How to choose a bank as a cross-border worker from Switzerland?
If you are a cross-border worker in Switzerland and your current expenses take place in France, then it is best to have a bank account on each side of the border: an account in CHF in Switzerland to collect your wages and another account in EUR in France to pay your bills!
Each month, you must repatriate your salary to your French account, this involves a transfer of money and a conversion of Swiss francs into euros. And it’s usually not free.
As a French resident it is easy to open an account in France and – if you are a French resident – you certainly already have one, but how to get a free bank account in Switzerland with an IBAN CH?
The first reflex is often to go to traditional banks in Switzerland such as UBS, BCGE or Crédit Mutuel, but these banks charge very often additional fees to non-residents and are not very transparent about exchange fees.
To find out how much your bank account will cost you, you need to compare all the fees:
- Account maintenance fees;
- Fees applied to products (credit card, internet access, etc.);
- Commission fees for transfers abroad;
- The exchange rate commission;
- Cash withdrawal fees
- Additional costs related to your non-resident status.
By then simulating your banking operations over the whole year, you will have a more precise idea of the total cost.
Beyond the fees, it is important to have a Swiss bank account that works perfectly in the Swiss ecosystem: the TWINT and eBill options should be considered.
To sum up, the perfect bank for cross-border commuters Switzerland must meet the following conditions:
|Bank account in CHF||✅|
|No account fees||✅|
|Free Internet or Mobile application||✅|
|Free credit card||✅|
|Free withdrawals in CHF||✅|
|Free EUR withdrawals abroad||✅|
|No fees on deposits in CHF||✅|
|0% exchange commission||✅|
|No fees on SEPA transfers in EUR||✅|
|No fees on international transfers||✅|
|No additional charge for non-residents||✅|
You can consult the list of SEPA countries here.
Neobanks for cross-border commuters and non-residents
If you are not very familiar with neobanks, you can consult our article explaining in detail the advantages and disadvantages of neobanks.
Here is a reminder of the main advantages and disadvantages of neobanks:
- Easy registration, from your smartphone
- Attractive rates: free account, free credit card
- No proof of income required
- No deposit required after account opening
- Fully accessible from your smartphone
- Notifications for each expense or money inflow
- No agency (for those who need it)
- No dedicated advisor
- A more limited banking offer
- Seems less “secure” than the big banks
In our comparison of the best online banks in Switzerland we list 8 neobanks active in Switzerland:
|2||Neon Bank||14 points|
|3||Zak Bank||13 points|
Neon, Zakand CSX do not open accounts for cross-border commuters and non-residents, N26 offers an account only in EUR, Wise is an exchange platform without the services of a neobank.
We therefore have 3 neobanks left open to cross-border commuters and non-residents:
- Yuh: a multi-currency Swiss bank account open to cross-border commuters< /li>
- Revolut: a neobank based in London, with multi-currency account
- Yapeal: a Swiss bank account that has a partnership with Wise and also open to cross-border commuters
Comparative table for 1’000 CHF in EUR
Revolut arrived 1st in our ranking of the best exchange rates in our article “How to Change your Swiss Francs to Euro at the Best Rate?” and Yuh was more expensive than Revolut by almost 1%:
|CHF||EUR||Exchange Rate||Exchange Fee||Net Exchange Rate||Difference / best rate in EUR||Difference / best rate in %|
|Neon avec Wise||1000||915.50||0.9235||8.74 CHF||0.9155||8.62||0.93%|
Yuh vs Revolut vs Yapeal: Comparison
Revolut, Yuh and Yapeal all offer bank accounts in CHF, managed from a free mobile application and at no additional cost for non-residents.
|CHF bank account||✅||✅||✅|
|Personal IBAN CH||❌||✅||✅|
|Free bank account||✅||✅||❌|
|Free debit card||❌||✅||❌|
|Free withdrawals in CHF||✅||✅||❌|
|Free withdrawals in EUR, overseas||✅||❌||❌|
|Free CHF deposits||✅||✅||✅|
|0% exchange fee||✅||❌||❌|
|Free SEPA transfers in EUR||✅||✅||❌|
|Free international wire transfer||❌||❌||❌|
|No extra fee for non-residents||✅||✅||✅|
Yuh is the only neobank to offer eBill and TWINT.
