Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

Neobanks are changing the banking world

Initially, digital banks were not regarded as serious competition, but this could soon change. In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, 54% of the those surveyed already know about these so-called neobanks, and almost every fifth person uses the services of a neobank. The main reasons are the low fees/costs and the convenience.

The first digital banks (so-called neobanks or challenger banks) on the Swiss market were the British providers Revolut and Transferwise. In the meantime, Swiss solutions like Neon and Zak (Bank Cler) are also claiming market shares. The Swiss Payment Research Centre (SPRC) at the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences has investigated this trend by means of a consumer survey. A representative survey was carried out: 600 people between the ages of 16 and 65 from the German-speaking part of Switzerland were questioned about their payment behaviour with regard to neobanks.

The results are astounding, as already more than half of the people surveyed (around 54%) know about neobanks, and almost every fifth person (19%) uses one or more services of a neobank or has already tried one out. Men use neobanks significantly more than women.

British providers are used the most, whereas Swiss solutions score higher on security.

The best known neobank in Switzerland is the Swiss neobank Zak. However, the most used neobanks in Switzerland are the British providers Revolut and Transferwise – despite a certain feeling of insecurity due to recent cyberattacks on foreign online banks. The main reasons for using neobanks are clear: low fees/costs and convenience. What’s more, 73% use neobanks in addition to traditional providers. Neobanks are most frequently used for internet payments (22%), followed by bank and postal account transfers, as well as for paying in shops in Switzerland (16% each). Foreign payments (i.e. payments made from Switzerland to countries outside, or those made directly in a foreign country, e.g. on holidays) are indeed the most common (45%). However, purely domestic payments (39%) also represent a large share.

In terms of security, opinions differ. Overall, the security of neobanks is considered to be mediocre. The domestic (Swiss) providers, such as Neon and Zak, are perceived to be the safest.

The results of the study indicate that neobanks are more than just a passing trend. The Swiss Payment Monitor, a large-scale research project in cooperation with the University of St. Gallen that will be carried out for the third time in the summer of 2020, will provide more information about the direction in which neobanks will further develop.

Website Swiss Payment Monitor:


ZHAW School of Management and Law, Institute of Marketing Management, Bettina Gehring, Telephone 058 934 46 46, E-Mail: