Zurich-based fintech startup neon will no longer charge any fees or FX surcharges for payments with the neon card abroad starting 20 January 2020.
Regardless of location and currency, payments abroad will as of now be converted using the Mastercard reference exchange rate. Customers can shop globally and online without any fees or currency surcharges. For withdrawals abroad, the fee will be reduced to 1.5% of the amount.
Domestic withdrawals remain free twice a month, as do withdrawals with neon partner Sonect. With this, neon asserts its position as Switzerland’s most affordable account and card provider for national and, as of today, also international usage, being equal to or even better than foreign providers such as Revolut or N26.
neon users benefit massively: they no longer need to combine several providers and shuffle money back and forth in order to optimize their card costs.
Julius Kirscheneder, neon CMO, says:
“Our users tell us in person but also through their behavior that they’re no longer ready to pay base fees or charges abroad. As a company that listens to its customers, we cannot and will not ignore this trend. We by the way also don’t give in to the impulse of lessening other services instead – all other prices remain the same, user data will continue to be stored in Switzerland and the Swiss Deposit Insurance scheme will continue to protect our customers’ assets, thanks to the ongoing cooperation with Hypothekarbank Lenzburg.”
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FX surcharges, usage fees abroad, admin charges and other commissions may have once been justifiable, but with automation banks incur very little costs for these services nowadays. Accordingly, such charges often serve to covertly maximize profit. Thanks to its lean cost structure, neon does not have to rely on such practices, also because stronger growth and usage rates will compensate for the missing fee revenues.