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Swiss turning to new payment methods, but cash is still king

The use of debit cards continues to increase but cash remains the most popular payment method in Switzerland.

Many respondents say they have adapted their payment behaviour as a result of the pandemic and plan to make increased use of card payments in the future. © Keystone/Gaetan Bally

A survey by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) found that 97% of respondents keep cash in their wallets or at home to cover day-to-day expenses, while 92% own a debit card and 78% hold a credit card, according to a press release External linkon Wednesday.

The number of card-holders was up 4% and 15% respectively compared with a previous survey carried out in 2017.

Mobile payment apps are also registering robust growth: 48% of respondents used them last year compared to 11% in 2017.

The shift in payment methods reflects “the fact that the population has become increasingly aware and appreciative of innovations” and that “the coronavirus pandemic has further accelerated the changes”, the SNB said.

The shifts can be observed to “varying degrees” across all population groups.

And “as before, the population does not feel particularly restricted in its choice of payment method,” according to the authors of the report.

The most widely used method for settling recurring payments in Switzerland is via online banking transfers.

The survey was conducted among 2,100 people in autumn last year.

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