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After exiting the market in 2017, Coop returned to the banking world with Coop Finance+ in 2023. This new attempt is born out of the collaboration between many different financial providers.
Coop Finance+ offers banking services and access to a 3a account. In this review, we look at this new bank account, its pros and cons, and its alternatives.
By the end of the review, you will know whether you should use Coop Finance+.
|0 CHF (if you use the card enough)
|Withdrawals in Switzerland
|1 Free per month, then 3 CHF
|English, French, German, and Italian
Coop has been in the banking business for almost a century. In 1927, they started their bank. This bank became Coop Bank in 1995 and changed its name to Bank Coop in 2001.
Over time, shares of the bank were purchased by the Basler Kantonal Bank. In 2017, Coop exited the business by selling its last shares. After that, the bank was renamed Bank Cler.
However, in 2023, Coop announced its return to the banking service with Coop Finance+. This time, Coop relies on several partners to provide the services.
Indeed, Coop Finance+ is not a bank but an app that provides financial services from multiple providers packed together. Coop Finance+ is only available as a mobile application. There are no offices.
In this article, I will focus mostly on the banking features and fees. They also offer a 3a, but information is lacking (more on that later).
First, we can look at all the banking features that Coop Finance+ provides.
When you open your account, you must choose between a virtual and a physical card. If the card is virtual, you will only be able to use it online and in mobile payments wallet. Physical cards are the standard, but many people do not need them anymore with phones. The cards are Mastercard Debit cards.
With each account, you get a private account and a savings account. But you cannot open more savings accounts later.
The accounts are provided by the Hypotherkarbank Lenzburg (HLB) bank. So, each account follows the same conditions as all other accounts provided by HBL. As of October 2023, the private account has no interest rate, and the savings account has a 0.750%.
You can pay your bills with QR codes, like any other banking app. But currently, the app does not support ebills. You can use TWINT Prepaid to pay with the card.
At this point, you cannot transfer money abroad. This means you can only transfer CHF in Switzerland. You also cannot withdraw EUR in Switzerland. However, you can use the card abroad.
While they call this account a household account, Coop Finance+ does not support joint accounts. You can have two cards with the account, but the account only belongs to one person. So, I would not call this a household account. It is just a standard personal account.
I find it funny that they call it a household account or even a shared account like it is something new. This is a standard account where you can have an additional card. Again, this is pure marketing.
Overall, there is nothing particularly special about this account. It only has the basic features of a banking package and lacks features such as ebills and international transfers. It does not have any feature that other banks do not have and lacks features that many banks have.
Coop Finance+ banking fees
Then, we must look at the fees.
The fees for the account itself are different from other banks.
In the first year, you will not pay any fees, but we can forget about that because you usually want to use an account for more than one year. This is simply a marketing trap.
The account is free if you use the card for at least 500 CHF monthly. You must use the card for the 500 CHF threshold. Paying your bills from the account will not count towards this limit. If you do not reach this 500 CHF usage, you will pay 5 CHF per month.
You get one free withdrawal per month at any ATM. Any withdrawal after that will be 3 CHF. However, you can withdraw for free at any Coop supermarket or Coop city.
However, you can only withdraw at Coop up to 300 CHF per withdrawal. You need to make a purchase of at least 10 CHF at the cashier. So, this makes it highly inconvenient to get large withdrawals.
If you use this card to pay in CHF in Switzerland, it will be free. If you use it abroad or in foreign currency, you will pay the Mastercard fee (about 0.40% surcharge) and an extra surcharge of 0.50% by HBL. This makes it a total surcharge of 0.90%. It is not very high, but it is also nothing special.
Overall, the account has the potential to be free. However, there are several significant limitations. First, this account is only good if you make substantial purchases with the card. However, the card is sub-optimal, as we will see in the next section. And then, you should only use this card in Switzerland.
Since it is a Coop offering, we can expect some Coop Supercard cashback.
And indeed, you get Supercard cashback from the card. However, you only get cashback on Supercard partners. So, if you were to shop at Lidl or online at Galaxus, you would not get any cashback. This is much more limited than many other cards.
However, it is essential to mention that this is the only debit card I know that has cashback. Usually, you need a credit card to get cashback. So, you can get a little cashback with your debit card.
That said, there is not much advantage over simply having your Supercard. During the first year, you will get twice the Supercard points (1 CHF = 2 superpoints), but after that, you will get precisely the same as a Supercard, which makes this card practically useless after its first year.
So, cashback with this card is limited. You can only get some cashback at Coop Partners, and you only get more than you would with the Supercard for a year.
So, you are better off with a credit card and using your Supercard when you can. You could reach the same cashback with a card at 1% cash back at Coop (like the Certo One) and use your Supercard as well. And you would be much better off in other shops.
Since the account is only free based on your card usage, it makes it underwhelming since using the card itself is not that great.
I understand why they focus on their partners, but it makes this card unappealing.
Coop Finance+ Limits
We must also look at the limits of the account and the card.
The limits of the account are pretty high. You can transfer up to 100’000 CHF per day and transfer on a private account. The only time this could be a problem is for the downpayment of a mortgage. But you could probably pay in a few days and be fine. You can transfer up to 50’000 CHF per month to the savings account.
