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Created on 28.05.2019

You’re joking! Eleven fun facts about cash

We all like money. But what do we actually know about our coins and notes? Here are eleven fun facts about cash in Switzerland.

Fact 1: the more valuable the note, the longer its lifespan.

How long do our notes actually last? A 10 franc note lasts just about four years, a 100 franc note lasts slightly more than five years and a 1,000 franc note lasts as many as 20 years. In summary, how long banknotes last depends on how much they are worth, so large denominations tend to have a greater lifespan than smaller ones.

Fact 2: blue comes out on top

What is the most common banknote? Roughly 30% of all banknotes currently in circulation are blue, which makes the 100 franc note the most widespread. Here is how the notes all fare: the 10 franc note makes up 16.4% of all our notes, the 20 franc note 18.9%, the 50 franc note 13.6%, the 100 franc note 28.4%, the 200 franc note 12.4% and the 1,000 franc note 10.2%.

Fact 3: our notes cost 40 cents

Even money itself is not free. Our notes cost 40 cents. Specifically, this is how much the manufacturing costs for a new series banknote amount to on average, including development, paper and printing costs.

Fact 4: The Swiss have thicker wallets and purses than the Swedes

How much money do we carry around with us? The Swiss carry an average of CHF 133.20 in their wallets and purses. Men actually carry slightly more around with them (CHF 140.30) than women (CHF 126.30). Compared with our Swedish counterparts, this is an awful lot: they only carry between CHF 11 and CHF 56 (converted) around with them. But this is hardly surprising seeing as Sweden is ahead of the game when it comes to cashless payments.

Fact 5: the later on in the year it is, the more money there is in circulation

The amount of money in circulation depends on the season. The number of notes in circulation increases near the end of the year, and there are many reasons for this, for instance booming year-end business, bonuses and cash gifts.

Fact 6: our 1,000 franc note is the second most valuable note in the world

What country has the most valuable note? The Swiss 1,000 franc note comes second in the world, and is only beaten by the 10,000 dollar note in Brunei. The Singapore 10,000 dollar note is no longer issued, but it is still in circulation.

Fact 7: we have 471 million notes all in all.

How many Swiss banknotes are actually out there? In 2018, there were about 417 million notes worth around 79 billion francs altogether in circulation.

Fact 8: our notes are like a sandwich

Our notes have a very special design. The new banknotes consist of Durasafe, a three-layered material with a polymer layer in the middle, and two cotton paper layers on the outside. This means new security features can be added to the notes, such as the see-through cross, as well as tried-and-tested features such as the security thread and the watermark.

Fact 9: 100 Swiss banknotes are about as heavy as a bar of Swiss chocolate

A Swiss banknote weighs about 1 gram on average, which means 100 banknotes are roughly the same weight as a bar of milk chocolate.

Fact 10: a million francs stacked up in 1,000 franc notes would be ten centimetres high

Ten centimetres: this is how high the pile would be if you were to stack a million francs up in 1,000 franc notes. How much money in francs would fit into the boot of your car in 1,000 franc notes? We will leave that particular calculation to you.

Fact 11: we still like cash

Debit cards took over from cash as the most popular payment method in early 2019 for the very first time, but coins and notes still remain popular. For 36% of Swiss residents, cash is the payment method of choice, just behind debit cards (38.3%) and ahead of credit cards (23.2%). What’s more, we still like withdrawing cash from Postomats and ATMs. Indeed, we withdraw an average of CHF 220 each time.

Withdraw cash even quicker at Postomats with the new contactless feature

Withdrawing money will soon be even quicker. As a pioneer of digital banking, PostFinance is going to be phasing in a contactless feature at its Postomats from July 2019. By autumn, 500 Postomats will be equipped with a barcode and NCF (near-field communication) reader. How will cash withdrawals work? Really easily: just place your PostFinance card on the contactless symbol and enter your PIN. Contactless cash withdrawals are convenient, and they save time.

Sources: Swiss National Bank,, Comparis

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