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Alterna Bank Review: Pros, Cons, and Overall Performance

If you’re looking for a new banking experience, you may want to consider Alterna Bank. This online bank offers a range of services that can help you manage your finances more effectively. In this Alterna Bank review, we’ll take a closer look at what this bank has to offer and whether it’s worth considering for your banking needs.

Alterna Bank is an online-only bank that offers a range of services, including chequing and savings accounts, mortgages, and loans. The bank is owned by Alterna Savings, a Canadian credit union that has been in business for over a century. With Alterna Bank, you can manage your finances from anywhere, at any time, using your computer or mobile device. The bank also offers competitive interest rates and low fees, making it an attractive option for those looking to save money on banking costs.

History of Alterna Bank

Alterna Bank was established in 2000 as a subsidiary of Alterna Savings, a credit union in Ontario, Canada. The bank was created to provide a wider range of financial services to customers, including online banking and mortgage lending.

Initially, Alterna Bank offered only savings accounts and GICs, but it later expanded its product offerings to include chequing accounts, mortgages, and personal loans. The bank has also introduced a number of innovative products, such as its High-Interest eSavings account, which offers a competitive interest rate and no monthly fees.

In 2016, Alterna Bank became the first Canadian bank to launch a fully digital end-to-end mortgage application process, allowing customers to apply for a mortgage entirely online. The bank has continued to invest in technology, with a focus on providing a seamless digital banking experience for its customers.

Today, Alterna Bank is a leading digital bank in Canada, with over $2 billion in assets under management and a growing customer base. The bank is committed to providing innovative financial solutions to its customers and is constantly exploring new ways to improve its products and services.

Alterna Bank

Banking Services Offered by Alterna Bank

Alterna Bank is a Canadian online bank that provides various banking services to its customers. In this section, we will explore the personal banking and business banking services offered by Alterna Bank.

Personal Banking

Alterna Bank offers a range of personal banking services that cater to the needs of its customers. Here are some of the personal banking services offered by Alterna Bank:

  • Savings and Chequing Accounts: Alterna Bank offers high-interest savings accounts and no-fee chequing accounts that provide customers with flexibility and convenience.

  • Mortgages and Loans: Alterna Bank provides a range of mortgage and loan options to help customers achieve their financial goals. These include fixed and variable rate mortgages, home equity lines of credit, personal loans, and more.

  • Investments: Alterna Bank offers a range of investment options, including registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs), tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), and more.

  • Credit Cards: Alterna Bank offers a range of credit cards that cater to different needs and lifestyles. These include cashback, rewards, and low-interest-rate credit cards.

Business Banking

Alterna Bank also provides business banking services to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their finances effectively. Here are some of the business banking services offered by Alterna Bank:

  • Business Accounts: Alterna Bank offers a range of business accounts, including chequing, savings, and foreign currency accounts, to help businesses manage their finances efficiently.

  • Business Loans and Lines of Credit: Alterna Bank provides a range of business loans and lines of credit to help businesses with their financing needs. These include term loans, lines of credit, and commercial mortgages.

  • Merchant Services: Alterna Bank offers merchant services to help businesses accept credit and debit card payments from their customers.

  • Cash Management Services: Alterna Bank provides a range of cash management services to help businesses manage their cash flow effectively. These include wire transfers, electronic funds transfers, and more.

In conclusion, Alterna Bank offers a range of personal and business banking services to cater to the needs of its customers. Whether you are looking for a high-interest savings account, a mortgage, a credit card, or a business loan, Alterna Bank has got you covered.

Digital Banking Experience

When it comes to digital banking, Alterna Bank provides a smooth and user-friendly experience. Their website and mobile app are easy to navigate, and the interface is intuitive. You can easily access your account information, transfer funds, pay bills, and manage your finances from anywhere, anytime.

One of the standout features of Alterna Bank’s digital banking experience is their mobile app. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, and it allows you to do everything you can do on the website and more. You can view your account balances, transaction history, and even deposit cheques using your smartphone’s camera. The app also features fingerprint and face recognition login options, making it quick and secure to access your account.

