What is the local currency?
The official currency is the Swiss franc (Schweizer Franken), divided into 100 centimes or rappen.
Swiss francs are shortened either with the official banking name CHF (from the Latin name of the country Confederation Helvetica, CH) or sometimes just Fr. or Sfr.
For example, 1 CHF = 1 franc = 100 rappen.
What denominations does it come in?
Notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 1,000.
Coins: 1, 2, 5
Rappen: 10, 20, 50
What is the best way to exchange currency?
The best way to exchange currency is either at banks or at railway stations.
What are commonly-used forms of payment for everyday purchases (such as groceries)?
The most commonly used forms of payment for everyday purchases are cash, debit cards and credit cards.
Checks are not used in Switzerland.
Will I be able to use my credit card around town? If not, list when I’ll need cash.
While major credit cards are widely accepted, there are still many places in Basel that do not accept them. Since you can never be too sure which places do, be sure to carry a small amount of cash at all times. For quick withdrawals, ATM machines can be found throughout the city as well as at banks and post offices.
For example, the Migros grocery stores do not accept major credit cards, only local debit cards and cash.
By what method are bills (such as rent and utilities) paid?
Typically, people opt to pay by direct debit from a bank account or by credit card. With this method, your bills are automatically deducted from your bank/post account. Individual utility companies can help you with the arrangements.
Should you not use this option, you will receive a "bulletin de versement or einzahlungsschein" with each bill and you can pay your bills directly at the post office or bank.
What are the requirements for opening a bank account? At what stage of the settling-in process should I open it?
A bank or post account can be opened at any stage, but the sooner the better. You will need the following:
- A valid passport
- A work permit
- A copy of your work contract
- A current address of residence
A very common way to open an account is to have your monthly salary transferred into the new account. This transfer is a free service.
Will foreign residents be able to find banking services in their native languages?
All Swiss banks have employees well-versed in English, as well as other common languages used in Switzerland, such as German, French and Italian.
Are there any restrictions on services for those who are new to your country?
If you want to get a loan from a bank, most banks require at least two (2) years of residency before approving one.
What are typical banking hours?
Typical banking hours for the major banks in the city center are:
Monday – Wednesday, Friday: 8:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Are automatic teller machines (ATMs) available around the clock?
Yes, you can find ATM machines throughout the city, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Is there any other money information that might help me?
The most common cards in Switzerland are the EC-Direct card and the Post card, which are cards linked to your current bank/post account. These cards are accepted at department stores, supermarkets, gas stations and restaurants. These cards are a good alternative to other cards as there are many places in Switzerland that do not accept credit/debit cards.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.