Zak's new Visa Card

I didn’t find a topic about it, so here it is.

Zak is changing its cards to Visa Debit. This is probably a downer for all Maestro fans here, but the interesting part is that it offers no commission when paying abroad (before 1.5chf.
Not sure about their exachange rate, though. Are they trying to reach Neon’s offer?

I am wondering myself, since the exchange is decisive. Their factsheet states they are using a “daily exchange rate”, but not which or whose daily exchange rate and how that compares to the interbank rate.

All Swiss banks are changing (or planning to do) from Maestro/VPAY to Mastercard Debit/Visa Debit. This has nothing to do with Neon.


Probably a proper Bank Cler card to unify into one card.
Instead of that stopgap Cornér Prepaid Visa that always felt like weirdly tagged on the account.

You missed the part I meant with that :slight_smile: … the free payment abroad.

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As a ZAK-User, i liked actually to have a Maestro “EC” card as a backup since creditcards are not always accepted - specially in CH/DE/NL etc…

I found a replacement: Revolut now lets you order a maestrocard for 5$ + Shipping (8$), which can as well be added to apple pay, so no need to carry it around.

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Germany has improved a lot in credit card acceptance over the last few years.
In Switzerland I’ve always been able to use my credit card in larger towns/cities.
Maestro/V Pay-only I did encounter only in a few rural places.

For me, it doesn’t justify carrying a physical Maestro card anymore.
I’d rather carry a bit more cash, since some establishments will still be cash-only.

The Netherlands of course have been one of the few notorious holdouts.
They will also adjust with Mastercard (Visa) replacing Maestro (V Pay) with MC (Visa) Debits.

I wrote to ZAKs Customer Service. The near-surcharge-free exchange rate for card payments has been Neons USP so far, unique at least for a Swiss bank. For me it was the only reason to open an account with them in the first place (had one with ZAK before). So if ZAK is now as good for foreign card payments as Neon that’d be a big step for them and might mean for me that I don’t Neon anymore.

…if only they were as good as others, in their exchange rates.

So far they seem to have been among the very worst (though they couldn’t test the new cards yet).

And Bank Cler’s terms and conditions for the new Visa Debit card are anything but promising:
Die Umrechnung der Fremdwährung in die Karten- bzw. Kontowährung erfolgt aufgrund eines durch die Bank festgelegten Umrechnungskurses.


I’m wondering about that as well.
Looks like it will be from Viseca, if I look at the test from Handelszeitung (linked above) where the old Cler Viseca Credit Card had a surcharge of 4.45% and assume that includes the official fee which was 2.5%, then I would guess the exchange rate is about 1.95%, so still a lot worse then Neon and co.

My new card has just arrived. It is in fact from Viseca.
While the conditions may be good, from a user experience point of view it is a huge step backwards. If you want to use the card for mobile or online payment, you have to register it with Viseca and download and use a Viseca app (called “One”).
For comparison: Neon and CSX have managed to integrate it into their own app and do not need you to register with a third party.
You can read the details here: Zak Visa Debit - Bank Cler (in German, unfortunately there is no English version).


Wait, you mean only if you want to use it with Samsung/Google/Apple pay, not if you use it online, right?

That link says that you need the Viseca app only if you want the card in said ewallets.

Anyway, I might gonna cancel Zak anyway and open Neon…

I only got my card and not yet the login information needed for the Viseca app. But according to the info on the web page, you need to register in the App for online payments as well.

Um deine Visa Debit für Onlinezahlungen zu verwenden, musst du dich zunächst bei der one App registrieren.
(in English: To use your Visa Debit for online payments, you must first register with the one app.)

I saw this (under “Fluege usw”)

Ja! Die Visa Debit kannst du wie eine Kreditkarte einsetzen und für Onlineshopping, die Buchung von Hotels, Mietwagen, Flügen und vieles mehr nutzen, sofern der jeweilige Händler Visa Debit akzeptiert. Im Gegensatz zu einer Kreditkarte wird der Betrag direkt von deinem Konto abgebucht.

Nice orderly FAQ…

Interesting comparison. But something is odd. According to the comparison, Yuh seems to be the cheapest, with -0.02% surcharge, but on their webpage they say currency exchange comes with a 0.95% surcharge. They even link to the HZ comparison with the -0.02% next to that info, to claim they are the cheapest. What am I missing?

And yeah, the new ZAK offers seems to be mostly marketing hype. I’ll wait for their customer service to graciously reply to me to be sure, but the signs are not good.

You are missing the fact that they are cheaper than everyone else IF you already have the right currency in your account. They don’t take the fact that you have to do a currency conversion BEFORE the transaction.

Yuh make a difference between conversion fees and transaction fees. That why they are « cheaper », they don’t take the previous conversion fees that you need to do before the transaction, that’s why they have « zero » transaction fees because you are purchasing in euro something that its price is in euro.

Marketing on point :ok_hand:t2:

So with neon for example, on each transaction you have a transaction fees because you need to do at the same time a conversion fees for CHF.EUR. With Yuh, they VOLUNTARILY ignore the fact that you have to do the conversion before any transaction, and just say: « hey you already have EURO ? So when you are purchasing something in EURO you have 0% fees as you are purchasing it with your EURO in your account ».


That would be a neat explanation. And a hell of a mistake from HZ. You have to compare like for like, which apparently they didn’t in this case. With 0.95% Yuh still fares respectably, but is far from the cheapest offer. Yuh linking to this claim on their page, while knowing full well that the comparison in this way is nonsense, would be disingenuous to put it mildly.

So in conclusion, both ZAK and Yuh seem to try to hype their services instead of actually making them as competitive as the market leaders in foreign card payments, Neon, Revolut, Yapeal and Wise.

Do you have to?

Assuming you’re only holding in your account, don’t they convert foreign currency transactions on the fly? Do they decline them instead?

This a good question and I don’t have the answer as I closed my account and moreover never used it; I opened one just by curiosity.

However, it seems that you can do it, but in that case they will probably convert the transaction and charges 0.95% more as a majoration, like other traditional bank ?

No personal experience, but Swissquote Support told me that they do it once per day when transactions settle. Yuh is probably the same.

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