Another great feature of Alterna Bank’s digital banking is their e-Transfer service. With this service, you can easily and securely send money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number. You can also set up recurring e-Transfers, making it convenient to pay bills or send money to family and friends on a regular basis.

In terms of security, Alterna Bank takes digital banking seriously. They use industry-standard security measures to protect your personal and financial information, and they offer two-factor authentication for added security. You can also set up alerts to notify you of any suspicious activity on your account.

Overall, Alterna Bank’s digital banking experience is top-notch. Whether you prefer to bank on your computer or your smartphone, you’ll find their website and mobile app easy to use and navigate. With features like mobile cheque deposit and e-Transfers, managing your finances has never been more convenient.

Customer Service

When it comes to banking, customer service is a vital aspect that can make or break a bank’s reputation. Alterna Bank has a reputation for excellent customer service, which is reflected in their high customer satisfaction ratings.

One of the ways that Alterna Bank ensures top-notch customer service is by providing multiple channels for customers to get in touch with their support team. You can contact their customer service team via phone, email, or live chat. Additionally, the bank provides a comprehensive FAQ section on their website, which can help you find answers to common questions without having to contact customer support.

Another way Alterna Bank ensures excellent customer service is by providing personalized support. When you contact their customer support team, you will be connected with a representative who will work with you to resolve your issue. This personalized approach to customer service ensures that you get the help you need quickly and efficiently.

Alterna Bank also offers a mobile app that makes banking on-the-go convenient and easy. The app provides a range of features, including the ability to view account balances, transfer funds, pay bills, and deposit checks. The app also allows you to contact customer support directly from the app, making it easy to get help when you need it.

Overall, Alterna Bank’s commitment to excellent customer service is evident in the multiple channels they provide for customers to get in touch with their support team, their personalized approach to support, and their convenient mobile app. If you’re looking for a bank that prioritizes customer service, Alterna Bank is an excellent choice.

Security Measures

When it comes to banking, security is a top concern for many people. Fortunately, Alterna Bank takes security very seriously and has implemented several measures to keep your information and funds safe.

Online Security

Alterna Bank uses 128-bit SSL encryption to protect your online transactions. This is the same level of encryption used by major banks and is considered to be very secure. Additionally, Alterna Bank requires you to use a strong password and security questions to access your account.

Fraud Protection

Alterna Bank has a team of fraud specialists who monitor your account for any suspicious activity. If they detect any fraudulent transactions, they will contact you immediately to verify the transaction. Alterna Bank also offers zero liability protection for any unauthorized transactions.

Mobile Security

Alterna Bank’s mobile app is also very secure. It uses the same 128-bit SSL encryption as the website and requires you to use a passcode or fingerprint ID to access your account. Additionally, the app has a feature that allows you to disable it if your phone is lost or stolen.

Physical Security

Alterna Bank’s physical locations are also very secure. They use security cameras, alarms, and other measures to protect their buildings and your funds. Additionally, Alterna Bank is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), which means your deposits are insured up to $100,000.

Overall, Alterna Bank takes security very seriously and has implemented several measures to keep your information and funds safe. Whether you’re banking online or in person, you can feel confident that your money is in good hands.

Alterna Bank

Pros and Cons of Alterna Bank

Advantages

Alterna Bank has several advantages that make it an attractive option for those looking for a new banking experience. Some of these advantages include:

  • High interest rates: Alterna Bank offers some of the highest interest rates in Canada, making it an excellent option for those looking to grow their savings. With rates as high as 1.95%, you can earn more on your money than you would with most traditional banks.

  • No monthly fees: Unlike many traditional banks, Alterna Bank does not charge monthly fees for their accounts. This means that you can save money on banking fees and put more towards your savings goals.

  • Online banking: Alterna Bank is an online-only bank, which means that you can manage your accounts from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes it a convenient option for those who prefer to do their banking online.

  • Mobile app: Alterna Bank has a mobile app that allows you to manage your accounts, transfer money, and deposit cheques on the go. This makes it easy to stay on top of your finances no matter where you are.

