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Neon and Yuh are both popular Swiss digital banks. Yuh started with banking and trading features, while Neon started with only banking features. But in 2023, Neon introduced investing feature to its app.
Therefore, both digital banks now have a similar set of features! So, it is time to compare Neon vs Yuh in detail.
In this article, I compare Neon vs Yuh, their fees, features, and advantages and disadvantages. By the end of the article, you will know which you should use.
Neon is the first digital bank in Switzerland. They have started a new trend of digital mobile banks.
Neon itself is not a licensed bank. The money is deposited in the Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (HBL), a licensed bank.
Neon has grown quickly since its creation in 2019. In 2022 only, they already reached 100’000 users. Such growth is an excellent result for a Swiss digital bank.
And in 2023, Neon started Neon Invest, their new feature to invest in the stock market. This new feature makes it a fully-fledged app to save, pay and invest.
Yuh is a more recent digital bank, started in 2021. It was born from a collaboration between PostFinance and Swissquote, each owning 50% of Yuh.
Yuh itself is not a licensed bank, but they use all the services of Swissquote to provide banking services.
Since its inception, Yuh already offered banking and investing features. It was always meant to be an app to do everything banking: pay, save, and invest.
Features – Neon vs Yuh
We can start with the features of Neon vs Yuh. To make it easier, we compare banking features and investing features separately.
Both banks are mobile apps, so you must download them on your phone. Both apps are available in all major app stores, including Huawei (without Google Play Store).
Yuh and Neon are available in English, French, German, and Italian.
Both apps have all the basic banking features:
- Receive money
- Transfer money to another bank account
- Transfer money to other users
- Pay your QR Bills
- Electronic Bills (e-bills)
On top of that, both apps will also let you use Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and TWINT. So, you can use your account entirely from the app without using the phone.
Both apps offer Mastercard cards to pay in shops or online. 3-D Secure is used for fraud protection in both cases.
They also both offer sub-accounts for savings. They are called Spaces with Neon, while Yuh calls them Saving Projects.
Yuh offers a feature that Neon does not have: a multi-currency account. Currently, you can hold 13 currencies in your Yuh account. However, they are under the same IBAN, so they do not offer you local IBAN like Wise would do. But that can still be useful if you receive some foreign currencies.
As of August 2023, you get a 1.0% interest rate on Yuh (up to 25’000 CHF) and 0.90% on Neon Spaces (up to 25’000 CHF). So, currently, you get a slightly higher interest rate on Yuh.
Overall, Neon and Yuh have all the features you need for banking and have a very similar offer. Yuh has a slight advantage over Neon if you need to hold multiple currencies.
It is worth mentioning that Neon is only open to Swiss residents with permits B or C. At the same time, Yuh allows more permits, such as L. Yuh also allows opening accounts from neighboring countries like France, Italy, and Germany. This makes Yuh more accessible to foreigners.
Both apps let you invest directly from the main app. It is not a separate app.
Currently, both apps let you buy and sell through market orders only. While limit orders could be useful in some cases, it is not a significant issue since market orders work great for liquid stocks and ETFs. Also, both services have announced they are planning to support limit orders in the future.
Both apps are designed to be made easy to invest with. After testing both, they are both comparably easy to use.
Neon and Yuh do not offer access to the entire stock exchange to make it easier for their users. Currently, they both offer about 200 different stocks from different countries. They also offer ETFs. Neon has more ETFs (about 70) than Yuh (about 40).
Neither offer access to US ETFs (the best ETFs for Swiss investors).
The only major difference between both banks is how they name their ETFs. For some obscure reason, Yuh misleadingly renamed several ETFs. We can take an example with the Vanguard S&P 500 UCITS ETF, which is offered by both apps, named like this:
- Neon calls it S&P 500
- Yuh calls it U.S. Blue Chips
The problem with Yuh names is that it implies financial safety. Indeed a blue chip is a well-recognized, well-established, and financially sound company. The S&P 500 is just an index of the 500 biggest U.S. companies, nothing more. I would be fine if they had called it U.S. Large Caps, but calling it Blue Chips is misleading.
