What payment platform a person chooses is as personal as their style, what they eat, and how they decorate their house.
Today's world offers almost unlimited options for banks that handle personal accounts. Some people prefer a traditional bank with a brick-and-mortar location. Others prefer to do their banking virtually via an app on their phone.
For those who prefer virtual banks and are in Hong Kong, Livi Bank might be a great choice.
In this article will provide step-by-step instructions on opening a Livi Account and other helpful information needed prior opening an account.
What is Livi Bank?
Livi Bank received a virtual banking license from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in 2019 and started operations in August 2020.
Livi Bank is backed by the Bank of China Hong Kong, Jingdong Digits Technology, and the Jardine Matheson Group.
The overall goal of Livi Bank is to be a people-first company that focuses on a simple and secure banking experience.
Livi Bank is a member of the Deposit Protection Scheme, which means that eligible deposits made with the financial firm are guaranteed up to HKD 500,000.
What services does Livi Offer?
As mentioned earlier, Livi Bank is a neobank that offers personal accounts to individuals, handling everything through an app on the customer's phone. Business banking solutions are unavailable now so you may consider alternatives for business banking.
Livi's account is called "Livisave." It's a multi-currency account available in three currencies that are:
- Renminbi (CNY),
- US dollars (USD),
- and Hong Kong dollars (HKD).
Opening an account with Livi, you'll have access to several features, including
1- Money transfers
Livi bank provides easy transfers into and out of the Livi account. Indeed, the following transfer services are provided:
- Instant transfer in HKD and CNY via FPS
- Transfer money from other local banks: HKD, USD, and CNY
- Transfer money to other local banks: USD
- Small-value Transfers
- Scheduled transfers
FPS transfers are fast and free. Small-value transfers can be done without using two-factor authentication if it doesn't reach the daily limit of 10,000 HKD.
FPS transfers will be processed and received by the recipient immediately. But, scheduled transfers are processed between 9 am – 12 pm.
Transfers are only available in HKD and CNY, and the maximum daily transfer limit is 500,000 HKD, but you can freely change the limit.
Opening a Livi bank account automatically grants you an interest-bearing account without signing up for a dedicated savings account.
The LiviSave account lets the customer's money work for them.
The savings interest rates structure is set up as follows:
- For the first 50,000 HKD and below, the annual interest is 1.00% p.a.
- For accounts with 50,000 HKD to 500,000 HKD, the annual interest is 0.40% p.a.
- For accounts above 500,000 HKD, the annual interest is 0.01%
These savings rates are far above any other bank in Hong Kong and are what's attracting plenty of new customers to the Livi Bank platform.
The daily interest is calculated based on your end-of-day balance and current interest rate. The interest is calculated every month and credited once a month.
3- Livi Debit Mastercard
Livi customers can apply for a livi Debit Mastercard from the Livi bank app.
The Livi debit Mastercard is only available in physical format debit card, so it may be a burden for those enjoying paying with a physical card.
That being said, the livi Debit Mastercard card be connected to both Apple Pay and Google Pay.
As for the card's features, they are as follows:
- Livi Debit Mastercard can pay at both physical stores and online stores.
- You can track your transactions anytime in-app.
- Livi Debit Mastercard has no fees apart from the 1.9% fee for foreign transactions.
- The livi Debit Mastercard payment limit is HKD 50,000 HKD per day. Still, you can personalize the payment limit directly within the livi app.
4- Livisave Additional Features:
"Yuu with Livi"
By paying with a Livi Bank debit card, the customer earns Yuu points that can be earned at over 2,000 shops in Hong Kong and then redeemed.
Some of the Yuu partners include 7-Eleven, Ikea, and Pizza Hut. Another fun way to earn rewards with Livi Bank is their Pay & Shake feature.
The customer can pay with a QR code on their phone, and following the transaction, they are prompted to shake their phone for a reward.
Everyone is allowed up to three shakes a day to earn extra HKD.
QR Cash allows you to withdraw cash at designated ATMs without a physical card. Every withdrawal will be taken directly out of your LiviSave account.
You can also set instructions to withdraw now or at any time within 60 minutes. All BOCHK ATMs and other designated ATMs currently support this service.
