swiss payments survey 2022
Swiss Payments Survey

Cash Declines in Significance

August 3, 2022 - Raphael Knecht

The 2022 Swiss payments survey by reveals how Swiss pay for purchases at stores and online. It also shows which payment methods they are not willing to do without.

The Swiss love for cash has declined somewhat, a representative payments survey by shows. The portion of residents who find cash absolutely indispensable has shrunk slightly from 34 percent a year ago to 30 percent in this year’s survey. 67 percent of the 1500 survey participants say they find cash somewhat or absolutely indispensable.

Debit cards and credit cards are the most important payment methods for residents of Switzerland. 71 percent of participants consider these somewhat or absolutely indispensable. 28 percent of participants find debit cards absolutely indispensable, while a lower 24 percent find credit cards absolutely indispensable.

Table 1: Payment methods by importance to consumers

Payment method Somewhat or absolutely indispensable Absolutely indispensable
Debit cards 71% 28%
Credit cards (not prepaid) 71% 24%
Cash 67% 30%
Twint 56% 20%
Maestro 51% 15%
Postfinance Card 27% 11%
Debit Mastercard 27% 7%
Prepaid cards 24% 4%
Visa Debit / V-Pay 24% 6%
Mobile payments (general) 23% 6%
Reka money 15% 2%
Apple Pay 13% 2%
Revolut cards 10% 1%
Lunch Checks 7% 1%
Google Pay 7% 1%
Smartwatch payments (general) 7% 1%
Bitcoin 6% 1%
Samsung Pay 6% 0%
Other cryptocurrencies 5% 1%


Even at physical merchants, customers are increasingly using cards instead of banknotes to pay (table 2). While a massive 96 percent of residents use cash for payments, only around a third (34 percent) do this several times per week or more. On the other hand, 54 percent – more than half of residents – frequently use a debit card to pay.

“In Switzerland, debit cards are now used more frequently than cash,” observes CEO Benjamin Manz. “For many Swiss, cards have long become the go-to payment method.”

Table 2: Payment methods at brick-and-mortar merchants

Payment method Rarely to frequently Frequently
Cash 96% 34%
Debit cards 91% 54%
Credit cards (not prepaid) 84% 36%
Debit Mastercard / Maestro 78% 40%
Contactless with credit cards 67% 34%
Twint 64% 17%
Contactless with Debit Mastercard / Maestro 60% 31%
Visa Debit / V-Pay 50% 22%
Contactless with Visa Debit / V-Pay 40% 19%
Postfinance Card 35% 17%
Contactless with Postfinance Card 31% 14%
Prepaid cards 27% 6%
Contactless with prepaid cards 22% 8%
Coop app 22% 4%
Migros app 20% 5%
Apple Pay 19% 6%
Contactless with Revolut card 14% 4%
Google Pay 14% 4%
Revolut card 14% 4%
Manor app 11% 3%
Samsung Pay 11% 4%
Bitcoin 8% 3%
Garmin Pay 7% 2%
Fitbit Pay 7% 2%
Swatch Pay 6% 2%


Credit cards dominate online payments

Credit cards are still the most widely used service for online payments (table 3). While more residents at least occasionally pay for online purchases by invoice billing than by credit card (84 percent compared to 80 percent), 13 percent use credit cards to shop online several times per week or more. Twint and debit cards come next, with each being frequently used by 8 percent of residents respectively. Invoice billing follows, with 7 percent of consumers frequently using this payment method for online spending.

“For many online shoppers, credit cards are the most practical payment method,” says Manz. “Although most consumers use billing at least occasionally, credit cards and Twint are used more often.”

