Except for the website access problems, in my opinion, it's an improvement over the previous site. Some of the new significant features that I noticed include the ability to open new accounts like CDs when you're logged in, to initiate the linking of external accounts (now up to 4), and to add beneficiaries.
There are many minor improvements that make the site look more professional. The importance of these improvements is a matter of personal preference. I'm glad that when you log in, you remain at Emigrant's URL. Previously, you were redirected to ibanking-services.com. Another little change I like is the display of the last login timestamp being displayed on the page where you are prompted for your password and security questions. This is a good place to show this timestamp. Once you are logged in, the site appears well structured and is easy to navigate.
I do appreciate the extra security features. It took me awhile to think of the security questions. I wanted to make sure I would remember them, and I wouldn't get confused about spelling. But now that it's done, I feel my account is a little bit more secure. There are many little things that should help security. I can't remember if these were in place before. These include email alerts and X'ing out part of your account and social security numbers.
Linking external accounts is a little easier now that the process can be initiated online. However, you still have to send in a voided check, and the external account can only be a personal checking account. I also noticed in the account disclosure the following limitations on withdrawing funds:
You may make a withdrawal from your Account through electronic funds transfer to the External Account by logging on our Web site. You may not withdraw funds by any other means ...
I think this might have been in the previous account disclosure but it was never enforced. Consequently, you could link your EmigrantDirect account to another savings account like HSBC or GMAC and initiate withdrawals from those sites. In that way your transfers were not delayed by going through a checking account. I haven't heard if anyone has been successful yet with intiating a withdrawal from an external site. If Emigrant enforces this fund withdrawal limitation, it would make the account more secure but it would also make it more difficult for rate chasers.
Able to access the website yet? Better than before? Feel free to give your opinions.
Some of my previous EmigrantDirect posts: EmigrantDirect's New Website, EmigrantDirect Raising Rate to 5.15% on July 28 and Emigrant Bank Downgraded to 2 Stars and Email Address Leaks.