Yuh vs Revolut vs Yapeal: Fee differences
Now let’s compare the fee differences between Yuh, Revolut and Yapeal:
|Personal CH IBAN||❌ CH IBAN hosted by Crédit Suisse not in your name). French resident get an FR IBAN||✅||✅|
|Free bank account||✅||✅||❌ The paid plan at 4.90 CHF/m. is required to make transfers|
|Free debit card||❌ 5.99 CHF delivery fee||✅||❌ 7.00 CHF delivery fee|
|Free withdrawals in CHF||✅ 200 CHF/m., 5 max., then 2%||✅ 1 free per week, then 1.90 CHF each||❌ 2.00 CHF each|
|Free withdrawals in EUR, overseas||✅ 200 CHF/m., 5 max., then 2%||❌ 4.90 CHF each||❌ 1.50%|
|0% exchange fee in EUR||✅ 0% up tp 1000 CHF/m., monday to friday, then 0.50%||❌ 0.95% fee||❌ 0,75 – 1,65% fee|
|Free SEPA transfers in EUR||✅||✅||❌ 0,75 – 1,65% fee|
|Free international wire transfer||❌ 0% in SEPA zone, >0.30% outside SEPA||❌ 4.00 CHF each||❌ 0,75 – 1,65% fee|
For Switzerland Revolut does not offer a personal CH IBAN and for France you will have a FR IBAN. Iwill need to use Revolut with Yuh or Yapeal for a complete solution.
Yuh vs Revolut vs Yapeal: Fee Simulation
Tests carried out with the exchange rates of September 2, 2022.
In this simulation we consider a salary of 5,000 CHF/month, converted and transferred each month to an account in EUR in France. We also add 1 withdrawal of 50 CHF per week for small expenses in Switzerland.
For the Yapeal+Revolut solution, the 5,000 CHF are converted into EUR and transferred to Revolut 1x/month, and finally transferred by SEPA transfer to an account in France. The transfer from Yapeal to Revolut is operated by Wise and includes all fees (exchange and transfer).
For the Yuh+Revolut solution, the 5,000 CHF are transferred to Revolut 1x/month, then converted into EUR at Revolut and finally transferred by SEPA transfer to an account in France. The transfer from Yuh to Revolut is an international transfer because Revolut’s IBAN is in France.
|Maintenance fee||0.00 CHF||58.80 CHF|
|0.00 CHF||58.80 CHF
|Debit card||0.00 CHF||7.00 CHF|
|Cost for 5,000 CHF||5,087.63 EUR||5,099.50 EUR||5,114.94 EUR||5,114.94 EUR|
|Fee for 12 x 5,000 CHF in EUR||12 x 46.57 CHF||12 x 37.50 CHF||12 x 19.26 CHF||12 x 19.26 CHF|
|Transfer fee||0.00 CHF||N/A||12 x 4.00 CHF||0.00 CHF|
|1 withdrawal of 50 CHF/week||0.00 CHF||96.00 CHF||0.00 CHF||0.00 CHF|
|TOTAL||558.84 CHF||611.80 CHF||292.11 CHF||302.91 CHF|
So we see that the Yuh+Revolut and Yapeal+Revolut solutions are the least expensive and can save you up to at 300 CHF/year.
Yuh + Revolut Premium: The cheapest solution!
From 2,500 CHF/month, it is recommended to combine a Yuh account with a Revolut Premium plan:
- 7.99 EUR/month, i.e. 95.88 EUR/year
- 0% exchange fee, instead of 0.50%
- debit card free delivery
- withdrawal limit of 400 EUR/month instead of 200 with Revolut
- +1 CHF withdrawal per week, limited to 10,000 CHF/month with Yuh
Combined with Yuh, this will be the cheapest solution and your annual costs will be less than CHF 150/year.