debit cards Switzerland overview debit mastercard visa
Banking News

Debit Cards from Swiss Banks Overview

July 4, 2022 - Ralf Beyeler

Which Swiss banks offer the new Debit Mastercard and Visa Debit payment cards? Independent online comparison service moneyland.ch did the research.

Here you can find out which debit cards are offered by which Swiss banks.

Maestro and Debit Mastercard

Many Swiss banks are replacing the familiar Maestro debit card with new debit cards – primarily the Debit Mastercard. But depending on the bank, Maestro cards will continue to be offered for varying lengths of time. Maestro cards from most banks will remain valid until their expiry dates. You can find more information about the Debit Mastercard here.

 

  Are Maestro cards
still issued?
Until when can Maestro
cards be used?
Debit Mastercard offered?
Bank Cler No Until the end of May 2022,
at the latest 
No

Berner

Kantonalbank
Yes Until the end of 2022,
at the latest
Yes, since 1.12.2021
Credit Suisse No Until card expiry date Yes, since 7.7.2020
Banque Cantonale de Fribourg Yes, until 2022 Until card expiry date Yes, since May 2018
Luzerner Kantonalbank No For 90 days after receipt of
replacement debit card
No
Migros Bank No For 90 days after receipt of
replacement debit card
No
Postfinance Not offered Postfinance debit cards issued
from April 2022 double as a
Debit Mastercard (dual-network)
Raiffeisen Yes Until card expiry date Yes, since early 2022
St.Galler Kantonalbank No new cards issued
since 24.8.2020
Until the end of 2021, at
the latest
Yes, since August 2020
UBS No new cards issued
since October 2020
Until card expiry date Yes, since October 2020
Valiant Yes Not yet defined Yes, since September 2019
(youth accounts only)
Zürcher Kantonalbank Yes All cards will be replaced
by the end of 2022
No

 

 

V-Pay and Visa Debit

Only a handful of Swiss banks (primarily Raiffeisen and UBS) offered the V Pay debit card. The V Pay card is being phased out in favor of the Visa Debit. You can find more information about the Visa Debit card here.

 

  Are V Pay cards still issued? How long will V Pay cards
remain active?
Visa Debit available?
Bank Cler Card not offered Yes, since
September 2021
Berner Kantonalbank Card not offered No
Credit Suisse Card not offered No
Banque Cantonale de Fribourg Card not offered No
Luzerner Kantonalbank Card not offered Yes, since
September 21, 2020
Migros Bank Card not offered Yes, since
February 15, 2022
Postfinance Card not offered No
Raiffeisen No Until card expiry date Yes, since 2022
St.Galler Kantonalbank Card not offered No
UBS No new cards issued
since October 2020
Until card expiry date Yes, since
October 2020
Valiant Card not offered No
Zürcher Kantonalbank Card not offered Yes, since
June 2022

 

Do bank customers automatically receive the new debit cards?

Yes, at least at banks which are replacing their existing debit cards with the Debit Mastercard or Visa Debit. Typically, account holders receive their new debit cards automatically ahead of their existing card’s expiry date or when they request a replacement card. There are also banks which are replacing all Maestro cards with new debit cards even though they have not expired.

Is there any way to get the new debit cards early?

Yes. If your bank already has the new debit cards in its product lineup, you can order a new debit card even if your existing debit card (Maestro, for example) has not expired.

Are the new debit cards compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay?

The previous generation of debit cards like Maestro could not be used with mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

That is changing with new Visa Debit and Debit Mastercard. But whether or not a new debit card can be used depends on the issuing bank because not all Swiss banks have partnerships with Apple and/or other mobile payments providers.

The Debit Mastercard issued by the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg, for example, can be used with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin pay and Swatch Pay. Many other Swiss banks have plans for partnerships, but have not yet implemented them.

New debit cards at Swiss banks

1. Swiss neobanks

Swiss fintech service Yapeal uses the Visa Debit. Although the card offered by Swiss neobank Neon is technically a prepaid card, it debits charges and withdrawals directly to your Neon account just like a debit card.

2. Banque Cantonale de Fribourg

The Banque Cantonale de Fribourg was the first Swiss bank to issue the Debit Mastercard. It introduced the new card in May 2018. As of 2022, the bank is still also issuing new Maestro debit cards. The Debit Mastercard debit cards from the Banque Cantonale de Fribourg can be used with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

3. Bank Cler

Bank Cler has been issuing Visa Debit cards to its clients since September 2021. Its last Maestro cards were deactivated in May, 2022.

The Visa Debit card from Bank Cler is compatible with the mobile payment systems Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and Swatch Pay.

3. Berner Kantonalbank

The Berner Kantonalbank has been issuing the Debit Mastercard to its customers since December 1, 2021. It plans to completely phase out Maestro cards by the end of 2022. The new debit cards should also become compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay at some point in 2022.

4. Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse has offered the Debit Mastercard since July 7, 2020. The bank does not yet have plans to enable use of its new Debit Mastercard with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

5. Luzerner Kantonalbank

The Luzerner Kantonalbank has been issuing Visa Debit cards in place of Maestro cards since September 21, 2020. The bank offers three different Visa Debit cards. The debit cards with higher annual fees include benefits like complimentary cash withdrawals outside of Switzerland and insurance coverages. Existing Maestro card holders are automatically issued new Visa Debit cards, and their existing Maestro debit cards are suspended 90 days after.

6. Migros Bank

Customers of Migros Bank have been receiving the new Migros Bank Visa Debit cards since February 15, 2022. Existing Maestro debit cards are deactivated 90 days after the replacement Visa Debit card is issued.

7. Postfinance

There are currently around 3 million Postfinance debit cards in circulation. Postfinance has been issuing new debit cards since April, 2022. The new card adds Debit Mastercard functionality. It can also be used wherever the Debit Mastercard can be used, in addition to the Postfinance network. That means you can use the card to pay at merchants which did not accept the old Postfinance debit cards. The new cards will be issued in several phases up until the spring of 2023.

8. Raiffeisen

Since early 2022, Raiffeisen customers have been receiving the bank's new Visa Debit card. From May, 2022, Raiffeisen will also issue a Debit Mastercard. Existing customers who previously held the Maestro debit card will receive the Debit Mastercard. Those who previously held the V Pay debit card will receive a Visa Debit card. Raiffeisen is replacing the old debit cards with the new ones as existing cards expire, and when customers order replacement cards.

9. St.Galler Kantonalbank    

The St.Galler Kantonalbank has offered the Debit Mastercard since August, 2020. New Maestro cards have not been issued since August 2020.

10. UBS

UBS has offered the new debit cards since October 2020. Account holders can choose between a Debit Mastercard and a Visa Debit card. Existing UBS Maestro and V Pay cards remain valid until their expiry dates. The new UBS debit cards cannot be used with mobile payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

11. Valiant

Valiant bank has offered a Debit Mastercard with its youth accounts since 2019. Valiant plans to introduce the Debit Mastercard to its private account and business account holders at a later date. Valiant stated that it plans to phase out the Maestro card in favor of the Debit Mastercard. The exact timeframe has not yet been defined.

12. Zürcher Kantonalbank

The Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) will replace all of its Maestro credit cards with new Visa debit cards between June and the end of December, 2022.

More on this topic:
Compare Swiss private accounts and debit cards now
Compare Swiss credit cards now
Debit Mastercard: Questions and answers
Visa Debit: Questions and answers

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Expert Ralf Beyeler
Ralf Beyeler is the telecom expert at moneyland.ch and also covers other areas of personal finance.