A direct bank services its customers via mail, the Internet (online and mobile), telephone, or other remote means of communication. Direct banks either do not have branch offices or tellers.
Because operating this way greatly reduces running costs, direct banks can usually offer more cost-efficient banking products.
The increasing use of the Internet has led to the direct banking model becoming increasingly popular.
A number of Swiss online brokers also qualify as direct banks, as they offer their brokerage and custodian banking services entirely remotely.
Although the direct banking model is less popular in Switzerland than it is in neighboring Germany, the trend towards online-only banking products (like savings accounts and mortgages) is apparent.