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How do I set up automatic bill payments in Switzerland?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
How do I set up automatic bill payments in Switzerland?
You can set up direct debits online. Photo: Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

If you forget to pay your monthly bills, or often pay them late, automating your payments is a good option for you. We explain how to do this through your Swiss bank.


When the old red and orange payment slips were in use until the end of 2022, paying bills used to be quite a chore: you had to log into your bank account and input all the information manually.

If you had several invoices, you had to go through this process each time.

This payment method was gradually phased out and replaced by the new QR invoices.

EXPLAINED: What you should know about Switzerland's new slips for paying bills online

This method is certainly more efficient and user-friendly, unless, of course, you don’t know how to scan the QR code, in which case you are still paying the bills the laborious, manual way.


However, if you are a forgetful type, even the QR-coded forms will not ensure that you pay your invoices on time.

If you want to make sure this is done in a timely manner, you have an option of setting up a direct debit for regular payments— for instance, for your rent or mortgage, credit cards, telecom services, utilities, and other recurring bills.

This can be done regardless of whether the amount to be debited is always the same or differs each time.

All Swiss banks offer this automated debit system , which is called LSV (for Lastschrift Verfahren in German).

At PostFinance, this is called CH-DD (Swiss Direct Debit).

How it works

To benefit from this service, you must first set up the automated direct debit system authorising a given company to withdraw recurring payments from your bank account.

You must first fill out a debit authorisation form, providing information such as the IBAN of the account from which withdrawals are to be made, etc.

Many Swiss companies have standard direct debit order forms they will send you to fill out.

Swiss franc coins in a pile

Swiss franc coins. Photo: Pixabay

Once that is done, send this LSV authorisation form to your bank; if you are a PostFinance customer, send the CH-DD form to the company which you authorise to debit your account.

There is also another way to get recurrent bills paid automatically by the bank: you can set up a ‘standing order’ online  (Dauerauftrag in German, mandat permanent in French and ordine permanente in Italian).
To do this, you input the name and IBAN of the company to which automated payments are to be made, as well as the amount and the date of withdrawal each month.

Unlike the LSV system, where amounts to be debited can vary from month to month (such as credit card payments), the amounts must be the same when setting up standing orders— it works best for rent or mortgage payments. If these amounts do change over time, you will then have to modify the order accordingly.


Is there a risk of unauthorised withdrawals?

This is a reasonable concern, as with LSV you are basically giving third parties permission to dip into your bank account.

However, the risk of this happening is very low.

That’s because before making a withdrawal, each company that has LSV authorisation to your account will send you an invoice with the amount they will debit. You have the possibility to dispute it within 30 days if you think the amount is wrong.

You can also terminate both LSV and standing order at any time if you decide paying manually is more to your liking.

READ ALSO: Reader question: What happens if I don't pay my Swiss bills on time?


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