Zak Bank Review – 50 CHF Free in November 2023
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November 2023 Zak Bank Promo code: Get CHF 50 Free with the promo code NEOZAK when opening your Zak account
Zak by Bank Cler is a Swiss neobank that allows Swiss residents to open a mobile bank account and benefit from the services offered by the bank using a mobile application.
The opening of the bank account is fast and easy, with identity verification done within the app.
Zak Bank review – A free Swiss bank account in CHF
Bank Cler, previously Coop Bank, is the first Swiss bank to offer a neobank-style current account. The standard Zak plan is free and allows you to manage your daily banking transactions in Switzerland.
You only need to be a Swiss resident – without any nationality requirement – to open an account with Zak.
Zak currently offers 2 types of mobile bank accounts in CHF :
- Zak- the free account
- Zak Plus – 8 CHF per month
We have tested the Zak mobile app for you and compared features and pricing in details.
Bank account opening with Zak Bank – 8/10
Zak allows you to open a free mobile bank account from your smartphone.
What are the bank account requirements
- Be at least 15 years old (18 years with neon-free)
- Be a Swiss resident
- Have a smartphone compatible with the app
- No need to provide proof of revenue
- No minimum deposit
- No minimum balance
Zak can be your second or third bank account. But you can also use as your primary bank account and receive your salaries or transfer money within Switzerland or to your Revolut card.
Zak is a well established Swiss bank (Bank Cler) and your funds are protected up to 100,000 CHF.
How to open a bank account with Zak
To open an account with Zak you just need to follow these steps:
- Download the iPhone app or Android app
- Verify your identity through the app
- Transfer a small amount to the account
- It’s done! Your account is opened
In our experience it took about 1 hour to have the account completely activated. Which is pretty fast.
Zak will not ask you for paper documents. But if you’re not a Swiss national, the customer service may ask you to provide a copy of your B (or C) Permit.
You can use the Zak account to perform any type of transaction (transfer, direct debit, etc..) like with any other Swiss bank account.
The Visa Debit card is free and similar to other Swiss banks, you will receive 2 letters: one for the card and one for the PIN code.
Though the opening process is very similar to other neobanks, we feel that only the app has been adapted for mobile experience, however, the back-office operations and processes remain those of Bank Cler.
Overall we believe that there is too much paper and it’s lacking the magic experience offered by N26 or Revolut that use a single luxury packaging to ship the card (already activated) and with the PIN managed directly from the app.
Here is the example of N26:
Our opinion on the account opening with Zak
- Quick opening in 1 hour
- No revenue requirement
- Swiss bank
- Account in CHF
- Some extra documents may be required
- Lacking of magic
We like that the opening process is easy and quick, even if we would prefer a better user experience with a nice packaging and a single letter. -2 points
It’s a 8/10 for the account opening process with ZAK
Usability of the Zak Bank app – 7/10
Zak is the neobank of Bank Cler and that has a lot of influence on the mobile application!
We feel that the user interface has been “adapted” to mobile, but does not look like a native smartphone application. It’s more like a web experience adapted to an iPhone and Android app.
The user interface is not as fluid and intuitive as the ones from N26 or Revolut. There is no loading effect between screens, it’s lacking of “polish”.
Here is an example of the card settings on Zak and N26
The Zak application is rated 4.5 on the apple Store and 4 on Google Play, which is a very good rating:
Despite some usability issues, the application is easy to use. Menus are well organised and key features are accessible in one click.
We remove 3 points because the experience is behind N26 or Revolut.It’s a 7/10 for the Zak app usability
Zak Bank app features – 8/10
As a neobank, Zak offer most services directly within the mobile application:
- Access your payments history
- Make new payments
- Create and share spaces
- Scan Swiss invoices
- Block your card
- Change your plan
- Manage push notifications
But some features are not yet available:
- Freeze the card, like N26 or Revolut
- Change the card PIN code
- Change the daily and monthly limit of the card
- Change your personal details
- Contact the customer service by Chat
The feature to scan QR codes or Swiss invoice is very handy. Which is a significant difference compared to Revolut:
“Pots” allow you to share sub-accounts and save money:
This feature is really similar to the Spaces from N26:
Not enough card settings
If you forgot your card PIN number, you must ask for a new one that will be sent by mail. To change the card limits your need to call the customer service.
