Check out the updated review on HSBC Direct.

After all these months, I have finally decided to open new accounts at other no minimum, no fees ING Direct clones. Let’s compare a bit on the account opening process of HSBC Direct, and Emigrant Direct.

HSBC Direct

9/28/05 – Started application around 4 PM EST. They verify your identity by asking credit history related questions. Here’s the cool part, you get to verify your checking account by three different ways. You can do the usual two deposits verification, snail mail verification, OR you can put in your checking account’s online banking login information, which will instantly verify your account ownership. The instant verification choice is probably only available to banks that use the Yodlee online banking system. A handy feature, if only it was functional when I tried it. Eventually I just went with the regular two deposit method.

9/29/05 – Verification amounts deposited. That was fast! I verified the account and they said they’ll fund my account ASAP.

9/30/05 – My $1.00 deposit left my checking account. Got an email from them, informing me that my account will be funded and opened within 3 business day.

10/05/05Update on HSBC opening process.

Emigrant Direct

9/20/05 – Filled out application to open account online at around 5 AM EST. Unlike my previous attempt to open an account with Emigrant, this time the credit-like security questions didn’t stall the process. A new question was introduced that had actual relevance to my identity.

9/22/05 – Verification deposits for my checking account showed up. Finally experienced what I kept reading about, Emigrant actually took those verification deposits back!

9/22/05 – Signed on to ED’s website, verified my account with them, and then I found out the account name I created was just for the account opening process and that it should now be discarded. Was told that I’ll receive further account opening instructions in mail. Pretty standard stuff I guess.

9/30/05 – Still no sign of follow-up snail mail.

10/20/05Update on Emigrant Direct opening process.

So HSBC is winning in terms of speed so far, but I’m not really all that surprised. The instant verification option is a nice touch, if only it worked. You may also have to mail in a signature card, but for whatever reason I didn’t have to.