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Pandemic pushes Swiss away from cash 

Will cash machines soon be a thing of the past? © Keystone / Christian Beutler

Cash has lost its appeal among the Swiss population as the coronavirus pandemic led more people to pay by bank card, mobile app or online, a recent survey has found.

The survey by financial services website moneyland.ch found that for the first time, cash is no longer people’s preferred method of payment. “Moneyland.ch expects that cash will continue to lose in importance,” said CEO Benjamin Manz in a press releaseExternal link on Tuesday.

When asked about their preferred payment method, the majority of respondents (73%) cited debit cards, followed by credit cards (71%). Cash came only in third place, with 67% of those questioned saying they could not do without it. This compares with 78% in the previous survey in 2020.

The survey also highlighted interest in payment applications such as Twint, with 43% of respondents saying they can’t do without, compared with only 26% in January 2020. Competitors such as Apple Pay (7%), Google Pay (5%), Samsung Pay (4%) and Bitcoin payments (4%) lag far behind.

Cash is nevertheless still the preferred method of payment in shops, where 98% of those questioned pay in cash. This is followed by debit card (91%) and credit card (84%) payments, where 62% use contactless payment.

The survey was conducted in January among 1,500 residents across German-speaking and French-speaking Switzerland.

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