Ant Bank Review

ant bank
  • Fast account opening
  • FPS transfers
  • Up to 2% interest rate
  • Links to AlipayHK

With eight new virtual banks in Hong Kong in the last two years opening for business, it can be hard to choose which one is the best. Today, we’re doing the Ant Bank review, where you’ll find out how it measures against other digital banks in Hong Kong. But first, here’s our short Ant Bank verdict:

Ant Bank offers an easy way to start saving your money with its two-tiered savings accounts. AlipayHK customers can seamlessly open a savings account with Ant Bank as it’s a part of the same parent company and spend money through the AlipayHK wallet.  

Make sure to read reviews of other virtual banks in Hong Kong. 

About Ant Bank

Ant Bank was founded by the Ant Group’s Ant Financial and is part of the sprawling HK digital banking scene. It’s heavily connected to AlipayHK space. The company’s future plans include an expansion into SME accounts as well.

Why is Ant Bank so special?

Ant Bank offers two types of savings accounts; the HKD Savings account and the Libra Savings account. The HKD Savings account has an annual interest rate of 0.001%, and the Libra account’s interest rates are from 0.001% – 2% p.a.

More than 2 million AlipayHK customers can open an Ant Bank account remotely through the bank’s Mini App in their eWallet app.

There are no fees connected with the savings accounts, and you can withdraw your money if needed at any time without penalty. So, it’s not your typical savings account that brick and mortar banks are offering. Ant Bank’s savings account are contemporary accounts and are geared towards Alipay users. 

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Connects with AlipayHK
  • Spend funds through AlipayHK wallet
  • Easy to open an account
  • Up to 2% interest rate

Cons

  • Only for permanent HK residents
  • No debit card
  • Only savings accounts

Fees

There are no monthly or minimum account fees associated with the Ant account. 

Who can open an Ant Bank account?

You can only open an Ant bank account if:

  • you are 18 or more years old 
  • you hold a valid Hong Kong permanent ID
  • you aren’t a tax resident of any other country or jurisdiction outside of Hong Kong

How to open an Ant Bank account?

You can open an Ant Bank account by downloading the app from Google Play Store or the Apple Store. You’ll need your HK ID to verify your identity. 

If you have the AlipayHK app, click on the icon “Ant Bank” and then “Go to Ant Bank for interest.” After entering your AlipayHK’s password, you’ll be redirected to Ant Bank Mini App.

Click “Sign up” to start the simple account opening process to open your Libra Savings account and an HKD Savings account. Link your AlipayHK wallet account with a Libra Savings account, and set up electronic direct debit authorization for easy fund transfer to your e-wallet later.

How to add funds to Ant Bank account?

You can transfer money from accounts held with other HK banks via FPS to an Ant Savings account or a Libra Savings account. There are no processing fees involved in FPS transfers. 

Savings accounts

There are two types of savings accounts. The main savings account with a default annual interest rate of 0.001% and the Libra Savings account you apply for through the app. 

Libra’s interest rates are as follows:

  • 20,000 or below: 2.0%
  • 20,000 – 200,000: 0.5%
  • 200,000+: HKD Savings Account interest rate applies, i.e. 0.001%

There’s no maximum or minimum limit for the total deposit amount in your Libra Savings Account. Each sum of the deposit in your Libra Account is entitled to compound interest, and the interest will be calculated in accordance with the interest rate.

You can transfer money to your Libra account from your Main Ant Bank account; your account opened with another authorized bank in Hong Kong, or by FPS. You can also use the balance of your AlipayHK Account or an AlipayHK Associated Account. There are no service charges for transferring money.

You can request to transfer deposits out of the Libra Savings Account at any time.

How is Ant Bank regulated?

Ant Bank was granted a banking license by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in May 2019 and is one of eight virtual banks in Hong Kong. The others include ZA Bank, Mox Bank, Livi Bank, Ping An OneConnect Bank, Fusion Bank, WeLab Bank, and Airstar Bank. 

Is my money safe with Ant Bank?

Ant Bank is regulated like any other bank in Hong Kong and is protected by the Deposit Protection Scheme, and all your deposits up to HKD500,000 are protected if the company goes bankrupt. 

Who owns Ant Bank?

Ant Bank was founded by the Chinese conglomerate Ant Group, also known as Ant Financial or Alipay. Ant Group is an affiliate company of the even bigger Alibaba Group.

Customer reviews

Ant Bank’s app has mixed reviews on app stores, with some users naming problems with account verification and others having issues with the fact that the account is only available for permanent HKID holders.

Customer service

You can contact Ant Bank through the following:

  • 24-hour hotline: (852)  2325 0303
  • Email address: customeropinion@antbank.hk
  • Ant Bank App: Click “Me” > “Customer feedback” and send us your inquiries or feedback
  • Ant Bank Mini App: Click “…” at the top right-hand corner > “Help Centre” > “Online Service” and send your inquiries or feedback
  • Mail: Customer Service Department, Rm 2312-13, 23/F, Tower 1, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Competitors

There’s no shortage of mobile banks in recent years, so make sure to check out the ones below before you sign up for a bank account. Or visit our page with all the HK virtual banks. 

ZA Bank

za bank

ZA Bank has got you covered whether you need to deposit, borrow, or transfer money in multiple currencies. ZA stands out for its simplicity in applying for and granting essential financial products in a market that is getting extremely competitive.

Mox Bank

mox bank

The youngest of the bunch, Mox Bank is an excellent mobile bank attracting more and more people of Hong Kong to its lair. We especially love the ability to seamlessly switch between debit and credit capabilities at the touch of the button. 

Airstar Bank

airstar bank

Airstar is the second virtual bank to be launched successfully in Hong Kong. They offer a High-interest savings deposit with 3.6% interest for the first HKD 20,000 saved. They also charge no extra fee for early uplift of time deposit and have a 24/7 FPS instant transfer. 

Airstar Bank is a joint venture between Xiaomi Corporation, a global IoT leader, and AMTD Group, Asia’s leading comprehensive financial services conglomerate.

The bottom line

Ant Bank works best if you’re an existing AlipayHK customer as it integrates with your account through Ant Bank’s Mini App. That way, you can use your Ant funds to spend on anything from clothes to entertainment. The 2% Libra interest rate up to HKD 20,000 might also pull in some people, but we’ve seen better rates.