Over the past two decades, banks, such as the Bank of Hawaii, have been increasingly advancing their online offerings to provide more convenience to customers. They have enabled customers to perform many tasks from the comfort of their own homes that they would have previously had to visit a branch for.
That has been very beneficial for customers. Robust online banking functionality allows them to do what they need to do faster than ever before. This has also led to a fair bit of competition among banks.
To that end, conventional banks are now rapidly innovating in the online banking space. They view the provision of enhanced banking services, particularly through mobile devices, as a means to differentiate themselves from the competition.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought a surge in the use of online banking, especially in demographics that were previously not that receptive to it. A recent study has found that in April 2020, 46% of banked Baby Boomers in the US were using new channels like online and mobile banking for their banking needs.
That’s quite the improvement when you consider that mobile banking usage was the lowest among this generation just two years ago in 2018. As this demographic found itself at the highest risk of a fatal outcome from COVID-19, it had to adapt.
Handling this influx of new users wasn’t a problem for banks that have diligently been investing in expanding their online banking services. Even regional banks have been able to cope up with the increased demand.
For example, Bank of Hawaii’s Online e-Bankoh service allows its customers to handle banking needs from the safety of their homes. Neobanks, financial service providers that operate entirely on a branchless banking model, have been able to weather the COVID19 storm as well.
Bank of Hawaii Online
Bank of Hawaii is a regional commercial bank and happens to be the second oldest bank in Hawaii. It focuses primarily on community banking as it doesn’t have a presence on the US Mainland.
e-Bankoh is what the Bank of Hawaii online banking service is called. Customers can easily access it using a mobile device, tablet, or computer. Once they’re rolled, they have access to a wide variety of features.
Despite being smaller than the nationwide commercial banks in the country, Bank of Hawaii does offer many different financial products and services. This includes but isn’t limited to checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credit, and more.
With Bank of Hawaii online banking, customers can view their transaction history and online statements. Other features include mobile check deposits, alerts about card transactions, card controls, bill payments, money transfers, and more.
All of these features are also available through the Bank of Hawaii Mobile App. Both Android and iOS versions of the app are available. It even allows customers to use Cardless Cash, a service that lets them withdraw cash from a checking account using just their mobile device.
Small community banks don’t tend to offer credit cards and that’s not the league that Bank of Hawaii counts itself in. Customers can obtain credit cards from the bank. The available options include Hawaiian Airlines-branded cards that enable customers to earn air miles on every transaction.
Despite being a regional bank, the Bank of Hawaii provides many different business banking services. This includes checking and savings accounts, business credit cards, financing, and loans in addition to a variety of business and commercial banking services.
Anyone in the US can open a Bank of Hawaii online account
Customers who like what the Bank of Hawaii has to offer don’t necessarily need to be in Hawaii to bank with it. Bank of Hawaii accounts can be opened online for applicants with a physical address in the 50 United States, Guam, Saipan, or Palau.
The Bank of Hawaii doesn’t have activities on the US Mainland. This means that having an account with this bank isn’t going to be of much use unless you reside in Hawaii. Those living elsewhere won’t find a branch anywhere near them.
Higher service fees than neobanks
This is a major disadvantage of commercial banks in general. They rely on service fees to generate a significant portion of their revenues. Most neobanks don’t. Since they don’t have branches and large staff overhead, they aren’t that dependent on this income stream.
Low APY on savings accounts
With 0.07% being the highest APY that customers can get on select savings accounts with the Bank of Hawaii, it’s not that lucrative compared to some of the other options available in the market. The rates are far lower than what some neobanks can provide.
Launched in 2015, Aspiration is one of the world’s first socially conscious neobanks. It’s a banking services provider, in that it’s not a chartered and federally insured bank itself. Aspiration has relationships with banks that enable it to provide customers with many banking services.
Aspiration offers cash management services and investment products with a focus on sustainability. The company also remains wholly committed to not using customer deposits to fund fossil fuel projects that actively damage the planet.
In addition to its environmental preservation endeavors, Aspiration also donates 10% of every dollar that it receives from customers to charities that help struggling Americans get back up on their feet.
Aspiration has partnered with many leading companies to form the Conscience Coalition. Customers who purchase from these companies can get up to 10% cashback.
They can also exercise the option to plant a tree by rounding up to the nearest amount on every transaction. With Aspiration’s Giving platform, customers can also support nonprofits and charities that have been vetted.
Socially conscious investments
Customers who prefer investing in socially conscious companies will appreciate Aspiration’s investment options. The company’s Redwood Fund is a private mutual fund that only invests in fossil-fuel-free companies. There’s a $10 minimum deposit with the fund being open to new investors as well.
Higher APY on savings accounts
Aspiration offers customers a higher APY of up to 1.00% compared to many conventional banks. The rate offered is higher than what many other neobanks offer as well.
No exorbitant fees
Unlike conventional banks, Aspiration doesn’t rely on service fees to generate its revenues. That’s why it only charges customers for banking services like incoming/outgoing wire transfers or returns checks what it costs Aspiration to process them. The service fees are not marked up.
No credit cards
Customers who would like credit cards either for racking up rewards or for general use won’t find them at Aspiration. As a neobank, it doesn’t extend credit card services to individuals or businesses.
No branch network
Like every other neobank, Aspiration operates on a branchless banking model. It doesn’t have a retail footprint. Customers that prefer walking into their local branching for a face-to-face service experience won’t find it at Aspiration.
No business banking
Aspiration’s cash management accounts are only meant for individuals. It doesn’t provide any business banking services, including simple checking and savings accounts, let alone additional products like loans or lines of credit.
APY on savings – Bank of Hawaii vs. Aspiration
Aspiration is the better option of the two. Even though the former has several different savings accounts on offer, all of which can be opened through the Bank of Hawaii online service, the highest APY that it offers is still far lower than the up to 1.00% that Aspiration promises to its customers.
Access to investment options – Bank of Hawaii Online vs. Aspiration
With Aspiration, it’s fairly simple to invest in the funds that it offers. Customers can easily invest with a minimum of $10 through the mobile app. That’s not something they can do with the Bank of Hawaii online banking or mobile app. While the bank does offer investment products, they’re not as easily accessible as Aspiration’s funds.
Which is better?
Notwithstanding its regional footprint, Bank of Hawaii offers online account opening for customers across the United States. That level of service is similar to what the Aspiration neobank already provides.
Bank of Hawaii is a better option for customers that want additional financial products like credit cards or business banking. Those who want a simple cash management account that gives them the benefit of both a checking and saving account in one solution in addition to access to investment funds should consider Aspiration.
It’s a particularly great option for customers that are socially conscious and would like to bank with a company that shares their values. Aspiration’s 100% commitment to clean money remains unmatched by the financial industry at large.
Do your bit in the advancement of green financial services. Open an account with Aspiration today to spend and save while making the world a better place.