Cash is king in Switzerland, says Swiss National Bank

June 5, 2018 Share Source

Results from the Swiss National Bank finds that cash is the most common method of payment for households in Switzerland. The Survey on Payment Methods on payment behaviour and the use of cash in Switzerland 

With 70% of household payments conducted in cash and most retailers protecting their customers' freedom of choice, Switzerland enjoys a perfect payments landscape with a harmonious coexistence of cash and cashless payment methods. 

Excerpts from Swiss National Bank 2017 Survey

Executive Summary

In the autumn of 2017, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) conducted a survey on payment methods for the first time. The aim of the survey is to obtain representative information on payment behaviour and the use of cash by households in Switzerland, and to ascertain the underlying motives for this behaviour. ..

Press Release

Cash is the most common method of payment for households in Switzerland. Of the payments recorded, 70% were processed with cash. When measured in terms of value, by contrast, cash accounted for just 45% of the recorded expenditure. This difference is attributable to the fact that cash is a particularly popular payment method for small amounts. That said, cash is also often used when larger sums are involved: 35% of non-recurring payments that involve amounts of more than CHF 1,000 are settled with cash...

'Thanks to a seamlessly functioning cashless payment system on the one hand, and an extensive network of ATMs for the withdrawal of cash on the other, Switzerland offers a supportive infrastructure that enables the population to choose their preferred payment method in any given situation.'
" Results of the 2017 survey on payment methods Swiss National Bank (May 2018)

Results of Survey report

Respondents who expect to use cash less often in future most frequently cite a social trend away from cash as the reason (cf. chart 4.18). This is followed by the assessment that the acceptance and simplicity of non-cash payment methods and procedures will increase. The fact that an exogenous factor is stressed is another indication that existing preferences for a particular payment method are very important. At the same time, this points to a relatively high degree of satisfaction with the status quo, which is not least likely to be attributable to the fact that freedom of choice is ensured by an efficient supply of cash and a secure infrastructure for cashless payments that is only rarely subject to disruption (cf. section 4.3).

Read full report here 

Read full press release here

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Last Updated: Sept. 30, 2018