What is Subscription Banking?

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We are all familiar with subscriptions. Even before Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime, we subscribed to magazines, cable television, mobile phone plans, etc. What makes the idea of subscription from the Netflix, Spotify and Amazon of the world different?

The answer is access. Members of these services pay for all-inclusive access to content, music, free shipping, etc.

These companies also have a direct relationship with their members, and their high-quality product and service creates trust.

Today, you can subscribe to everything from meal kits, razor blades, cosmetics and more. But, how does subscribing to a bank work? Kim Van Esbroeck, Country Head of Aion Bank, explains why you should consider subscription banking.

How does subscription banking work?

We like to think of ourselves as the ‘Netflix of banking’. Netflix gives members unlimited access to their exclusive productions and vast library of content and charges a monthly fee instead of pay-per-view. In a similar way, we offer all-inclusive access to our financial products, not available anywhere else, plus daily banking services. Importantly, our members never pay additional fees or commissions outside of the monthly subscription. Traditional banks charge individual fees for everyday services like foreign exchange and cash withdrawals, just like some video platforms charge per title to rent or own. Our subscription model gives unlimited access to all our products and services for one monthly fee.

What do you get for the subscription?

Membership to Aion Bank gives you access to financial products only available through us. Aion Bank currently offers the highest fidelity premium in Belgium* at 0.9% (plus 0.1% base rate) for our Extended Regulated Savings Account, and the product is included in our Premium (19 EUR/month) and Light (3.90 EUR/month) membership tiers. Additionally, commission-free ETF asset management is included as part of our Premium Membership. This gives members access to global portfolios as well as progressive strategy portfolios, focusing on digitisation, robotics/artificial intelligence, healthcare and clean energy themes. These exclusive Aion Bank products sit alongside a complete package of daily banking services.

I already have a free bank account, what is the difference?

Free accounts at traditional banks give you access to very basic services and incur charges for things like currency exchange, worldwide cash withdrawals, investments, etc. How much a traditional bank charges someone depends entirely on which services are used and how often they are used. Daily banking fees for things like international transfers, currency exchange, extra debit cards, etc. can add up. When we looked at public data in Belgium, certain users of banking services are potentially paying at least 258 EUR per year.

Subscription banking saves me money, but only if I use the services?

Subscriptions by their very nature increase in value to the consumer the more the services are used. This is true for everything from Netflix to gym memberships. Subscription banking is similar. We developed a number of products to help our members to maxmise their money, but they will only realise their earning potential when the services are used.

Why do you think subscription banking is better?

We believe banking needs to change. The current state of banking sees consumers unknowingly paying for hidden fees, earning next to nothing in interest for savings accounts and paying big commissions for investments. Our mission is to offer a new way of banking for individuals and businesses; where fees are clear and fully transparent, where the bank uses the best technology to help save and earn, and where the customer's interests are prioritised over the bank’s revenues.

We offer subscription banking to deliver this promise. Our members receive access to financial products found nowhere else, plus unlimited access to daily banking services. Everything for one monthly fee, without any additional costs.

Through our new approach to banking, we are creating a different relationship between bank and customer, from limited and restrictive to all-inclusive and all-access.

Required information on Extended Regulated Savings Account

Our Extended Regulated Savings Account is free of charge and is opened for an indefinite duration. Your money is always available without any costs.

The Extended Regulated Savings Account is subject to Belgian law and complies with the conditions set out in Article 2 of the Royal Decree executing the Income Tax Code 1992. It is for mobile clients only.

Before opening an account, please read the key information for savers and the deposit guarantee information sheet available at: https://aion.eu/be-en/extended-regulated-savings-accounts.

The rates on our savings accounts can be changed at any given time. Our members will be notified of such changes via email.

Individuals are exempt from 15% withholding tax on the first EUR 980 of interest earned in 2021.

Your deposits are protected up to EUR 100 000 per person. In case of bankruptcy or risk of bankruptcy of the financial institution, the saver runs the risk of not recovering his/her savings or may be subject to a diminution / conversion in shares (Bail-in) of the amount of the claims he/she holds against the financial institution in excess of EUR 100 000, i.e. the amount falling within the scope of the deposit guarantee scheme.

You can send your complaints to us using our chat or write an email to complaint@aion.be. If you are not satisfied, you can also contact the bank mediation service at www.ombfin.be

*Last checked on 24/06/2021. Based on the data available on Spaargids (https://www.spaargids.be/sparen/spaartarieven.html)

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