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Reader question: Can I pay my Swiss bills in cash?

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
Reader question: Can I pay my Swiss bills in cash?
You can pay your bills in cash. Image by Roy Buri from Pixabay

If you don’t have a bank account or a computer, or just prefer life as it used to be in the 20th century, you may want to pay your monthly bills with cash. But can you still do this in Switzerland?

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You may be too young to remember, or perhaps you didn’t live in Switzerland at the time, but in the 1980s and 90s, people used to go to the post office with 1,000-franc banknotes, payment slips, and a log book. They paid all their bills at the window, with each transaction recorded, and stamped, in the book.

This was a common sight in the days before computers and e-banking.

Nowadays, however, most people prefer to use more modern and far less laborious ways to pay their bills, using QR-coded payment slips provided by each payee.

You can scan the code using mobile app from your bank. Once you do, the data will be automatically transmitted to your e-banking.

Some financial institutions also give their customers the option of scanning QR-bills onto desktops using webcams.

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

What if you prefer to use cash nevertheless?

Whether it is because of overabundance of traditionalism or overabundance of caution (or simply not being that tech-savvy), you may want to buck the trend and pay your bills in cash.

You can.

As it did in days of yore, the Swiss Post Office still accepts cash payments.

All you have to do is take your QR payment slips to a post office, or use blank payment slips it provides, which you have to fill out yourself with all the pertinent information like the recipient's IBAN, address, and the amount paid.

You also have to put in your own information on the detachable receipt.

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You then present these slips at the window and pay the corresponding amount in cash.

And you no longer have to carry a logbook with you.

Postal employee will stamp the detachable portion of the payment slip, which will be a receipt for (and proof of) your payment.

Are there any disadvantages of paying cash?

Not for you, but for the recipients of your payment, yes.

While these transactions are free of charge for you, the recipient must pay a fee that's proportional to the amount, according to Moneyland consumer site.

So the more money you are paying at the post office counter, the higher the fee will be for the recipient.

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Can you pay in person?

You may think this is a really antiquated way to settle your bills, but there are still some individuals, often retired people, who actually prefer to go directly to the office in question and pay their communal charges like water or electricity, or other services, in person.

If this is your preferable method of payment, make sure you ask for a receipt.

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