintech startups.

The focus then shifts to the pros and cons of sticking with a conventional bank instead of moving to an online bank. 

Old National Bank

Old National Bank is based in Evansville, Indiana. It was founded in 1834 as the city’s first bank. It’s now a regional bank with almost 200 retail branches across Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

The bank has assets above $20.9 billion and has 185 banking centers in its region. It offers various services, including cash management, lease financing, credit cards, mortgages, business banking, and more.

Through its various subsidiaries, Old National Bank customers can also receive wealth management, investment advisory, brokerage, and insurance agency services.

FEATURES

Old National Bank offers full-fledged banking services that include personal checking and savings accounts, mortgage loans, home equity lines, auto loans, credit cards, and more. There’s a Private Banking service on offer as well for customers that prefer a bespoke banking solution.

It also has many services to meet your business banking needs. This includes accounts, lines of credit, term loans, business credit cards, merchant services, and treasury management as well as wealth management for businesses. 

ADVANTAGES

Wide variety of lending options

As a full-fledged bank, Old National Bank can provide a wide variety of lending products to both individuals and businesses. They can get mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, and home equity loans. Businesses can get credit cards, loans, lines of credit, and more.

Significant retail footprint

Customers who still prefer banking through the old-fashioned way will appreciate that Old National Bank maintains a significant retail presence in the markets that it serves. They can walk into one of its 200 retail branches across Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to perform transactions.

Offers Health Savings Accounts

Old National Bank customers can get a Health Savings Account if they so decide. It’s a savings account option that helps individuals and employees with high deductible health plans save money while being able to cover medical expenses. 

Customers decide how much they want to contribute to their Health Savings Account and when they want to use those funds to cover healthcare costs like prescriptions, doctor visits, procedures, and more.

DISADVANTAGES

Regional presence

Old National Bank hasn’t gone nationwide so it can only cater to customers that reside in its target markets. Customers elsewhere may like its products but won’t be able to benefit from its retail footprint simply because they live in another part of the country.

Higher service fees

Conventional banks with a retail footprint have higher overheads and thus need to account for them through higher service fees. Customers have no option but to make peace with these fees. 

Minimum balance requirements

Many of the savings accounts that Old National Bank offers have a minimum balance requirement that can range from $300 to $5000. If customers are unable to meet the balance requirement, they will be charged fees that range from $4 to $20 per month.

Aspiration

Aspiration was launched in 2015 with the sole objective of being the world’s first neobank that had socially conscious values. It has an unwavering commitment to green money and to advance the cause of environmental protection. 

It’s not a full-fledged bank. Aspiration happens to be a banking services provider. It has relationships with banks through which it can provide customers with financial services like cash management accounts.

Aspiration operates entirely online which means that it has lower overheads. This enables the company to keep overheads low and pass on those cost savings to customers in the form of low service fees.

FEATURES

The cash management accounts that Aspiration offers provide customers the best of both a checking and a savings account in one easy-to-use solution. It also offers a higher rate of interest on deposits compared to many conventional banks. 

It offers a variety of investment and retirement products as well, making it a well-rounded neobank that has options to cater to different demographics.

ADVANTAGES

Easy to get started

It’s fairly easy to get an account set up with Aspiration due to its online-only nature. Simply fill out the form and provide the relevant information through the website or the mobile app and you’ll be good to go within minutes.

APY of up to 1.00% on savings

The cash management account at Aspiration has among the highest APY offered by neobanks. Customers can receive up to 1.00% APY on their deposits, more than what they would get if they kept their money in a conventional bank.

Cashback on purchases

Aspiration offers up to 10% cash back on purchases at its Conscience Coalition partners. The Conscience Coalition is a collection of companies that put “doing the right thing” at the heart of their business.

DISADVANTAGES

No lending products offered

Aspiration is not in the business of lending to customers. As such, it doesn’t offer any lending products. Customers who want a credit card, a mortgage, or an auto loan will thus have to look elsewhere. 

No business banking service

Businesses won’t find the answer to their banking headaches at Aspiration since it doesn’t provide any banking services. It’s not uncommon for neobanks to focus on individuals only and not to offer any business banking products. 

No retail footprint

Many customers still prefer walking into their local branch, whether it’s just for a quick chat with the manager or if they feel more comfortable talking about their banking needs with an actual person. Neobanks like Aspiration don’t maintain a retail footprint so they’re not a good fit for those customers.

Socially conscious values – Old National Bank vs. Aspiration

Aspiration was set up with the precise purpose of offering socially conscious banking services. It has made a 100% commitment to clean money. The neobank will never use customers’ deposits to fund projects that rely on fossil fuels that cause irreparable harm to our planet. 

Ease of use – Old National Bank vs. Aspiration

Aspiration customers don’t have to jump through any hoops. Setting up an account takes just minutes and the entire process can be completed at home through the mobile app. 

The cash management accounts, investment, and retirement products are simple to understand and operate. There’s little that can confuse customers and that makes Aspiration a good fit even for the demographic that’s not that used to online banks.

Which is better?

Customers who want to keep their money in a bank that shares their social values will find Aspiration to be the better option. They know that their deposits won’t be used to fund planet-harming projects

They can continue to make an impact by choosing to plant a tree with every transaction. Anyone in the US can take advantage of all that Aspiration has to offer, as it doesn’t have the constraints of a regional bank.

Those who require more full-fledged banking services such as lending products and business solutions will find them at Old National Bank, the fact that it’s a regional bank with a limited footprint notwithstanding.

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