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I recently concluded that Neon is the best digital bank in Switzerland. Neon has very low fees. And they have an excellent mobile application, with all the features you need. And everything is available in English. These features make it a perfect fit for most people. I think it is the best fit for my audience.
So today, I want to walk you through creating an account with Neon. I will go through all the steps of the account creation with screenshots and explanations. It is a straightforward process that should not take you more than 10 to 15 minutes.
After this, we are going to see the main features of the mobile application.
If you have questions about Neon, please let me know in the comments below. I will be glad to answer all I can!
Neon is an entirely digital bank in Switzerland. It is a rather new actor in the banking industry. Its main advantage is that it is entirely free. Moreover, their application is also straightforward to use.
Neon is not a bank since they do not have a banking license. However, your money is held by the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg bank. Therefore, your money is protected up to 100’000 CHF according to Swiss law.
If you use it correctly, it will be entirely free. For this, you need to limit yourself to no more than two withdrawals per month. And you also should not use their card for foreign currencies transaction.
But used correctly, Neon is the best Swiss bank you can have!
There is no more reason to pay for a bank account.
To learn more about Neon, read my full review of the Neon Bank.
If you want to learn more about Neon from another person, I have interviewed Neon’s founder, Julius Kirscheneder.
Create a Neon Account
So, let’s get started with our Neon Account creation!
The first step is to install the Neon mobile application if you have not done so already. The app is available on both Android and iPhone. All my examples will be made with an Android. But there should not be many differences between Android and iPhone.
1. Personal Information
Once you are done installing, you can start the app and start the account creation process. There is nothing complicated about the entire process. It begins with filling personal information as usual.
They will ask you all the necessary information that you can expect: names, address, phone, and email. You will also have to enter your place of origin, nationality, and civil status. These questions are standard information for all banks in Switzerland.
Make sure you enter your email correctly since they will ask you to confirm it. You will receive a code on your email and will have to use it during the application process.
Then, you will have the possibility of entering an invitation code. You can use my code F9YMGT to receive 10 CHF for free once the registration is final. And I will also receive 10 CHF as well.
After you have entered the voucher (thank you!), you will have to answer a few legal questions. Once again, nothing special here, only standard banking stuff. They will ask you if you are only taxable in Switzerland and if you are the owner of the assets you are going to deposit in this account.
After this, you will have to accept the terms and conditions. And this is already it for the first step.
2. Identity Verification
The second part of the process is to verify your information. With a standard bank, you would have to show your ID to the clerk. But here, there is no clerk. So they rely on online verification with a video call.
Be sure you have your ID ready and some time and a quiet place before you start. Once you begin the process, it will put you in a queue for checking your account.
I called on a Saturday, and there was only one person in front of me in the line. I waited less than two minutes. This activation system is an excellent service. You may have to wait longer if you do this during the week.
The entire conversation was in English. It went well with no issues.
First, the person will ask your name. And then, you will be asked to hold still for a picture.
Then, you will have to show your ID on the camera. This procedure works well because they can use the back camera as well. I think it is a well-thought process. You will have to show both sides. And they even asked to tilt it so they can see the security features of the card. I think it is very professional.
Finally, you can request a code during the call. They will send you an SMS with a code. Once you have received it, you can enter it during the call.
As soon as you have entered the code, the person will tell you that everything is in order. At that point, the call will end, and you will back to the application. And you will be able to move to the next step of the process.
I was surprised by this process. It is the smoothest identity verification method that I have ever seen. The fact that there is an actual person during the process makes it much better.
3. Set Login Code
The last step is straightforward once you have gone through the entire process.
You just have to choose a login code of 6 digits as the code for your account. Make sure to choose something that cannot be found easily. For instance, you should never use your birthday as a code. It is one of the worst passwords ever. And also, do not use a sequence of 6 times the same digit.
Once you have chosen your login code, enter it, and validate it. And then, repeat the password once again and confirm. And now, you just have to wait until Neon creates your account and sends it to you. You cannot log in on the application for the time being since you need your contract number.
Use the application
Once you have received your account number, you can finally start using the app. Since the application is your bank account, you now have access to everything you want to do.
It took about two working days for me to receive my contract number by email. For the Neon card, you will have to wait longer. But you do not need the physical card to get started. You should expect to receive the card and the PIN two different days in the mail. This process is always how they deliver bank cards.
Now that you have the code, you can log into the application. Your contract number is your login. And you will use the password that you set during the application process. The first time you do that, you will have to validate your device by entering a second code local to this device. If you install the Neon application on several devices, you should use a different code for each of them.
The first thing you can do is see your balance and view your transactions. This information is directly in the first view of the Neon application. Or you can go to Transactions, and you will see both your balance and all the transactions.
As you can see, for now, my account is pretty empty since I took these screenshots just after funding it from my other bank account.
The second thing you can also and probably the one you are going to use the most is the ability to make payments from the application.
There are two ways to do that: either manually or via scanning a payment slip. If you have a bill, you want to scan the information line instead of writing everything down manually. Scanning a bill will save you a lot of time.
For the automated way, go into the Payments tab and use the Scan button on the top right corner to start scanning a bill. You just have to align the scanning line with the coding line on the bill. It works well. And if you want, you can also scan an IBAN on paper if you do not have a bill.
If you want, or need, to enter the information manually, you can start by entering the IBAN or the account number from the Payments tab. From there, you will then have to enter all the information manually. It is pretty straightforward. It is precisely the same procedure as all the other banking applications out there.
There are a few other features in the application as well.
You can generate a PDF account statement from the Profile menu. You can make one account statement per month or year for all the time you have used Neon.
You can also define some recurring payments. These are payments that will be automatically executed at a set time. Once again, you can do this either via scanning a bill or via entering all the information manually.
Finally, you can also obtain all your banking details. This information can be very practical if you need someone else to deposit money into your account. You can find all this under Profile -> Banking Information.
The Neon application does not have many features. But I think that this is an advantage rather than a problem. I think most people do not need many features. You do not need anything fancy with your bank account.
I do not think people should automate their personal finances. And I do not think people need some fancy budgeting apps.
The Neon bank account is the best digital bank account available in Switzerland currently. It has all the features that people need, and it is entirely free if you use it correctly.
If you want to create a Neon account, do not forget to use the code F9YMGT during the application process. That way, you will receive 10 CHF for free. And I will also receive 10 CHF, which will help cover the expenses of the blog.
If you want more options, you can read about the best Banks in Switzerland.
Do you have a Neon account? What do you think of Neon? And what did you think about the Neon application?