Coronavirus: Card now trumps cash in Switzerland
The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on Swiss payment habits, with electronic methods replacing cash as the preferred payment method for the first time in history.
Switzerland’s strong and enduring love for cash is famous. But after having survived the proliferation of the credit card, pay wave technology and smart phones, it appears the coronavirus pandemic may have been the final straw.
Cash is no longer people’s preferred payment method in Switzerland, according to a study completed by Swiss financial services website Moneyland.
Respondents said they preferred debit cards (73 percent) and credit cards (71 percent) to cash (67 percent).
A similar survey carried out before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 found that cash remained king, with a 78 percent level of support.
Coronavirus behind changing habits
The authors found that the major reason for the change is the coronavirus pandemic.
Safety concerns surrounding cash along with a greater degree of online shopping and ordering has been behind the change, the report found.
“For the first time, Swiss consumers do not consider cash to be the most important payment method,” said Moneyland CEO Benjamin Manz in a press release.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressly said card payments - particularly contactless card payments - should be encouraged as a means of halting the spread of the virus.
The authors found that this was unlikely to be a temporary change, saying they “expect cash will continue to lose importance” even after the pandemic.