Personal Finance

Alterna Bank High Interest eSavings Account

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  • Jan 16th, 2019 1:08 pm
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Akitakara wrote:
Sep 23rd, 2018 11:13 pm
Isn't this change for Bill Payments, Property Tax Payments, Mortgage Payments, etc. that are coming automatically out of the account?
That, too. But whether it timestamps on the weekend or the Monday, what difference does it make?
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titaniumtux wrote:
Sep 23rd, 2018 11:19 pm
That, too. But whether it timestamps on the weekend or the Monday, what difference tsdoes it make?
loss of a few days Alterna interest?
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Alterna is offering a 1yr term deposit @ 3.00%, eligible for TFSA.
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Jul 25, 2008
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Electric Light BulbActive Alert

I got login email alert if I access my account using the mobile app. Almost instant.
There is no login email alert if I login through full site with web browser.

Is this a security issue?

Edit+:. Took 15 min for the alert to be received...

As the alerts has no time stamp. It could be a new login from another one. It is a security hole.

I have not call them yet to find out.
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Sauerkraut wrote:
Oct 27th, 2018 7:27 pm
Alterna is offering a 1yr term deposit @ 3.00%, eligible for TFSA.
I opened one online (1 yr tfsa e-term) and it is only showing 1.5%...i called them and they said it was a glitch and they will manually fix it tomorrow to 3%... So watch your accounts.
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I noticed that the eSavings, TFSA eSavings, and the RRSP eSavings are now at 2.25%.
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matradley wrote:
Oct 31st, 2018 8:34 pm
I noticed that the eSavings, TFSA eSavings, and the RRSP eSavings are now at 2.25%.
Nice
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Shawguy wrote:
Oct 31st, 2018 7:53 pm
I opened one online (1 yr tfsa e-term) and it is only showing 1.5%...i called them and they said it was a glitch and they will manually fix it tomorrow to 3%... So watch your accounts.

They have fixed my account already. That was fast
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Dec 24, 2008
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TL;DR: New account holder looking for opinion of people that have used Alterna Bank for a while. Given Alterna Bank's outdated processes and technology, how satisfied are the users with them? My first impressions are documented in the text below:

I've been a customer of Simplii Financial (formerly PC Financial) for some time now and were quite satisfied with their service and did not miss the fact that there was no branch to go to for support as almost all my needs were met through their online presence. In times where I needed urgent help, I found that CIBC branch was more than willing to help.

I started looking for a place that would offer more than 1.25% and was pleasantly surprised when I found out that Alterna Bank was offering 2.25%. It felt good to help out a local establishment as I live in Ottawa. I understood that Alterna Bank is meant for people that didn't need branch access, but like I mentioned, this is not an issue for me.

Opening the account was definitely not as smooth as opening accounts at other institutions as their website is quite dated, and it required manual intervention on their part, before the process was finalized, but again this did not seem like a big deal. There have been other 'surprises' that made me question their online presence as viable, as their systems/processes seem quite archaic for a 'no branch' bank:
1) In order to add a Me-to-Me account from another bank one needs to either mail a printed form and include a 'Void' cheque, or email them a scanned completed form and a said cheque. This is very surprising given that they are asking their customers to put sensitive banking information in an unsecured email, akin to sending it via a postcard. Keep in mind there are NO secure online ways of doing this according to their staff.
2) Not able to add a joint account holder without that holder having their own primary account. As my wife and I share our accounts we don't have a need for another account that would just sit there for no reason. Keep in mind that this process is also accomplished through sending an email; no secure way of completing this transaction. The form itself is quite cryptic and requires one to call for support: eg. the form asks for a 'Sub Account #', after searching to see where I could find that number, it turns out it's actually a name (alias) that you gave that specific account (according to support person). This would not be a problem if not for #5
3) The phone application does not allow for transferring funds between Alterna Bank and the linked financial institution. This can only be performed via their website
4) When calling their help center, one is able to choose an option not to wait but to have their people call you back. When doing so there is no automated way to enter the number, but you just leave your name, your phone number, and why you are calling and wait to be called back. The call back never came so I had to call them again:
4a) When calling back, I was disconnected randomly on 2 different occasions while speaking with their staff (who are quite friendly by the way)
5) This could be just me, but: I've had trouble finding instructions and help on many topics. Although there are FAQ pages, there is a lot of info missing. E.g. Details on filling out forms like joint account, how does one actually create a Me-to-Me transfer, Me-to-Me transfers not being available in the mobile app, etc.

By itself, none of the things I mentioned are 'deal breakers', but as I just opened an account with them and are coming across all these issues already, I'm wondering what experiences of others have been.
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I've never had a problem with them, but haven't had to contact them. As for their system itself - they're going to be one of the first on Central1's new system (Forge) which was made in collaboration with an outside company so I'm excited to see what that will do for functionality and such. Just from what I've seen it appears they're treating stuff more seriously and are working towards making themselves more of a player.
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Wonder why Alternative capped maximum for each product for new customers.
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MoneyHypeMike wrote:
Dec 11th, 2018 12:17 pm
Anyone know the max ABM withdrawal limit for the eChequing account?
If the machine dispenses $20's, you're capped at $800 due to the 40x bill dispense cap (assuming this applies to The Exchange ATM's), but it may also depend on withdrawal limits with the FI. Usually withdrawal limits cap at $2k afaik. Can probably call in to request a temporary increase.
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Alterna Bank has increased all their accounts...esavings, TFSA, and RRSP to 2.35%.
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Sauerkraut wrote:
Dec 28th, 2018 11:03 am
Alterna Bank has increased all their accounts...esavings, TFSA, and RRSP to 2.35%.
slightly above EQ's 2.3%... nice to have competition

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