Basics of banking in Switzerland



Currency in Switzerland

The currency of Switzerland is the Swiss franc (Schweizer Franken - franc suisse), which is abbreviated as CHF (also sometimes as Sfr.). The Swiss franc is among the most stable currencies in the world and continues to be backed by gold. One franc is divided into 100 cents (Rappen - centime).

Swiss francs can be easily exchanged to and from most foreign currencies at banks, ATMs and airports. When transferring money abroad, you could get a better exchange rate from the post office than a bank.


Transfer Money Overseas in Switzerland

Currency Exchange services that can save you a lot on fees and hidden costs. Regular salary remittance or one time transfers.

Get Free Quote


Opening a Bank Account in Switzerland

Shop around and ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues before you opt for a bank in Switzerland. Normal banking hours are from 8am to 4:30pm (Monday to Friday) and a number of banks in major cities some branches also open on Saturday. A number of banks open late one day in a week. 24 hour "automatic" service centers are commonly found in major cities where you can make transfers, change currencies, withdraw money and buy travelers cheques. Internet banking is standard service offered by all Swiss banks. You may request information in English, French, German and Italian from all Swiss banks.

Opening an account with a bank in Switzerland is a fairly simple process. You can choose from the following types of accounts:

• Current accounts - for day-to-day transactions, but pay little interest.

• Salary accounts (Lohnkonto - compte salaire) pay a little more interest than current accounts, but do not offer cheque book and/or some other services.

• Saving accounts (Sparkonto - compte de livret) offer higher interest, but only useful for savings.

• Student Accounts for students and young people are offered with little or no account fees.

You may open a foreign currency account but these don't usually pay interest. Many banks also have special types of accounts that don't fall into a specific category. However, fees can vary considerably between them.

Cards in Switzerland

With most accounts, you will receive a free account card (Bankkarte - carte bancaire) which can be used for cash withdrawals from ATMs and other transactions on your bank's electronic terminals. The use of cheques and credit cards in Switzerland is very low. The Eurocard is the most commonly issued card by most banks. American Express, Visa and Diners Club are also available and most Swiss ATM's accept international cards. A Eurocard costs approximately CHF 50 per month while the monthly charge for Visa or American Express card is usually a little more.



Continue reading:

Banking Guide