Table 3: Payment methods at online merchants

Payment method Rarely to frequently Frequently
Invoice billing 84% 7%
Credit cards (not prepaid) 80% 13%
Twint 56% 8%
Debit cards 50% 8%
Prepayment (bank transfers) 50% 2%
Paypal 43% 5%
Debit Mastercard 31% 5%
Prepaid cards 31% 5%
Cash on collection 30% 2%
Postfinance Card 28% 3%
Visa Debit 23% 5%
Revolut card 12% 3%
Apple Pay 12% 3%
Google Pay 12% 3%
Samsung Pay 8% 3%
Bitcoin 8% 2%


Twint gaining ground

Twint was once again a major winner in the past year’s payment service race. After finally becoming established in 2021 amid the coronavirus crisis, over half of the Swiss population (56 percent) now consider Twint somewhat or absolutely indispensable. “That makes Twint the third most important payment method for residents,” says Manz. 64 percent use Twint to pay in stores, and 56 percent use it to pay online.

“But for many users, Twint is more of an occasional payment method,” observes Manz. Only 17 percent of Swiss frequently use Twint to pay at stores – a low number compared to other payment methods.

Twint is disproportionately popular among young adults. 82 percent of residents between the ages of 18 and 25 have used Twint to pay at stores, and 75 percent have used it to pay online. In contrast, a high proportion of adults between the ages of 50 and 74 never use Twint to pay.

Visa advancing on Mastercard

Visa has made exceptionally large inroads into the Swiss debit card market over the past year. 50 percent of residents say that they have used Visa Debit or V Pay debit cards to pay in stores. That brings Visa closer to its main competitor Mastercard, which nearly 80 percent of the population uses for debit card payments at brick-and-mortar merchants. Beyeler believes this is because Visa debit cards have recently been adopted and issued by several major Swiss banks. “Visa has been able to win over a number of key customers from its main competitor in the recent past.”

Contactless payments continue to grow

Credit cards remain very popular for contactless payments in stores, with 67 percent of residents using credit cards this way. The portion of consumers who make contactless payments with debit cards has increased somewhat over the past year, with nearly twice as many consumers (40 percent) using Visa debit cards for contactless payments compared to last year (22 percent).

That is likely due to Visa’s new bank partnerships, among other things. But in general, Beyeler observes that “during the pandemic, in particular, contact-free payments became the standard for many residents. The ability to make payments of 80 or 100 francs without entering a PIN has also played a role.”

Who uses mobile payments?

74 percent of the population has used at least one mobile payment solution. But Twint is the only mobile payment service which is used by a majority of residents (64 percent in stores, 56 percent online). Around one-fifth of Swiss use the Coop app, Migros app, and Apple Pay. Smartwatch-based payments are hardly used in Switzerland (less than 10 percent).

Phone-based payment services are particularly popular with adults between the ages of 18 and 49. Residents older than 49 years old hardly use these services. The same trend is visible with app-based neobank Revolut. “App-based services often target younger audiences,” explains Beyeler.

Bitcoin is still far away from becoming mainstream

Although Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained popularity over the past year, the vast majority of residence (90 percent) consider these payment methods dispensable. “Although many Swiss actively speculate on cryptocurrency markets, very few residents actually use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services,” says Benjamin Manz from

But the survey does clearly define the target group which uses bitcoin and other currencies. 12 percent of men use cryptocurrencies to pay in stores – more than double the proportion of women (5 percent). These are primarily young men, as hardly any adults above the age of 49 use this payment method.  

As a general rule, men are more likely to make use of nearly all payment services than women are. For example, 73 percent of men use contactless payment services with credit cards, compared to 62 percent of women. Twint is an exception, as more women than men use this service.


More on this topic:
Detailed results of the Swiss payments survey 2022 (PDF)
Graphic: Preferred payment methods (PNG)
Graphic: Payment methods at brick-and-mortar merchants (PNG)
Graphic: Payment methods at online merchants (PNG)
Compare Swiss credit cards now
Compare Swiss private accounts now

Editor Raphael Knecht
Raphael Knecht was an analyst and a specialized editor at until the end of February 2023. Since then, he is supporting the editorial team as a freelancer.
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