Disadvantages

While Alterna Bank has many advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. These include:

  • Limited branch access: Alterna Bank does not have any physical branches, which means that you cannot go to a branch to speak with a teller or deposit cash. If you prefer to do your banking in person, this may not be the best option for you.

  • Limited account options: Alterna Bank only offers a few different account options, which may not meet the needs of everyone. If you require a more specialized account, you may need to look elsewhere.

  • Limited ATM access: While Alterna Bank does offer access to a large network of ATMs, there are still some areas where it may be difficult to find an ATM. This could be an issue if you need to withdraw cash frequently.

Overall, Alterna Bank is a solid option for those looking for a high-interest savings account with no monthly fees. However, if you require more specialized banking services or prefer to do your banking in person, you may need to look elsewhere.

Comparative Analysis

When conducting a review of Alterna Bank, it is important to compare its services and performance to similar financial institutions. Here is a comparative analysis of Alterna Bank with other banks:

1. Alterna Bank vs. Big Banks

Alterna Bank is a smaller financial institution compared to big banks such as Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, and Royal Bank of Canada. However, Alterna Bank offers competitive interest rates, lower fees, and personalized service. Big banks, on the other hand, offer a wide range of financial services, including investment advice, insurance, and credit cards.

2. Alterna Bank vs. Credit Unions

Alterna Bank is a credit union, and it competes with other credit unions such as Meridian Credit Union and Coast Capital Savings. Moreover, Alterna Bank offers similar services to credit unions, such as savings accounts, mortgages, and loans. However, Alterna Bank has a larger online presence and offers more digital services than some credit unions.

3. Alterna Bank vs. Online Banks

To add, Alterna Bank is an online bank, and it competes with other online banks such as Tangerine and Simplii Financial. Alterna Bank offers higher interest rates and lower fees compared to some online banks. However, some online banks offer more digital services and have a more user-friendly mobile app than Alterna Bank.

In conclusion, Alterna Bank offers competitive services and rates compared to other financial institutions. Depending on your financial needs and preferences, Alterna Bank may be a suitable choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the interest rates for Alterna Bank’s high interest eSavings account?

Alterna Bank’s high interest eSavings account offers competitive interest rates that are subject to change. As of the current date, the interest rate for their eSavings account is 1.50% per annum, which is calculated daily and paid monthly.

What are the GIC rates offered by Alterna Bank?

Alterna Bank offers a variety of GICs with different terms and interest rates. As of the current date, the interest rates for their GICs range from 0.50% to 2.30% per annum, depending on the term and type of GIC.

Does Alterna Bank offer a credit card?

No, Alterna Bank does not currently offer a credit card.

Can businesses open accounts with Alterna Bank?

Yes, Alterna Bank offers business accounts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Business account options include chequing, savings, and GICs.

Who owns Alterna Bank?

Alterna Bank is owned by Alterna Savings and Credit Union Limited, a Canadian credit union that was founded in 1908.

Is Alterna Bank a federally regulated institution?

Yes, Alterna Bank is a federally regulated financial institution that is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC). This means that eligible deposits are insured up to $100,000 per depositor.

Conclusion

Overall, Alterna Bank provides a solid online banking experience with competitive rates and a good range of products. While it may not have the same name recognition as some of the bigger banks, it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar banks.

One of the standout features of Alterna Bank is its high-interest savings account, which offers a competitive interest rate and no monthly fees. It’s a great option if you’re looking to save money and earn a decent return on your investment.

Another advantage of Alterna Bank is its range of GICs, which offer competitive rates and a variety of terms to choose from. If you’re looking for a safe, low-risk investment option, a GIC from Alterna Bank could be a good choice.

One area where Alterna Bank could improve is its mobile app, which is not as user-friendly as some of the other banking apps on the market. However, the online banking platform is easy to use and offers all the features you’d expect, including bill payments, e-transfers, and account transfers.

In summary, if you’re looking for a reliable online bank with competitive rates and a good range of products, Alterna Bank is definitely worth considering. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the bigger banks, it offers a solid banking experience and could be a great choice for those looking to save money and earn a decent return on their investment.

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