Livi PayLater allows you to spread your purchases by a spending installment with a revolving line of credit. By using Livi PayLater Mastercard, you get approved for a loan instantly and get to repay your purchase in 3 to 36 months.
There are, of course, certain charges that come into play. The monthly flat rate can be as low as 0.20%, but it depends on your loan amount, credit rating, and other factors.
The feature is only available for transactions through the virtual Mastercard debit card.
Card transactions are automatically split into installments over the customer's selected payout period, and no additional requests are required. Clients can then easily manage their installment expenses in the Livi application.
Livi Flexi Loan
Livi Flexi Loan allows you to contract a personal loan (up to 1,000,000 HKD) with a monthly repayment period of 3 to 60 months.
To be eligible, you must be a Hong Kong resident with a LiviSave account and proof of income.
Opening an account with Livi Bank gives you access to their rewards program, which allows you to earn cash back on your purchases with your Mastercard.
Members can earn up to 8% cash back on online orders and 1% cash back on all other purchases, up to 500 HKD per month.
Opening a Livi Bank account can be done in just a few taps. It is a relatively simple process, but there are some criteria that users need to meet first.
- For one, the person must be 18 years of age or older and hold a Smart Hong Kong Identity Card.
- They also need to be a Hong Kong resident with valid Hong Kong addresses.
- Last, they need to currently live in Hong Kong and possess a Hong Kong mobile number.
Insider tip: People from Mainland China can apply. You'll need to have your ID ready when opening the account.
Setting up a Livi Account
Opening an account at Livi Bank is completely free. There are no fees, no minimum deposit requirements, or maximum deposits.
All you need to do is have a stable internet connection and the latest version of the mobile application downloaded on your phone, iOS 10.3 / Android 7.0 or higher.
Like starting any bank account, you'll need to provide supporting documents to get your account opened.
Here are the documents you will need to open your Livi account:
- Contact Information: Basically, your Hong Kong phone number and mailing address.
- Personal Information: You must provide your nationality, full name, date, place of birth, and a valid Hong Kong address.
- Personal Documents: You are required to provide your Hong Kong ID card
Step-by-step opening process
- Download the Livi app and click on "open account"
- From here, you'll have the options to choose if you have an HK or Mainland ID.
- Next, verify your phone number (you must have a phone number to receive SMS and authenticate your identity).
- Along with this screen, you can input an invitation code.
The invitation code is a referral code - so if a friend refers you, you will receive a 150 HKD welcome reward after single net spending of 100 HKD or above within 30 days after account opening
- Select and scan your ID card,
Insider tip: You will need to scan both sides of your HKID — one time without a flash of the camera; and another with the camera flash automatically activated.
- Confirm your identity by filling in your personal information,
- Next, verify your identity by doing a Facial recognition with your ID -
Insider tip: by blinking your eyes, a picture will be taken automatically.
- Then they will verify your identification - just wait a few seconds.
- Continue to fill in your personal information:
- At this moment, you can already choose to apply for a debit MasterCard and QR payment
- Review and submit
- Final step: Read and agree to their terms and condition
And that's it; the application is sent to Livi Bank and will be pending review.
They inform that the livi account will be ready instantly in most cases. If not, they will do their best to get back to you within two business days; they will notify you via SMS, email, or phone call once your account is ready or if they need additional information.
While the application is being reviewed, you can access the App and check the features. The feature transaction will be inaccessible until your account is approved.
In some cases, the opening of an account can be rejected, and this is for the following reasons:
- If the person applying for an account does not meet those requirements, they will not be able to open an account at Livi Bank.
- There are some cases where there could be an issue with the personal information provided. In that case, the customer can reach out to LiviCare and get an update on the status of their application.
Livi Bank is best for consumers looking for high-interest rates and a complete virtual banking experience.
The interface is widely considered easy to use, and a great option for those who are just starting a savings account or want to earn cash back on their frequent online purchases.
Hong Kong has plenty of choices for virtual banking, particularly for personal accounts. So if you're interested in opening a personal account with another virtual bank in Hong Kong, you can look into this.
Is Livi Bank a Bank?
Who is behind Livi bank?
Can I open a Livi bank account online?
Does Livi Bank have business bank accounts?
Is my money safe with Livi?