The retailer Coop is expanding its business in the financial sector. Coop is launching a new financial app together with various Swiss banks such as Kreditarbank Lenzburg and financial service providers such as the fund provider Vanguard.
For Coop it is also a return to the financial world, albeit under new circumstances.
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Matthias Heim studied economic history. He has been working for Radio SRF since 2007 and has been a business editor since 2016. His areas of expertise are aviation, tourism, transport, retail and energy.
What does Coop’s new financial services app offer?
The app currently offers two basic offers: payment and savings accounts with debit cards and the option of using them to withdraw cash in Coop branches. There is also the option of saving for old age using various financial products in the pillar 3a area.
Coop plans to expand these offerings with additional financial services in the coming months.
Does this mean Coop becomes a bank?
No. Coop does not have a banking license, but its financial app serves as a platform for the products of the relevant providers. For example, the contract for a savings account is not concluded with Coop, but with Kreditarbank Lenzburg. However, the accounts and pension solutions in the app appear in the Coop design.
The offer is therefore not a digital new edition of the former Coop Bank, which Coop sold to Basler Kantonalbank in 2017, which then renamed it Bank “Cler”.
How does the new Coop Bank differ from neobanks like “Yuh” or “N26”?
Neobanks are either offers from Swiss financial institutions with a banking license (“Yuh” belongs to Postfinance and Swissquote) or from foreign providers with a European banking license (e.g. “N26”) that are recognized by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma).
Coop, on the other hand, as a platform, sells the products of the relevant financial service providers, who also have all the necessary licenses. These companies, in turn, can offer their product range to a larger group of customers via Coop.
Why is Coop launching this financial app now?
Digitalization now makes it possible for Coop – thanks to its partner companies – to launch corresponding financial offers even without a banking license.
However, there is already considerable competition from purely digital financial offerings in Switzerland. In addition, a number of competitors offer significantly more options (e.g. cryptocurrencies, securities trading, etc.) than Coop does today.
However, Coop has a starting advantage: the brand is known throughout Switzerland. The company can also advertise its new offer to the more than three million “Supercard” owners.
To what extent does Coop’s offer differ from its competitor Migros with Migros Bank?
Migros Bank is an independent bank owned by Migros. It is a bank that is subject to the financial market supervisory authority (Finma) and offers a wide range of financial services (accounts, private loans, mortgages, securities trading, etc.).
Does Coop have access to account transactions and can the company use this data, for example? B. evaluate with the “Supercard”?
Coop emphasizes that the company has no insight into account transactions. The “Supercard” data and account transactions would also not be used for joint data analysis.
Customers can use the financial app to collect points for the “Supercard” in Coop stores. However, the banks calculate the corresponding balance and send the total to Coop, where the points are credited.