History

PostFinance's history stretches back over a century. In this time, we grew from a post and girocheque service to a fully-fledged retail financial institution.

1900

The first "post and girocheque service"

Private and cantonal banks were no longer able to provide enough cash to meet the needs of the Swiss economy. To remedy this problem, the National Council of Basel and Colonel Carl Koechlin along with five co-signees submitted a motion. This was the cornerstone for the introduction of a "post and girocheque service".

1906

Introduction of payment transactions

For the effective performance of payment transactions, the dense Post Office network virtually imposed itself as the ideal solution. There were already about 3000 access points across Switzerland. Carl Koechlin opened the first Post cheque account at the Post cheque office in Basel.

1920

First international Post transfer agreement

The agreement is reached at the World Postal Congress in Madrid. At the same time, Swiss Post concludes postal order agreements with the biggest European countries.

1950

The end of interest on postal cheque credit balances

In the wake of the 1930s economic crisis, interest rates dropped to very low levels. At the end of 1949, the interest earned was only 0.2%, a meaningless amount for many account holders. Since it still involved work to calculate, the interest on postal cheque credit balances was discontinued.

1971

The first deposit slip

The introduction of the Deposit Form with Reference Number Procedure (VESR) was a Milestone achievement. It was to shape vouchered payment transactions in Switzerland up to the present day and anchored PostFinance's position in the market. Since 1996, this service has been called ISR.

1976

Withdrawal slip with reference number

In 1976, the Withdrawal Form with Reference Number Procedure (VASR) was introduced. For the first time, this allowed clients to make cash payments to people whose account number they did not know.

1978

Introduction of Postomats

The first Postomat were introduced even before banks had ATMs. Postomat Cards were introduced for cash withdrawals.

1988

Electronic payments become a reality

1988 saw the launch of Telegiro PTT. A precursor to Yellownet, this service enabled electronic payments via Videotex.

1991

The go-ahead to Postcard

Postcard followed on from the POSTOMAT PLUS Card and blue, guaranteed Postcheque. Launched in 1984, the blue, guaranteed Postcheque, allowed cash withdrawals from post offices in Europe and Japan. The POSTOMAT PLUS Card was put into service for the first time at Shoppyland Schönbühl in 1988. With its magnetic strip and chip, it hugely facilitated cashless payments.

1992

Launch of Postcard Eurocard

1992 launch the creation of the Postcard Eurocard credit card. Later it was marketed as Postcard VISA Card in cooperation with Cornèr Bank. Today these services are called PostFinance MasterCard and PostFinance VISA Card.

1992

The first financial service

Swiss Post launched its first financial service in the form of fixed-term federal deposits, which were subsequently given the name "yellow fixed-term deposits". Nowadays we refer to medium-term notes.

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1997

"Postsoleil", the first funds.

The launch of the three yellow funds was done in collaboration with the Swiss Bank Corporation (today: UBS). Today PostFinance boasts seven of its own funds: Funds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as Fonds Global and Suisse. Since 2002, PostFinance has also offered a selection of mutual funds of other providers.

1998

Introduction of Yellownet

Yellownet marked the start of the e-finance era. This service saw PostFinance rise to the position of undisputed leader in Swiss e-banking. By 2009, e-finance surpassed the number of 1 million users.

1998

The first life insurance

"Yellow life insurance" was available from Swiss Post for the first time in association with Winterthur (today: AXA).

1998

Postal reform

The 1998 postal reform was designed to ensure and improve the provision of good, inexpensive post office and payment transaction services for the population and economy throughout Switzerland. For Swiss Post the reform involved changes at both market and company level.

Under the reform PostFinance had a legal obligation to achieve returns consistent with the market and to guarantee the security of assets. The abolition of the limit on interest provided the basis for a market standard for paying interest on customer deposits in postal and deposit accounts.

1999

Launch of the Deposito account

With the Deposito account, PostFinance brought to market a safe and flexible investment account. In 2000, it was followed by the e-Deposito account. And in 2003, the Deposito account for business customers was introduced.

2000

The first consulting centre

The first PostFinance consulting centres are opened in Lausanne, Basel and Zurich.

2001

Yellowtrade

With yellowtrade, today called e-trading, PostFinance enters the world of Internet-based securities trading.

2003

PostFinance turns into a retail financial institution

In 2003, together with UBS AG, PostFinance brought to market Yellow Mortgages and the Yellow Pension Account 3a. This marked PostFinance's mutation into a fully-fledged retail financial institution. Since 2008, PostFinance has also been offering additional mortgages in conjuction with the Münchener Hypothekenbank eG.

2005

Payment transactions for UBS

2005 saw PostFinance taking over UBS's "paper-based" payment transactions. This meant that the volume of vouchers increased by 30% overnight. At the same time, 21 employees came over to PostFinance from UBS. Today, PostFinance also ensures the payment transactions of the Cantonal Banks of Glarus, Tessin and Fribourg as well as Bank CIC (Switzerland).

2006

New centre in Zofingen

PostFinance was the first Swiss financial institution to use two entirely independent locations for its electronic systems. At a new datacentre in Zofingen, some 230 jobs were created to process some of PostFinance's vouchers. Most of the employees come from Berne and Lucerne. The relocation ensured a significant increase in the safety of our IT infrastructure.

2008

New free-movement account

With its vested benefits account, the Rendita Freizügigkeitsstiftung (vested benefits foundation) guarantees that your occupational pension provision is maintained in accordance with the Federal law on occupational pension provision (BVG) and the Federal law on vesting in pension plans (FzG).

2009

Cooperation with Valiant

2009 saw PostFinance and Valiant enter into a credit business agreement. The new offer benefited small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout Switzerland.

2010

Free iPhone app

PostFinance was the first financial institution to offer a free application with a payment function for iPhones. It allows users to find the closest Post ATMs, PostFinance subsidiaries and post offices as well as the display of real-time stock exchange information. In 2011, the Android version followed and the well-known services grew to include by the most important e-finance services. With the function Scan+Pay, deposit forms can be scanned and payments made.

2011

FINMA supervision

2011 saw Swiss Post - and along with it PostFinance - receive Directly Supervised Financial Intermediary status (DSFI). As such PostFinance is subject to full supervision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in terms of the Anti-Money Laundering Act's provisions even before PostFinance's transformation into a public limited company.

2013

New headquarters in Berne

The 13-storey Mingerstrasse complex offers workspaces for 850 employees. At 55 metres high and with gross floor space of 15,000 m2, it is one of Berne’s tallest buildings.

2013

PostFinance Ltd

Since June 2013, PostFinance has been a public limited company under special law and a subsidiary of Swiss Post Ltd. PostFinance Ltd is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and has been granted a licence in accordance with the Banking Act. The PostFinance Ltd Board of Directors is the highest committee of PostFinance Ltd.

2014

New e-finance

E-finance has a completely new design. Information is arranged in clear tiles, making navigation easier. Users can adapt e-finance to their needs quickly and easily.

2014

Strategic partnership with Swissquote

Swissquote and PostFinance are establishing a long-term strategic partnership in online trading. Swissquote will operate as a trading platform for PostFinance from autumn 2015, handling stock exchange orders placed by PostFinance customers in e-trading. According to the partnership agreement, PostFinance will also acquire a 5% equity investment in the capital of Swissquote.

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