When you move to swiss, opening a bank account will help you get your finances in order. In this article, we focus on opening an account for daily banking involving credit cards, paying bills and current accounts. Swiss banks do allocate an account manager to each individual. Take note of the person assigned to you, know their email address and get I touch with them in case of any issues.
While the Swiss is a European country, it is yet to adopt the Euro. Their currency is the Swiss francs (CHF). Regardless, the Euro is acceptable in some places, especially in major cities.
Acceptable cards in order of popularity include MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diners Club. It is essential to note that some local shops and restaurants require cash. If you have to exchange currency, bureau de change will offer you better rates than banks.
Choosing a bank
In Swiss, there are n atonal banks that operate throughout the country including UBS, Credit Suisse, Raiffeisen, and the Swiss post office.
24 other cantonal banks are intended for residents only within that canton. Whenever you move from one township to another, you will be asked to transfer your account. The only cantons without banks are Solothurn and Appenzell Ausserrhoden. Some cantonal banks provide English information on their website while others don’t.
the banks are beginning to make provisions for cross-border commuters who work in Swiss but live in another nearby country to enable them to operate both in Swiss francs and Euros.
Many internal banks do not have branches in Switzerland. You may need to open an account in Swiss if your bank has no branch in swiss or doesn’t permit internal account transfers.
Documentation and opening an account
You will need to prove your identity, provide your address, personal employment, and employment history. Other documents include but are not limited to:
- Proof of identity (Passport)
- Residence status (visa)
- A recent bill
- Employment reference letter
You can visit any bank without an appointment. They will get you an English translator if you do not understand the local languages and open you an account. Credit or debit cards are availed to you at-most ten days after account activation. The origin of any funds is thoroughly checked.
The banks charge per withdrawal fee, charges for paying bills, account transfer fees, monthly and annual fees, which may include fees for cards and saving account. These fees may be waived if you have a significant amount in the account. Some of the money that you deposit for your credit card also gets paid with interest and can be considered an investment.
Swiss banks charge approximately CHF 5 to 20 for sending payments abroad, but they don’t charge for receiving funds.
Invoicing after delivery, Credit and debit cards are common. Personal cheques have, to a large extent, been phased out.
The banknotes are distinguished by size and color and are issued in CHF 1000, 200, 100, 50, 20 and 10 denominations. The coins, all of which are silver save for the 5-centime which is gold, are issued in CHF 50, 20, 10,5,2 and 1 centime.
Closing an account
When closing an account, there is no penalty charged. Besides, no money is retained unless a maximum amount had been agreed upon.