The most challenging FinTech start-ups - digital banks like neon

Updated: Oct 13

neon is a Swiss-based fintech venture, founded 2017 from Jörg Sandrock, Julius Kirscheneder, Simon Youssef and Patric Ammann. Their vision to change the Swiss bank market arose during their joint experiences in the banking sector, as they decided to make private banking easier and cheaper by designing a digital solution.

" The challenger banks emerged and shook-up the sector, offering services that are better, faster, more transparent and far more aligned with the tech-savvy generation. " - Tanya Andreasyan


Within the Swiss banking market, the mayor players stay on top, although there is increasing demand on easier banking and especially cheaper private accounts. Currently more than half of the population want to access digital banking and more than 70% want to pay less for a standard account. The traditional banks do not offer flexible services, are very costly and not transparent with a complex user set-up.


For that reason, neon has developed a banking app for smartphones, that offers the opportunity to set up a free Swiss bank account, a free MasterCard with global acceptance and thereby an easy access tool for the demanding market. To further extend the product range and be comparable to a traditional bank, several and important partnerships are in place. Furthermore, it is proven that this solution is already successful in other countries than Switzerland.


There is increasing interest in the digital banking market, 70% of the population want mobility and flexibility. Every year 665’000 new bank accounts are opened, classified customers as bank changers, newcomers & freshers. neon already serves more than 10’000 users and should increase this till 2024 to 240’000.

  1. Traditional Banks (UBS, PostFinance, Zürcher Kantonalbank) - They offer similar digital/mobile banking services, but at a higher cost and less flexibility

  2. Swiss-based Neo-Banks (Zak, Oyoba, Yapeal) - These are digital/mobile banks that offer similar services as neon, such as the ease of making accounts, payments, and more, but currently lack in development or focus on different sectors.

  3. International Neo-Banks (Revolut, N26) - These are digital/mobile banks that offer more services, a larger customer base, and wider geographic coverage, ready to tackle the Swiss market and threaten incubating players.


Together the four founders have more than 50 years of experience in the banking, technology and marketing sector, as well as in venture capital firms. Which leads to a deep understanding of the Swiss retail market and due to past joint working experience, makes them a successful team mix.

  • Jörg Sandrock: very professional with a solid network and experience basis

  • Julius Kirscheneder: more than 10 years marketing experience

  • Simon Youssef: perfectly placed with strong knowledge in IT and development

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