Airstar Bank review
Explore the key features of one of Hong Kong’s first virtual banks.
If you’re attracted to a bank account that’s easy-to-manage and has lots of flexibility and features, Airstar Bank may be a great choice for you. The recently-launched virtual bank offers customers a fast sign-up process, there’s no minimum deposit to worry about and you can get round-the-clock customer support. Plus, you could earn interest at a competitive rate meaning your money works hard for you.
In this review we outline what you need to know about Airstar Bank, to help you decide if this account could meet your needs.
Default Interest Rate
How does Airstar Bank work in Hong Kong?
In June 2020, Airstar Bank announced the launch of its full operations to the public in Hong Kong. This followed a small pilot programme earlier in the year. The virtual bank was granted a banking license by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in May 2019.
As with other virtual banks, Airstar Bank’s services are delivered through the web or app instead of via physical branches. Once you sign up, you can enjoy banking access in your pocket. You can make speedy local payments and transfers, take advantage of spending and saving features, and more.
What features does Airstar Bank offer?
- Easy sign-up process. It’s possible to open an account remotely in just five minutes, using just your Hong Kong ID card and smartphone. Plus, there’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement.
- Guaranteed interest rate. New customers can take advantage of a fixed rate of interest on their savings account up until June 10, 2021. This rate is set at an attractive 3.60% for deposits up to HK$20,000. Terms and conditions apply.
- Fast payments. By utilising Faster Payment System (FPS) technology, you can make local money transfers with no hassle. What’s more, transactions can be completed using mobile numbers or email addresses as well as bank account details. Money can be transferred in HKD and CNY to any participating local banks or stored value facilities.
- Bank with three currencies. Deposits are offered in HKD, CNY and USD. For Time Deposits – where you put your money aside for a set period of time at a fixed rate of interest – the minimum deposit amount is 1,000 of the chosen currency.
- Personal loans. This provider lets customers apply for a personal loan through its app. According to Airstar, rates of interest could be available from as low as 2.99% (with no handling fee). Additional supporting documents, such as your last three months’ payslips, will be required by customers who intend to make a loan application.
- 24/7 customer support. If you need assistance, contact Airstar’s 24-hour banking hotline at (852)3718 1818.
How do the Airstar Bank accounts work?
Airstar Bank provides personal and business (for SME) banking service. It also offers personal loans.
Airstar Bank fees and limits
- Minimum balance: waived
- Monthly fee: waived
- Charge for early withdrawal of time deposit: waived
- Local inter-bank transfers: waived
- Payments through “FPS”: waived
- Personal loan handling fee: waived
Airstar Bank has only 3.0 out of 5.0 (648 reviews) on Google Play. Most complaints are about the mobile app fails to scan the user’s ID resulting inability to register an account. Moreover, the customer service team could not solve the problem. Some users also said that there hasn’t been any updates of the app to debug.
In terms of features and functions, Airstar Bank isn’t quite catching up with its peers. It does not offer basic features such as cards or ATM withdrawal etc. The currencies supported are also limited.
Despite there are quite a lot of negative comments, overall, its interest rate of 3.6% is quite considerable. It could be a choice for users don’t require many features but a basic saving account.
How to apply
To sign up with Airstar, start by checking you meet the bank’s eligibility requirements. When you’re ready, visit this provider’s website to scan a QR code in order to download the Airstar Bank mobile app, which is available on most Apple and Android devices. You’ll then have to follow a short set of instructions to complete your application.
It’s important to ensure you are aware of the fees, charges and exclusions that apply to this account prior to signing up. The easiest way to find out this information is to read Airstar Bank’s terms and conditions on its website.
To be eligible for an account with Airstar Bank you must:
- Be aged 18 years old or above
- Hold a Hong Kong ID
- Have a Hong Kong tax residence
- Currently, individuals from the US can’t apply
Is Airstar Bank safe?
The supervisory requirements of virtual banks are no different than traditional banks in Hong Kong. Additionally, Airstar Bank is a member of the Deposit Protection Scheme, which means eligible deposits are protected up to HKD500,000. These factors should bring you peace of mind that your money will be protected.
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