Cash will Never Disappear from Swiss Life

Mar 28, 2024

Cash means freedom in Switzerland, with the central bank reporting it is the most widely-accepted payment method due to ‘a broad desire among the population for cash to continue to be available’ and its Chairman stating: ‘cash will never disappear from use.’

Giving the results of its 2023 Payment Methods Survey of Companies, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) emphasises that ‘ATMs and bank counters are key for companies’ cash withdrawals and returns,’ and ‘the majority of companies are satisfied with their access to cash.’

Companies are creating a good basis for freedom of choice between cash and cashless payment methods in everyday transactions by accepting a wide range of payment methods.
"Swiss National Bank Press Release

The report shows cash acceptance among the 1,750 surveyed companies remains virtually unchanged from 2021. Around 92 percent of those offering face-to-face services accept cash in contrast with 59 percent accepting payment via apps, up from 40 percent in 2021. It adds ‘a large majority of companies are not planning to change their acceptance of cash in the next two years.’

The report reveals some concerns around decline in local cash infrastructure, with 15 percent of companies unsatisfied with available options for cash withdrawals and deposits. Around 60 percent, however, reported their nearest cash facility was less than 10 minutes away, with 90 percent saying it was within 20 minutes of them.

Speaking at an event in late February, SNB Vice Chairman Martin Schlegel says ‘physical cash will never disappear from use in Switzerland, despite the popularity of payment apps.’ He warned against the negative impact of a reduction in banking branches and cash machines, saying the SNB was ‘prepared to take action if the downward trend accelerates.’

Last Updated: Apr 5, 2024