Switzerland is a great market for businesses looking to expand. With 89% of the Swiss population already shopping online, the market is well-primed for ecommerce and cross-border transactions.
If you’re venturing into the Swiss market, it's crucial to understand the top payment methods Swiss consumers prefer. This allows you to provide a seamless payment experience for your customers, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled the top six payment methods in Switzerland.
6 Top Payment Methods in Switzerland
1. Bank Transfers
Bank transfers are one of the top payment methods in Switzerland – especially online.
According to JP Morgan, bank transfers are projected to make up 46% of all ecommerce transactions in Switzerland in 2023. That’s down from 56% in 2019, but still the most popular payment method for ecommerce. Bank transfers are viewed as secure and convenient for most Swiss customers.
Because of the prevalence of this method, it’s often beneficial for merchants to have an account that customers can use for direct bank transfers. While these can be direct bank-to-bank transfers within the Swiss borders, customers can also use a service like SEPA to complete cross-border bank transfers.
2. Credit and Debit Cards
Credit and debit cards are another extremely popular payment method in Switzerland. Statista reports that cards make up 52% of all online transactions.
According to JP Morgan, there are 1.26 debit cards per capita, while only 0.85 credit cards per capita. Debit cards are most popular for in-store purchases and ATM access. However, when it comes to online shopping, 80% of Swiss consumers preferred credit card over debit card, according to a survey completed by Swiss company Moneyland.
Mastercard has the highest card market penetration, with 64% of the market share. Visa and local cards (like the PostFinance card scheme) follow with 17% of the market share each. American Express is used, but only holds 2% of the market.
TWINT is a Switzerland-based mobile payment method that has grown exponentially since its launch in 2015. Now with over five million users (over half the entire population), Swiss customers used TWINT for roughly 386 million transactions last year alone. Over 40 banks allow their customers to use TWINT by linking their accounts to the app.
The mobile app allows people to pay by scanning QR codes and enables people to easily buy goods, pay fines, or make donations from their personal funds. TWINT is available in roughly 77% of all Swiss shops – both online and in-store.
For merchants, there is a fee for accepting TWINT at checkout, similar to credit card processing fees. However, because of its widespread and growing use, the fees may be worth it to help make checkout simple.
4. Digital Wallets
Since the pandemic and the rise of contactless payments, digital wallets are growing in popularity in Switzerland. According to JP Morgan, in 2019 digital wallet payments accounted for 16% of all ecommerce transactions. By the end of 2023, it’s expected to rise to 24% of all ecommerce transactions.
PayPal is the most widely accepted digital wallet, but it’s not the only option available. Apple Pay, Garmin Pay, Skrill, and more are also available. Currently, the use of these wallets is limited, as many Swiss banks aren’t yet compatible. Though, many banks have committed to offering support for the apps in the coming years.
Cash has decreased in use in Switzerland over the past decade, especially with the rise of digital and online payment methods. However, it is still one of the most popular payment methods, particular in stores. Swiss customers value the privacy and anonymity that cash offers them.
In fact, according to a survey by Swiss company, Moneyland, 67% of consumers still say that they can’t do without cash. Even in ecommerce, cash remains an option, though not as prevalent. Statista reported that 5% of ecommerce transactions were paid for with cash on delivery.
6. Buy Now, Pay Later
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) makes up a small, but growing market share of payment methods in Switzerland. Buy now, pay later is especially popular with tech-friendly consumers that may want financing, without the need for credit cards.
While there are several companies that operate in Switzerland, the most popular BNPL company is Klarna. In 2022, there were nearly a quarter of a million new Klarna users in Switzerland, up from just 70,000 in 2021. Another company that offers buy now, pay later services in Switzerland is Ratepay, although it is used less frequently.
The Best Way to Accept Global Payments
Pay.com is the best way to accept payments from across the globe. With a variety of different payment methods including many local payment methods, you’ll be able to offer your customers the payments they most want.
Using Pay.com’s advanced APIs, you can create a smooth checkout experience for your Swiss customers (and beyond). We also take security seriously, offering the highest level of PCI DSS compliance. Additionally, we support 3D Secure 2.0 authentication to protect you from credit card fraud.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to keep track of all your transactions in the user-friendly Pay Dashboard. You can pull reports, get customer insights, and spot trends to improve your KPIs.
The Bottom Line
With a booming ecommerce sector, it’s never been a better time to expand into the Switzerland. If you plan to sell to Swiss customers, though, it’s important to offer the most popular payment methods like bank transfers, Twint, and debit and credit cards. This will help increase customer buy-in and make the checkout process friction-free.
Pay.com is the easiest way to accept these payment method types and more. It’s easy to get started with a simple onboarding process. Once you’re set up, working with Pay.com is a smooth experience. We charge a flat-fee per-transaction and never charge any hidden fees to surprise you at the end of the month.