Living in Switzerland For Members

How Switzerland’s Covid switch to card has made things more expensive

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The Local - [email protected]
How Switzerland’s Covid switch to card has made things more expensive
A person pays with card at a hair salon. Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

Finally, you can now pay in Switzerland with card at plenty of shops and retailers, although the change is placing upward pressure on costs of living.


For many, one of the few silver linings of the Covid pandemic was a final push in the direction of card payments. 

Unlike just two years ago, it is now possible to pay with cards rather than cash at a wide array of shops, stores and businesses all across the country. 

However, what we’ve gained in terms of convenience we may be paying for - quite literally. 

READ MORE: How the cost of living will change in Switzerland in 2022

Prices of everyday items are going up due to the added costs for businesses of setting up card payment systems, along with the costs which are levied on each transaction. 

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How much are things going up by?

According to a study by Switzerland’s Watson news organisation, the average card transaction costs the company 11 cents. 

The banks charge a fixed rate of ten cents per transaction, along with a fee which averages out at 0.7 cents for each transaction. 

READ MORE: Could Covid end the Swiss love affair with cash?

While the costs of each transaction have actually decreased since the start of the pandemic - pre-pandemic transactions cost roughly 28 cents each - the costs are still difficult for businesses to bear. 

With other costs on the rise due to inflation, the Covid pandemic and climate change leading to unpredictable crop yields over the past year, it has become even more difficult for businesses to absorb these costs.

As a result, they are being passed on to the consumer. 


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