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Switzerland Country Report

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  • Published Date: April 2022

SWITZERLAND CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORT

An extensive analysis of the cards, payments and consumer banking industry in Switzerland, with intelligent commentary backed by the latest data.
Hitherto perceived as a cash-friendly market, the pandemic accelerated uptake of both mobile proximity and P2P payments, with the user base of payments app Twint (owned by Worldline and the largest banks) now extending to half of all adults in the country.
The market for credit cards in Switzerland is exceptionally competitive, with spending driven primarily by the country's high level of income. With the purchase of SIX, Worldline has become the dominant acquirer.

What you will learn from this report:

How the Swiss payments environment has evolved with the rise of contactless, cashless modes and mobile payments.
How credit and debit cards are used, with profitability indicators.
E-commerce payment trends in the light of BNPL and card innovations.
Mobile proximity payments data and commentary on app-based solutions.
The credit card profitability mechanism in Europe's most penetrated market.
Network market shares and interchange tracking; the place of the Swiss debit network
How credit/debit cards market shares have been changing in Switzerland.
The merchant acquiring landscape, including MSCs and processor relationships/shares.
Notable laws and regulations, key statutory authorities and credit bureaux.

SWITZERLAND CARDS AND PAYMENTS | KEY FACTS

  • Switzerland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a high GDP per capita and a large affluent segment. The country has a renowned banking tradition that has spawned two large international banks: UBS and Credit Suisse.
  • The nature of the economy has supported a strong credit cards market with Premium products to the fore. As a small developed market in Western Europe with its own currency, cross-border spending from frequent travel is another driver of credit card spending.
  • A reduction in travel during the pandemic had a negative effect on credit card profits as spend and balances declined. However, Argus Advisory Research expects industry-wide profitability to regain its pre-pandemic level during 2022.
  • Conversely, spending on debit cards and mobile wallets grew strongly in 2020 and 2021 as cash, which has traditionally been favoured by many consumers, was replaced by electronic payments for everyday spending.
  • Local mobile payments service Twint counts around half of all adults as users; its service offering has continuously expanded as the company has pursued super-app ambitions.

Switzerland Payments Research | Report Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Key facts
Payments environment
Cards market
E-commerce
Fintech and mobile payments
Credit card profitability
Networks
Issuers
Merchant acquiring
Regulatory environment

Appendices: Switzerland Payments Data Tables
Appendix I: Demographic and economic indicators
Data table 1: Demographic and economic indicators: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 2: Ownership of key consumer devices: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 3: Internet usage by population: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix II: Payments environment

Data table 4: Access points: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 5: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix III: Cards market

Data table 6: Total cards payment metrics: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 7: Contactless cards metrics: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 8: Credit card numbers: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 9: Total credit cards metrics: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 10: Credit cards profitability indicators: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 11: Debit cards numbers: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 12: Debit cards metrics: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

Data table 13: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2017-20. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.

Appendix V: Profit pool

Data table 14: Switzerland market profit pool: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025 including credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

Appendix VI: The networks

Data table 15: Networks' credit card market shares: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 16: Credit card interchange fees by network: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 17: Networks' debit card market shares: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 18: Debit card interchange fees by network: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

Data table 19: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers: 2018-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 20: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings: 2018-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.
Data table 21: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers: 2018-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2023.

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

Data table 22: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 23: Credit card merchant service charges: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 24: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 25: Debit card merchant service charges: 2016-21. Estimates and forecasts to 2025.
Data table 26: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
Data table 27: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
Data table 28: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: Estimates for 2022.
Data table 29: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: Estimates for 2022.

Switzerland Country Report | Selected Extracts

Payments Environment
Cash use has traditionally been popular in Switzerland, but there has been a shift in recent years.

Cards Market
Switzerland has a well-developed and competitive cards market with both debit and credit cards widely used.

E-commerce
Swiss B2C e-commerce sales doubled from 2015 to 2021, with the average annual growth rate during that period coming to 12.4 percent.

Fintech and mobile
The most relevant change in the Swiss mobile payments market in recent years was the merger of Paymit and Twint.

Credit Card Profitability
Swiss consumers have high disposable incomes, and the cards market has low credit losses.

Card Networks
Four international schemes – Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club – compete in the credit cards market.

Issuers
Banks in Switzerland exist under a variety of organisational and operational structures, including big banks, government-owned cantonal banks, private banks, regional banks and savings banks.

Merchant Acquiring
With ownership models influenced by international M&As in recent years, the Swiss acquiring market is highly concentrated. Worldline has a dominant position.

Regulatory Environment
The Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Act, which came into force in 2021, creates a legal framework for cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the trading of digital assets.

Switzerland Payments Report | Entities Referenced

American Express
Amex
Apple Pay
Bank for International Settlements
BillPay
BIS
Byjuno
Bisnode D&B
Cembra Money Bank
ComCo
Concardis
Coop Bank
Cornèrcard
Credit Suisse
Creditreform
CRIF
DataTrans
Diners Club
Federal Statistical Office
FINMA
First Data
FSO
Google Pay
Handelsverband.swiss
IKO
IMF
Informationsstelle für Konsumkredit
Ingenico
International Monetary Fund
International Telecommunication Union
Intrum
ITU
Klarna
Lufthansa
Maestro
Mastercard
N26
Neon
Nets
Paymit
PayPal
Payrexx
Postcard
PostFinance
PowerPay
Preisüberwachung
Revolut
Samsung Pay
SIC
SIX
SIX Interbank Clearing
SNB
SPA
SwissBilling
Swiss Competition Commission
Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority
Swiss Interbank Clearing
Swiss National Bank
Swiss Payment Association
Swiss Post
Swiss Raiffeisen
Swisscard
TSYS
Twint
UBS
V Pay
Visa
Viseca
Worldline
Zak
ZEK
Zentralstelle für Kreditinformation
STYLE3

MORE EUROPE CARDS & PAYMENTS REPORTS

Reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and consumer credit in Europe. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and finance experts.

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