For me, this gives a major advantage in transparency for Neon.
I should also mention that Yuh offers access to cryptocurrencies. However, I do not think this is an advantage since you cannot have your wallet. Also, I do not recommend investing in cryptocurrencies. So this is not an advantage, just a difference.
One extra feature that Yuh offers is fractional trading. Fractional trading means you can put a fraction of a share instead of buying a full share. This can help when buying costly shares. This is a slight advantage for Yuh if you want to use fractional trading.
Overall, Neon and Yuh have very similar investing features. Neon has a significant advantage in not using misleading names for ETFs. So, for me, Neon has better investing features than Yuh.
Fees – Neon vs Yuh
Now, we must look at fees. Fees are significant to optimize, especially for investing. Again, we separately compare Neon vs Yuh’s banking and investing fees.
Neither bank account has any running fee, so the base account and the basic features are free. This is one of the major advantages of digital banks.
With Neon, you can withdraw for free twice a month at any ATM. With Yuh, you get one free withdrawal per week. After that, withdrawals cost 1.90 CHF with Yuh and 2.00 CHF with Neon. This gives a slight advantage to Yuh, but it is not a significant difference since it is generally easy to avoid withdrawing money.
The main difference between Neon vs Yuh comes when we do some foreign currency transactions. The fees will differ if you pay abroad or online in a foreign currency.
- With Neon, you will get the Mastercard rate with no extra surcharge. This rate is about 0.40% worse than the interbank rate.
- With Yuh, you will pay a 0.95% currency exchange fee for any of the 13 default currencies and 1.50% for any other currency.
So, Neon is significantly cheaper than Yuh when using your card in foreign currency or abroad.
The situation is a little different when you do transfers in foreign currencies. Neon uses Wise to transfer, with an extra convenience fee of 0.40%. For Yuh, you will pay the currency conversion fee of 0.95% for the main currencies and 1.50% for the others. So, some currencies will be cheaper with Yuh and others with Neon. Overall, they both have average fees for foreign transfers.
Overall, both have pretty similar fees except for foreign currency operations. So, when considering everything, Neon is significantly cheaper than Yuh unless you never use operations in foreign currencies.
To invest in the stock market, you want to minimize your investing fees. So, we will compare the investing fees of Neon vs Yuh.
Neither of these apps has any custody fee! This is great since it means you will pay nothing for keeping your shares with them.
With Yuh, you will pay 0.50% to buy a stock or an ETF, with a minimum of 1 CHF. With Neon, you will pay 0.50% for a Swiss stock or an ETF and 1.0% for a foreign stock.
So, for Swiss stocks and Swiss ETFs, both will have the same fee.
For foreign stocks and ETFs, we must consider foreign currency exchange fees. With Yuh, you will pay 0.95% for currency conversion. With Neon, you will pay no currency conversion fee. They achieve this by trading everything in CHF on the BX Swiss stock exchange. And the stock exchange itself will convert currencies at the interbank rate without markup.
You will pay 0.5% with Neon for a foreign ETF and 1.0% for a foreign stock. And you will pay 1.45% for a foreign ETF or stock with Yuh. This means Neon is much cheaper than Yuh for foreign operations!
I must mention that using BX Swiss has one small disadvantage for Neon. On a small stock exchange, the spread of each operation will be slightly higher. This should not matter if you invest only once a month like me. But if you invest frequently, this could be an issue.
There is one extra difference for foreign dividends (not in CHF). With Yuh, you will receive the dividends directly into your account if they are in one of the 13 default currencies (which is very likely). However, Neon will convert them back to CHF with a 1.50% conversion fee.
