Using a Swiss Bank Account

Find out about the products and services available from banks in Switzerland...

Banks can issue you with a Carte Maestro/Maestro Karte, this is a debit card that can be used in nearly all shops and for withdrawing cash. The Maestro card also has an embedded CASH chip which can be recharged with a credit of up to CHF 300. This is most commonly used to pay for services such as car parking, phone calls and public transport.

Carte de Crédit/Kreditkarte is a credit card that can be debited once a month. Banks can charge a commission fee on cash withdrawals made using this card.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Switzerland, but some shops or restaurants may refuse them for small amounts.

Cheques are not widely used in Switzerland as they are slow and expensive to cash.

Household bills and invoices can be paid through the post office, with a Bulletin de Versement/Einzahlungsschein (bill slip) although electronic banking (e-banking) is becoming increasingly popular. Bill slips are attached to each bill that you receive by the post.

E-banking

E-banking via computer, telephone or mobile phone allows you to carry out banking and stock market transactions. Some banks also provide a machine called the multimat. This scans your household bill and deducts the amount from your account. With some banks e-banking is free for others there is a transaction fee.

Currency Exchanges

Money exchange booths can be found in most towns, cities and airports. They all have different opening hours, with some being open weekends.