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Created on 10.06.2021

Cards, cash or mobile phone? Here’s how we prefer to pay

Which payment methods are currently preferred in Switzerland? Here are the facts.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things, including the way we shop and pay. We’ve collected three important facts from recent surveys.

Fact 1: Debit cards are indispensable as a payment method and are most frequently used for paying in shops

Debit cards are the most popular form of payment in Switzerland. According to a survey by the online comparison service The link will open in a new window, 73% of respondents considered debit cards to be an important payment method, followed by credit cards with 71%. This means that coronavirus has dethroned cash, which is now in third place. Only 67% of people say they can’t do without cash – a year ago, this figure was 78%. As for paying in shops, 57% of respondents said they use their debit card frequently (several times a week, daily or for all their purchases). In the category of frequent use, debit cards therefore lead the pack, followed by cash and credit cards with 34% each.

Fact 2: Credit cards are the most popular for online purchases

According to the The link will open in a new window survey, credit cards – used by 88% of respondents – remain the most popular method of online payment. 23% rarely pay by credit card, 51% occasionally and 14% often. This is followed by payment by invoice, with a total of 84%: 34% rarely pay by invoice, 45% occasionally and 5% often. After this come prepayments by bank transfer with a total of 51%, PayPal with 46%, TWINT with 43% and the PostFinance Card with 27%. 

Tip: we explain how you can pay your invoices quickly and easily via mobile banking or e-banking in the article Find out how to pay QR-bills or create them yourself”.

Incidentally, according to the The link will open in a new window Swiss Payment Monitor (1/2021), the credit card is the payment method with the highest sales in Switzerland: people spend the most money with this method, namely 24% of their expenditure. This is followed by the invoice (22%), debit card (21%) and cash (13%). The share of sales for mobile devices (primarily smartphones) ranks fifth at 8%, followed by Internet payment methods such as PayPal (7.5%).

Fact 3: TWINT leads the field in mobile payments

According to the The link will open in a new window Swiss Payment Monitor (1/2021), mobile payments account for 8% of the share of sales, which means that they have more than doubled within a year. TWINT is by far the most widely used mobile payment solution in Switzerland: 74% of sales and 78% of transactions made using mobile devices are processed with TWINT. Apple Pay, meanwhile, accounts for 13% of sales and 9% of transactions made using mobile devices.

The most popular payment method available at PostFinance

Debit card: you can pay conveniently in shops and on the Internet using the PostFinance Card. The PostFinance Card is one of the most widely used debit cards in Switzerland: 2.8 million PostFinance Cards are currently in circulation. By the way, paying with the PostFinance Card is not only practical for customers, but also good for merchants: they benefit from attractive transaction costs at a fixed price. For up to 10,000 transactions per year, the costs amount to 23 centimes per transaction; for 10,001 transactions and more, it becomes even less expensive. And for small amounts of up to 5 francs, the flat fee is 0.05 francs; for amounts of between 5 and 10 francs, it is 0.1 francs per transaction.

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