Digital bank Neon goes on the offensive with billions of fintech


Zurich-based Fintech Neon is entering into a strategic cooperation with the payment giant Transferwise. The step signals: The wind is getting rougher in the Swiss digital banking market.

The cooperation is intended to ensure that customers can transfer their money abroad faster and more cheaply: Digital bank Neon and its open banking partner Hypothekarbank Lenzburg are now working with the British money transfer fintech Transferwise.

This emerges from a media release from the company on Tuesday. According to the, transfers are now possible directly from the neon app in 20 currencies and more than 40 countries. This is thanks to the direct integration of the Transferwise service in the Neon app.

30,000 customers and progress

The cooperation marks the fourth milestone of the company this year. In January, the digital bank canceled exchange rate surcharges and other fees for foreign payments, followed by the digital 24/7 account opening in early June. And last week the company solemnly announced that it had already brought a total of 30,000 customers on board.

With Transferwise, Neon is again raising the temperature of the saucepan, which the Swiss digital banking market is beginning to resemble. It has become clear that Transferwise is looking for a cooperation in Switzerland. Because how already reported in May, that is in London from Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaermann founded Fintech unicorn Transferwise has now settled in Switzerland.

It’s getting tighter

But it is not only because of the cooperation between local and foreign players that the Swiss market is getting closer and closer. A further start of a local digital bank is planned in a few weeks: Yapeal wants to go online this summer. At the same time, two other competitors vie for the favor of customers, the mobile banking solution Zak from Bank Cler and the German fintech unicorn N26.

Actually, one might wonder why there are so many new banks for the few million customers in Switzerland. However, as is well known, competition stimulates business, which can only be seen from the enormous technological advantage of the largest digital bank in Switzerland to date, the top dog Revolut.

Learn from Revolut

But not only does it seem to be shrinking, Revolut is also increasingly messing with customers. How Reported two weeks ago, the digital bank has undergone a paradigm shift in its free offer and has de facto abolished it from a certain volume. A few days later, she also tightened the premium product fee, which again caused displeasure.

The fact that Revolut was forced to take this step indicates that neo and challenger banks have to think carefully about how much energy they put into mere growth and how this can ultimately also be monetized. Thus, the Causa Revolut can serve as a teaching piece for the local players.

What impact does the corona crisis have on the financial sector?

  • Business is picking up again and financial houses will create new jobs.

  • Many financial institutions will calculate more carefully and will only create new jobs to a limited extent.

  • Most financial institutions will cut up to 20 percent of their jobs.

  • There will be a clear cut – digitization will destroy up to 40 percent of jobs.

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