Advertisement

postal service For Members

11 things you can do at a Swiss post office other than buy stamps

Helena Bachmann
Helena Bachmann - [email protected]
11 things you can do at a Swiss post office other than buy stamps
A sign of PostFinance, the financial services unit of Swiss Post, is seen next to a sign of Swiss Post in Geneva. Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP

Most people use Switzerland’s postal service to mail or receive letters and packages. But did you know it offers other services as well?

Advertisement

Called Die Post in German, La Poste in French, and La Posta in Italian, Swiss Post is government-owned.

But that doesn’t prevent it from operating like any other business enterprise, by offering a variety of products and services besides the ones relating to handling mail.

Obviously, smaller post offices will offer fewer services than main or large branches which have…branched out into diverse commercial areas.

First, however, let’s look at its primary, post-related tasks:

Handling mail

This means, of course, that postal employees will sort, and then ship or deliver, tens of thousands of pieces of mail each day.

In fact, according to Universal Postal Union report, which rates postal services of 172 countries, Switzerland is in the number 1 spot in terms of reliability. 

You can also purchase all the mail-relevant material at the post office: stamps, envelopes, cardboard boxes, labels, and bubble wrap.

What about non-post related products and services?

Buy your motorway sticker

If you drive on Switzerland’s motorways, then you need a vignette to attach to your car’s windshield each year.

The Post Office is one of the places where you can purchase it, aside from other  venues like petrol stations and border crossings.

Advertisement

Pay bills

If you don’t like (or trust) e-banking services or apps, you can pay your bills at any postal branch.

In fact, you can still see people (though mostly older ones) paying their monthly invoices at the post office counter with cash, sometimes even with the 1000-franc banknotes.

Get money

As Swiss Post operates its own bank (read more about this below), you can use its ATMs to withdraw money — provided you have an account at this financial  institution, of course.

Verify your identity

Swiss Post offers this useful service as well:  SwissID, a free online identification via the SwissID App.

Once your identity is verified through documents you must submit electronically, you can then legally sign documents and contracts electronically.

You will also have access to various online portals that require proof of identity.

Advertisement

Shop

Post offices also have boutiques (physical or online), where you can buy anything from stationary and collectors’ stamps, to mobile phones, batteries, toys, books, and many other items as well.

Set up promotional space

If you want to advertise or even sell your products, you can rent space not only for your stand or display at postal branches, but also flyer dispensers and digital screens. 

Meet clients

If you need to meet with clients but don’t know where, you can rent space for this purpose at a post office, where facilities such as consultation booths and other meeting areas are available.

True : the post office is not necessarily the first venue that will jump to mind for a business meeting but, why not?

Advertisement

The Swiss Post also offers two additional services:

Bank

PostFinance is the financial arm of the Swiss Post.

Unlike other banks in Switzerland, which are either privately owned or owned by cantons, the PostFinance belongs to the federal government, just as the Swiss Post does.

Transport

And then there is a true Swiss icon: the Post Bus —  2,400 vehicles covering a network of 936 lines that span almost 17,000 kilometres of country roads, no matter how narrow and winding.

Unlike ‘regular’ public buses, postal buses have two unique features: they are bright yellow and have a distinctive three-tone horn.

READ ALSO : Why PostBuses are true Swiss icons

More

Comments (1)

Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Tim McCabe 2024/03/14 20:25
Does anyone know if Swiss Post provides foreign currency exchange and, if so, whether their rates are more reasonable than commercial exchange offices and traditional banks?

See Also