With a portfolio with a standard dividend yield of about 2%, this extra fee is like a 0.03% custody fee (on foreign shares). This makes it more interesting to use accumulating ETFs with Neon.
Overall, Neon will be much cheaper than Yuh. But you may have to be careful about your foreign dividends if you have an extensive portfolio.
If you are doing tiny operations, Neon will also be much cheaper because it does not have a minimum fee.
You must invest your money in a safe company. So, we must compare the safety of Neon vs Yuh.
Since neither company is a bank, they use another custody bank to store assets from their customers. Yuh uses Swissquote as their custody bank. Neon uses Hypothekarbank Lenzburg (HBL) for custody of assets.
These two banks have a good reputation for safety. Since they are Swiss banks, your assets with them will be insured for up to 100’000 CHF in case of bankruptcy.
The custodian bank also holds your shares in a different custodian account. In theory, everything should be fine in case of bankruptcy by the custodian bank.
If either Neon or Yuh gets bankrupt, your money will be safe with the custody bank. Regaining access to your money and assets will likely take time, but you should be fine.
So, when comparing the safety of Neon vs Yuh, both appear equally safe.
We should also compare the reputation of Neon vs Yuh.
My primary source of data is Trustpilot for user reviews. We can look at the Trustpilot profile for Neon and the Trustpilot profile for Yuh.
Neon gets a 3.2 score out of 5 only. Interestingly, most of the reviews are either five stars or one star. The bad reviews are about technical issues of the app, mostly the app being down for maintenance (which happens regularly). Some people also complain about onboarding, which asks many questions (like all banks).
The positive reviews are mostly about people’s savings when using Neon abroad and the overall prices.
Yuh gets a 2.5 score out of 5 only. The complaints are about two different areas. First, people complain about technical issues blocking their money and poor execution of trades and transfers. Then, people complain about poor customer service, where it is impossible to get somebody to help. These reviews are interesting because I got similar comments on my blog about Yuh.
On the plus side, Yuh users like the simplicity of the platform and the low fees.
We must be careful about taking these reviews with a grain of salt. First, there are not many reviews for these two companies. Then, Trustpilot is not always very representative of real users.
Nevertheless, these reviews still show some technical problems on both sides. And it also shows some execution issues and possible money blocked for Yuh users. Since I have also received several reports about that, I tend to give some value to these reports.
Overall, it seems that Neon has a better reputation than Yuh.
Neon vs Yuh Summary
We can summarize our Neon vs Yuh comparison with a short table:
No custody fees
No custody fees
- Swiss broker
- Very easy to use
- Fractional trading in stocks
- Good fees for most operations
- Hold multiple currencies in your account
- Misleading names for stocks
- Poor reputation
- Foreign transactions could be cheaper
- Expensive for large operations
We can draw a few conclusions for Neon vs Yuh:
- Neon is cheaper than Yuh when used abroad or in foreign currency.
- Neon is cheaper than Yuh when investing in foreign stocks and ETFs.
- Yuh allows you to hold multiple currencies in your account.
- Yuh allows fractional trading, while Neon does not.
- Neon has a slightly better reputation.
- Dividends in foreign currencies are not free with Neon.
With their excellent handling of foreign currency conversion and all-around good fees, Neon is significantly better than Yuh for banking and trading! If you trade in anything other than a Swiss stock or ETF, the difference in fees will be significant. And if you pay abroad or in foreign currencies, your fees will also be lower with Neon than with Yuh.
With the new invest feature, Neon is now a great mobile app to do it all: pay, save, and invest!
Neon and Yuh have all the necessary features to start trading in the stock market. They are both making it easy to start investing.
On the other hand, Yuh has two features that Neon does not have. Yuh allows fractional trading and lets you hold multiple currencies in the app. This may be an advantage for Yuh if you strongly need any of these two features.
If you want more information on these two digital bank accounts, you can read my reviews:
What about you? Which do you prefer, Neon or Yuh?
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