New security upgrades prevent me from using E-Banking

Dear forum

I got a letter from my bank SZKB (Schwyzer Kantonalbank). It states that they are upgrading 2FA security to an App they released. Of course it requires Google Play services which are not available on my device (or Apple which I also don’t have). The former options to do 2FA (physical OTP-Lists, SMS-OTP) will be closed soon.

I have the option to:

  • buy their hardware authenticator
  • buy another Smartphone
  • use accounts without E-Banking
  • close accounts for a fee

I want neither and I want to close all accounts for free. I think it is them that changed the contract conditions unilaterally, reducing utitlity of their product massively.


  • What would be a good wording?
  • Is there something to support my view?
  • If they don’t agree, who should I appeal to? (probably:
  • What cheap EUR accounts can I still use that don’t require any (or at least free/reusable) special devices?
    • That is physical OTP-Lists, TOTP-Passwords in a program like KeePass, even a standalone Android app.
    • I only need an EUR account in my name for KYC and a few SEPA transactions per year.

I know that in the grand scheme of things we don’t talk about a lot of money here. But I don’t like getting fucked over and I don’t like necessary aspects of life requiring American data krakens for no reason at all. Consider it a donation of my time and money.

Edit: Name and shame


I would call up the bank and state your problem.

I had the same issue with UBS and their crap authenticator app. It doesn’t work on my Android phone (android 13 has problems apparently). After 2 weeks of trial and error, they finally offered to send me their hardware authenticator instead for free.

It works, but for me, it’s cumbersome, as I don’t have it with me all the time. I’d rather wish they fixed the problem directly. I too contemplated closing my account.

But in your case, just curious: you have an android phone without Google Play? Can you not install the app directly (apk)?

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I did of course call them after I installed the APK directly, which blocked after installing at setup with the clear error message. Nothing we can do, install Google Play Services (what?) or buy our stuff.

Use an android emulator to get the app on the PC.

So install google play services apk?

There’s probably a reason that he doesn’t want to have google play services on the phone in the first place.


In that case, I think you either have to “buy their stuff” (how much?) or change bank. What bank is this BTW?

Not sure you will have lots of option by changing banks.
2FA is nowadays more and more enforced.
I am with BCGE, BCV and you need to go to the Google or Apple play store to install their CrontoSign Swiss app and another one for the NetBanking.
So you need 2 apps to manage your payments and account.

How do you pay your bill without scanning the QR/BBR code in the invoice ?
Which broker did you choose that do not require an app ?

I enter the reference number manually in e-banking (though I do use an authenticating App to get there, as I do have given in to the modern madness of “everything smartphone with a lifespawn of a few OS upgrades” even though I did fight it at first). I haven’t tried it for years but I guess one should also be able to go to a post office and pay it directly there.

I don’t recommend them, partly specifically because of this lack of security concern, but CornèrTrader’s default setup is “use a password and be good with it”.

I have relatives with the same issue and the bank, after a little push, offered them the hardware token/ authenticator for free. Maybe this happens only for elderly or high nw clients…

Postfinance still has the hardware device were you insert your PF card as a 2nd factor.

Hey Ardius, if you were looking for a cheap phone plan, would Swisscom with maximum speed help your problem? I mean it’s fast and has good connection, right?

Did you actually try any of those suggestions yourself? Did they work?

What is your phone brand and model?

Android emulator works fine, but i did not try with every swiss bank 2fa app. Sorry.

It’s about 70 CHF and the bank is SZKB.

I type it down if needed.

IBKR for example has one but doesn’t require it.

I know that my Raiffeisen authenticator app works. They also still have SMS-OTP.

A One Plus 5 with LineageOS on it.

Well there is SafetyNet and other shenanigans. I don’t know what they need the Google Play services for. Maybe they really just delegate QR-code recognition to it. The shortest way would be to try.

On the other hand there is no good reason to make me jump through the hoops. If they just delegate functionallity and break their product, it’s lazy on their part. If they want more security and even an emulator works, why shouldn’t my device be okay too?

What 2FA Banking App did you make work?

2FA yes, but not only by app is possible at UBS, Postfinance, swissquote, … and probably plenty more.
(i.e. login with password and with a (free) device and your bank card or physical grid cards)

If the bank uses its own bank-specific app for authentication, that would be a very good argument against the app only being available via Google Play. By downloading the app, you are telling Google which Swiss bank you bank with, and are therefore forfeiting your privileges under Swiss bank customer secrecy laws.

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Unfortunately, banking secrecy laws can apperantly be voided in the contract. For example WIR is doing so (German).

So I guess the app is SZKB Secure ?
If so, you are correct, you will need the Google Play Services, as the app uses their APIs for measurements, stats, cloud messaging …

If you have decided that you don’t want to install Google Play Services on your main phone, I’d get a cheap second hand android phone just for this app.

The app only needs Android 5. In fact, the app is version 1.0.0 and was released over a year ago (Aug2, 2022), so it doesn’t look like they are actively developing it. You can find an old, used Android phone for under 70 CHF, which is cheaper than their alternative.

Hm, Wise and IBKR have integrated (link1, link2). I also just tested that I receive EUR from Wise to SZKB in my name. DEGIRO is still being difficult about it. But their services have become unattractive anyways.

  1. So I demanded in writing to be released from all contracts for free for the given reasons.

  2. They did close all accounts but took the fee (partially, because there wasn’t enough in the account anymore). They stated that online on their portal.

  3. I wrote them back on the portal. I needed a written statement of theirs for my complaint. Our correspondence I would send to the ombudsman.

  4. In their statement they agreed to pay out what they took, because the amount is too small. They will also refrain from doing business with me in the future. Yeah, me too, good riddance.

  5. What is left is to leave bad reviews on online portals. Name and shame.

I’m already eager to hear the name… :scream_cat: