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Zak Review 2024

Updated: Jul 5

In this review, we test Bank Cler's digital banking app Zak. Zak is an easy-to-use app that allows you to carry out your everyday banking transactions free of charge.

Zak account review, test, experience

📖 Overview


 

☝️Advantages and disadvantages

  • The advantages at a glance: Zak is a free bank account with an attractive interest rate and innovative functions.

  • The disadvantages at a glance: Fees are charged for cash withdrawals at third-party ATMs and transactions within and outside Switzerland.

Welcome offer 🚀 CHF 50 starting credit

CHF 50 starting credit with the code BEWE50 (enter the code in the "Enter code" field after activation). Learn more

 

Zak Review: The free bank on the smartphone

Zak is a clearly designed app from Bank Cler that you can use to manage your banking transactions. Zak was developed from scratch for smartphones and has been on the market since 2018. With Zak, you no longer have to go to the bank branch or log into e-banking on your computer for your daily banking transactions.


Bank Cler Head Office Basel, interior
Bank Cler headquarters in Basel at Aeschenplatz | Source: Bank Cler

You do everything with your smartphone, wherever you want and whenever you want.

Zak also offers you some exclusive functions that other accounts do not include, such as the simple creation of savings pots in real time or special vouchers and offers directly in the app. The basic version of Zak is completely free of charge. In this article, we explain whether the basic version is sufficient for everyday banking transactions and whether there are any fee traps lurking around.

Zak account app home screen
Zak account app: Easy navigation thanks to tile design | Source: Become Wealthy

For whom is Zak suitable?

Anyone who is resident in Switzerland, has a smartphone and is over 15 years old can open a Zak account. You can open an account directly via the app without any annoying paperwork. To register, all you have to do is enter your personal details in the app and verify your identity with your ID card (or B or C permit). You then need to make an initial payment to your new Zak account to activate it. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes. Bank Cler will then check your details and activate the account within 1-2 working days. As soon as the account is activated, you can enter our voucher code BEWE50 in the app under "Enter code - receive bonus" in your profile to receive a starting credit of CHF 50.


What advantages does Zak offer over a traditional bank account?

With Zak, you always have your bank in your trouser pocket. You can check your account balance at any time, scan invoices or enter transfers manually. You are conveniently notified of all transactions, such as incoming payments, by push notification - you can of course deactivate this if you already receive enough notifications.

You can make payments in shops with your Visa debit card or mobile payment, i.e. Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay. And if you want to send money to other Zak users (such as partners, family or friends), you can do this in real time with Zak Instant.


Mobile Payment, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay

Is Zak safe?

You may now be wondering whether your money is safe. Zak is a product of Bank Cler. Bank Cler is based in Basel and serves 27 locations in Switzerland with over 400 employees. Bank Cler is therefore an established Swiss bank that is supervised by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and is subject to deposit protection. In the event of the bankruptcy of a bank, the deposit protection system protects customer deposits of up to CHF 100,000 from loss.

In addition to the digital banking solution Zak, Bank Cler mainly operates traditional banking business. If you need a mortgage to buy your own home in the future, for example, you can rely on Bank Cler's products and expertise without having to look for a new bank first. Of course, you can also visit a Bank Cler branch if you have any questions about Zak and get advice on the spot.

The Zak app is just as secure as using e-banking at a traditional bank. First you have to log in with your e-mail address and personal password. If you don't want to enter your login details every time and your smartphone allows it, you can also use your fingerprint or Face ID. A transaction is executed if you also authorise it with an mTAN. You will receive this mTAN by text message to the mobile number you have stored, and you must then enter the letter combination you receive in the Zak app. The execution of transactions is thus secured by two-factor authentication, as is common in banking worldwide. In addition, all data is stored exclusively in Swiss data centres.


What does Zak cost?

Unlike many other banks, Zak does not charge any fees for account management (including account balancing). Of course, payment transactions in Switzerland are also free of charge (incl. LSV and eBill). With eBill, you no longer receive your invoices by post or e-mail, but directly in the Zak app. You can then check and pay your electronic invoices with just a few clicks or set up permanent authorisation.

Zak account app transfers
QR-bill scanning, eBill, Zak Instant and standing orders - all in one place | Source: Become Wealthy

Zak can also be used to make foreign payments within the SEPA area, i.e. payments in the euro payment area. Payments in currencies other than CHF and EUR are not possible.

You receive a free Visa debit card for payments in shops and online shops. Card payments in Switzerland and cash withdrawals (and cash deposits where the ATM allows it) at Bank Cler ATMs are free of charge. At third-party banks in Switzerland it costs CHF 2 (or CHF 5 for euro withdrawals) and abroad CHF 5 per withdrawal. There is also an exchange rate surcharge of 2% for foreign payments and euro withdrawals.

In addition to the free Zak account, Zak Plus is also available for a fee. Zak Plus costs CHF 8 per month and offers free cash withdrawals worldwide, free coffee at Bank Cler branches and priority support.


Interest at Zak

You receive an attractive interest rate of 1% up to an account balance of CHF 25,000. If you would like to hold higher balances with Zak, the "Zak Savings" extension is available. This is a savings account that you can open and operate directly in the Zak app with just a few clicks. With Zak Savings, you receive an interest rate of 1.3% (up to an account balance of CHF 100,000). Although it is a separate account with its own IBAN, the savings account is fully integrated into the Zak app. You can even track how much interest you have already earned. Account management is of course also free of charge.

Zak Account App Savings Interest
Even more interest is available on the savings account directly in the app | Source: Become Wealthy

You can move funds to or from your savings account with just a few clicks. Please note that you can withdraw a maximum of CHF 10,000 per calendar year from the savings account by account transfer. For higher amounts, a cancellation period of three months must be observed or a withdrawal fee of usually around 2% must be paid.

Zak

Zak Savings

1 % interest up to CHF 25,000

1.3 % interest up to CHF 100,000

0 % interest for higher amounts

0 % interest for higher amounts


For withdrawals over CHF 10,000 per year, there is a 3-month cancellation period


Twint with Zak

Yes, it works, but only Twint Prepaid, because Zak or Bank Cler does not have its own Twint app, as is the case with the larger banks. A direct connection, where payments made with Twint are immediately debited from your bank account, is therefore not possible. With Twint Prepaid, you must first top up your credit. The easiest way to do this is to connect your Zak account to Twint in order to transfer money from Zak to Twint. You can transfer up to CHF 200 in real time via instant top-up, for higher amounts you can expect a waiting time of up to 4 days.

It is also possible to make a transfer to your Twint account or purchase Twint credit from Coop or Swiss Post and then enter the code in the Twint app. When you receive money on Twint Prepaid, you can either keep it directly in the app for future payments or have it credited to your Zak account. You can use the Twint Prepaid app to make normal payments in shops or online, send money to or request money from friends or pay parking fees.


What else can Zak do?

As already mentioned, you can set up and use so-called pots in the Zak app. These are virtual sub-accounts. Only the total amount is shown on the tax statement at the end of each year, so you only have to transfer one item to your tax return.

With the joint pots, you can record and divide expenses between two or a group of up to 10 people more easily than ever before. Unlike savings pots, there is no money in a joint pot. Instead, the spending of the various pot members is visualised. So you can see at any time who owes you how much and who you still have to pay back. You can allocate your expenses to a joint pot and pay your debts directly with just a few clicks. Payments made with Zak can be assigned directly to the joint pot, cash payments can be added manually. This makes tedious manual accounting a thing of the past. Such a shared pot is therefore perfect for couples, flat-sharing communities or travelling groups. There is no need for a separate partner account or joint account with additional cards (which may be subject to a fee).

Zak Account App Shared pots
Easily manage shared expenses with Zak's shared pots | Source: Become Wealthy

Conclusion: Is Bank Cler's Zak account recommendable?

Zak offers a fully-fledged bank account with an attractive interest rate and innovative functions and therefore achieves a very good result in our private account comparison and this review. Zak is suitable for anyone who wants to carry out their banking transactions in Switzerland free of charge. In everyday use, fees are only charged for cash withdrawals at third-party ATMs and transactions in and abroad. If you use cash more often in everyday life, it would be an advantage if you are close to one of Bank Cler's almost 120 ATMs throughout Switzerland, as otherwise withdrawing money will cost you CHF 2.

If you enter the code BEWE50 after registering, you will receive a starting bonus of CHF 50 credited to your new account (after activating the account, you will find the "Enter code - receive bonus" field in your profile, where you can enter the code).


 

Welcome offer 🚀 CHF 50 starting credit

CHF 50 starting credit with the code BEWE50 (enter the code in the "Enter code" field after activation). Learn more

 

Frequently asked questions about Zak

Is Zak free of charge?

Who's behind Zak?

Who can open Zak?

Is it possible to use Twint with Zak?

How Become Wealthy tests

 

Quellen:


Zak experience • Zak account review • Zak review • Zak test

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