I found HSBC's online account setup for their Online Savings account a little better than EmigrantDirect's process but it was not without glitches for me.
The initial online application was pretty smooth, and they do let you save an application and complete it at a later time which is nice. And they deposited over $1.50 total into my checking account during the test deposit verification phase (way more than ING...and Emigrant immediately withdraws their amounts).
The glitches for me arose when I was setting up bank to bank transfers and when trying to activate transaction download for this account to Quicken.
During my application I chose NOT to receive an ATM card connected to this (savings) account. It would have been a debit card and I hate those. While I can see it being a convenient feature to withdraw cash from a savings account via ATM (and/or a financially ruinous one!) I didn't see a need for this account and how I intend to use it.
The rub comes when you are setting up a security key (this is in addition to your password) which is necessary for activating bank to bank transfers (basically all ACH transfers etc). After choosing a security key between 8 and 20 characters (the length was a drag because you have to CLICK a mini keyboard with your mouse instead of type - talk about carpal tunnel!) and entering it twice, the next page asks you to type in....
....the number on your ATM card and your pin. doh. Pretty annoying. However, I called their customer service and the rep was able to bypass that screen for me in real-time during another run. Whew! Problem solved.
I quickly added Emigrant Direct and Wainwright Bank to my external accounts. They have an interface that allows you to search by name or type in the routing/transit number. The kicker is that ING Direct cannot be added for some reason. I tried searching by a few variants on the name, and of course by typing in their routing number and no dice...period. I will follow up on that with them, but allowing name searches to locate transit numbers was a pretty nice touch.
My final problem occurred while trying to establish transaction download via Quicken. I could not locate my letter from them that included their transit number (ah the clutter rears its ugly head). I had just asked the rep for the number when LaLa plunked the letter next to me (and I'm usually the Finder of Lost Things) AND Cap was kind enough to email it to me after my plea for help on his site.
In the meantime, I tried all zeroes to see if Quicken would work anyway (after all I had my account number correct and website login info etc) and I got an error. After learning the number (HSBC routing/transit number is: 022000020) I updated my settings in Quicken...and still got an error that my connection was refused. I de-activated and re-activated and got the same thing. Which is where I am stuck until I am willing to spend another 15 minutes on the phone waiting for a rep.
If I have to have an ATM card to download my transactions into Quicken I am going to scream.