The limits of the card are pretty standard. You can spend up to 10’000 CHF per month and 5000 CHF per day physically or online. And you can withdraw up to 2000 CHF per day.
Overall, the limits of the Coop Finance+ account are quite good.
If you trust any amount of money to a financial service, you must look at the safety of this.
Coop Finance+ is not a bank, but they use the services of Hypotherkarbank Lenzburg (HBL) for custody bank. So, your money is insured up to 100’000 CHF in case of bankruptcy of HBL.
If Coop Finance+ bankrupts, the money is safe in the custody bank. It may take a while to get back your money, but since the account is in your name (fraud notwithstanding), it should be entirely safe.
The app itself uses two-factor authentication using your phone number. It is what every app is doing these days.
So, overall, the security of Coop Finance+ should be good, like any other reputable bank in Switzerland.
On top of their banking account, Coop Finance+ also offers a 3a account.
Currently, not enough information is available to review this account. They partner with Liberty to manage the account and refer to the factsheets of Liberty for the fees. However, they do not share which mandates they use, so we do not know which fees apply.
They also partner with Vanguard for the funds, which is a great thing. But again, they do not share which funds they use, so we do not know the fees.
Therefore, with this lack of information, I would not recommend this 3a account until they provide all this information without creating an account.
Let’s quickly compare Coop Finance+ and two alternatives. If you want in-depth comparisons, let me know in the comments below.
Coop Finance+ vs Neon
Neon is currently the best digital bank in Switzerland. So, it is interesting to compare Neon against Coop Finance+. Both are entirely digital and can be opened easily from your mobile phone.
Neon account is always free, but you need to spend 500 CHF per month with the card for Coop Finance+ to be free. If you do not, you will pay 5 CHF per month.
Neon has many more features than Coop Finance+. Most notably, you can pay with ebills and transfer money abroad.
Neon is also cheaper than Coop Finance+ when used abroad or in foreign currency. Indeed, Neon will cost about 0.40%, while Coop Finance+ will cost 0.90%.
Both rely on HBL as a custody bank, and both should have the same level of safety.
The only advantage of Coop Finance+ is the small cashback. However, you only get Superpoints at Coop and partners. So, if you are chasing cashback, you should use a proper credit card.
Overall, Neon only has advantages over Coop Finance+.
If you want to know more about Neon, you can read my review of Neon.
Coop Finance+ vs Migros Bank
Since Migros is the biggest competitor to Coop, it is interesting to compare Coop Finance+ and Migros Bank.
Migros Bank is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank with offices, while Coop Finance+ is only available on mobile. So, Migros Bank is more available since you can deal in the offices, on a mobile phone, tablet, and a computer.
Migros Bank is free with the condition that you hold 7500 CHF. If you do not have 7500 CHF in your account, you will pay 3 CHF per month. Coop Finance+ is free if you use the card for more than 500 CHF per month. Otherwise, you will pay 5 CHF per month.
Migros Bank has many more features than Coop Finance+, most notably ebills and international payments.
Migros Bank is more expensive than Coop Finance+ for payments abroad and in foreign currencies with the card. Indeed, Coop Finance+ is only 0.90%, while Migros has more than a 2% surcharge. Coop Finance+ has some cashback, but Migros Bank has none. However, none of these cards are really good. So, I would recommend a good credit card instead.
Overall, Migros Bank has more availability and features than Coop Finance+ and is easier to keep free. I would recommend Migros Bank over Coop Finance+.
If you want more information, read my review of Migros Bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Coop Finance+ a bank?
Not, Coop Finance+ is only an app. The banking services are provided by the HypothekarLenzburg (HBL) bank.
Who can open a CoopFinance+ account?
To open an account, you must be a least 16 years old and a Swiss resident. If you are a foreign national, you also need a B or C residency permit (other permits are not allowed). Finally, you will need a mobile phone number from Switzerland.
Do you get cashback with Coop Finance+ card?
Yes, but only when using the card at Supercard partners. Also, you will not get more points than if you simply used the Supercard.
Who is Coop Finance+ good for?
Coop Finance+ is not really good. Only people that really like Coop should use it, for that reason alone.
Who is Coop Finance+ not good for?
Coop Finance+ is not good for people that look for the cheapest bank account available or the one with the most features. It is also not good to use abroad.
Coop is back in the banking market with Coop Finance+, a new banking package. We review this product to see whether it is good!
Coop Finance+ Pros
Let's summarize the main advantages of Coop Finance+:
- Get cashback with a debit card
Coop Finance+ Cons
Let's summarize the main disadvantages of Coop Finance+:
- Only free if you shop heavily at Coop
- Limited features
- No support for ebills
- No support for international payments
- The 3a is not transparent
- Many things are not translated to all languages
- No support for joint accounts
- Poor marketing
Overall, Coop Finance+ is quite underwhelming. It is not a bad bank account, but it is not a good bank account either. It has no significant advantage over other bank accounts. And it has several limitations.
I do not see this bank account as a good fit. The only people who should maybe use it are people who already shop a lot to Coop with their Supercard. However, even these people would be better off with another bank account and a better credit card.
Maybe I am missing something, but overall, I do not think this is a good offer. If you are looking for a great bank account, I would still recommend either Neon or Migros:
- Neon Bank Review
- Migros Bank Review
What about you? What do you think about Coop Finance+?
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