12. May 2021

The answer to constantly rising fees – neon in a comparison with PostFinance’s smart packages

Normally, we like things that grow – pink geraniums in the garden, the account balance in neon’s app. But steadily increasing account fees in Switzerland are more like those annoying pounds that creep up on the scales, where bigger isn’t necessarily better. 

Increase in bank fees in Switzerland

Chances are you’ve looked at your bank statement at the end of the year and wondered about some of the fees your bank charged you. (Before neon, of course.) And then maybe a short while later you get a letter saying that these fees will be increasing again. 

It’s not just you. According to figures from the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (FSO), bank fees in Switzerland have risen by more than 80% since 2000. It’s +8% from 2015 to now. Quite a lot when you consider the fact that you’re just parking your money there and hardly getting any interest on it. 

Graphic: NZZ am Sonntag based on information from the FSO (translated by neon)

Let’s take a look: comparing neon and PostFinance fees

PostFinance gives us a current example of this. We have read and listened to your lively discussions about how all customers will be transferred to new banking packages – PostFinance «Smart» and PostFinance «SmartPlus» – from 1 July 2021. So if you previously only had a private account, you now get a bundle that includes a private account, a savings account and a PostFinance card. But as these new banking packages change, many customers will also see unwelcome new fees. It doesn’t have to be like that.

To create direct transparency, we have compared the new banking packages with ours. The figures come from the independent comparison service We used the «Average user» profile and selected «Online banking only». Please feel free to compare them yourself using the platform.

Comparing neon and PostFinance fees

There is no change to annual account management costs for banking packages in comparison with the private account. In addition to the private account, you also get a savings and EUR account. However, if you have more than 25,000 CHF in fixed assets, a mortgage or life insurance with PostFinance, you pay 84 CHF with «SmartPlus». This used to be free. This includes a credit card worth 50 CHF, but even so, it’s still more expensive. Additional exchange rate surcharges for card payments made abroad are also not included. 

With neon, it’s quite a lot easier: there are simply no base fees. Not for the account, nor for the card. We only charge a one-off fee of 10 CHF for the plastic of the card. If you make card payments abroad, you get the interbank rate without any exchange rate spread. If you’re with us, you benefit from our partnership with Wise for international payments. Even though we don’t offer savings accounts (why would we, at 0% interest), we will be adding a similar function (sub-accounts) to the app this year. You can find more detailed information on our prices here.

Overall, you can save over 100 CHF in fees a year. And spend it on something nice. 

Apart from the benefits when it comes to fees, we are bundling all of our resources to offer you an app that is as clear and easy to use as possible. And if you take a look at our App Store rating, it seems to be working quite well: you’ve given us 4.6 out of 5 stars. PostFinance has also redesigned its app, but with just 2 stars, there’s still some room for improvement. 

How come neon can offer such low fees?

Compared to big banks, we use lean structures and modern infrastructure. We offer an account that is purely digital and we don’t have any counters. Instead of offering multiple products, we focus on doing what we can do really well. We work with professional (Swiss) partners for the rest. We are also a comparatively small team working in a humble office, and we don’t pay big bonuses. This means we’ve got a handle on our costs and we can pass this onto you. 

You can find out more about our philosophy here
If you want to know more about how bank fees are calculated, you can read more here.

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