While essential features are available, the app is lacking comfort options and you are quickly directed to a mail or phone. On the plus side, Zak score 1 more point with the Scanner feature.It’s a 8/10 for the Zak app features
Zak Visa Debit Card – 8/10
Zak has recently replaced their Maestro with a free Visa Debit card.
Other neobanks also offer either a Debit Visa or Debit Mastercard.
The Debit Visa is very useful for online shopping or when traveling. It’s also compatible Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
But we don’t like that you need to use a separate app to manage the Debit Card.Zak deserve a 8/10 for the card
Zak Bank plans and pricing – 8/10
The Zak standard plan is free and includes a Visa Debit card (that replaces the Maestro).
Zak Plus costs 8 CHF per month and allows you to get free unlimited cash withdrawals at any ATM in Switzerland.
Zak being a Swiss neobank, prices are displayed in CHF
Zak Visa Debit fees in Switzerland
The Zak Visa Debit is free when used for payments in Switzerland, meaning when used in high-street shops or online with shops based in Switzerland and using CHF.
Payments aboard with the Zak Visa Debit
Since the launch of the new Visa Debit card, Zak has removed the surcharge when paying abroad. Which looks similar to neon that also does not take extra fees. But the difference is that Zak use an internal exchange rate that is not available online, while neon uses the MasterCard exchange rate, just like N26.
Cash withdrawals in Switzerland in CHF
Cash withdrawals in CHF from Bank Cler ATM are free. While cash withdrawals from other Swiss ATM in CHF are charged 2 CHF.
If you plan to withdraw cash frequently, then ZAK plus is a good option since it offers unlimited cash withdrawals in CHF at any Swiss ATM.
Cash withdrawal abroad in EUR
With the Zak free plan, cash withdrawals abroad cost 5 CHF each time.
Same as with CHF: if you plan to withdraw abroad cash frequently, then ZAK plus is a good option since it offers unlimited cash withdrawals in CHF at any ATM.
Blocking the card
With Zak and Zak Plus plans, card replacement costs 20 CHF.
Domestic transfers in Switzerland in CHF
Zak does not apply any fee on domestic transfers in Switzerland in CHF
SEPA transfers in EUR
Zak does not apply any fee on SEPA transfers in EURIt’s a 8/10 for the Zak plans and pricing
Transactions’ speed – 10/10
A wire transfer from a Swiss bank to another Swiss bank is instant, it usually takes a few seconds before showing up on the beneficiary account.
Zak is the neobank of Bank Cler, that means that you receive the service as a mainstream bank: transfer within Switzerland are instant.
SEPA transfers with Zak are also very fast.
When receiving money on your account, you also notified instantly with push notifications.This is a 10/10 for transactions’ speed
Zak Bank customer service – 8/10
Unlike N26, Zak does not offer live chat support, but a simple bot that directs you to a phone line opened Monday to Friday, from 8:00 to 20:00.
You may initially think that it’s a Chat, but it’s only a bot! If you ask for a “human”, they only display the phone number of the customer service 848 55 66 66 and their email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you email Zak, you will usually get a reply within 1 or 2 days, which is acceptable but does not feed the need for immediacy required by neobanks’ customers.
With N26, the LiveChat is immediately accessible during a wide time frame (until 23:00). The N26 virtual assistant gets you to wait for a minute or so, the time that a human takes over the conversation.
We believe that Zak should take example on N26 and offer in-app livechat support, at least the Zak Plus customers.It’s an 8/10 for customer service
Which plan to choose: Zak or Zak Plus?
If you do not withdraw cash frequently, Zak is the ideal offer since it’s free.
But if you’re a cash addict and need to withdraw cash frequently in Switzerland or abroad, ZAK Plus is the best plan since there will be no fee applied on cash withdrawals at any ATM.
- ZAK Plus is more economical from 4 cash withdrawals in Switzerland
- Only cash withdrawals aboard make ZAK Plus an cheaper option
ZAK vs Neon, which Swiss neobank is the best?
You can’t go wrong with either Zak or Neon. You may find that Zak is a cheaper option at the beginning since the account opening and the card are 100% free. While Neon charge 10 CHF for the 1st card.
Zak is also a good option for teenagers aged 15 to 18.
On the other side, Neon offer more features such as e-Bill and Twint.
For an in-depth comparison, you can read Neon vs Zak
- Fast account opening
- Free bank acount
- Free Visa Debit
- Shared spaces
- Invoice scan
- Fast transactions
- No Chat support (bot)
- Account in CHF only
- Swiss residents only
Specification: Zak Bank Review – 50 CHF Free in November 2023