Switzerland is among the top five wealthiest countries in the world. With a stronghold in various industries and its stable economy, it's coveted around the world. This also means that money is an important factor when you go here. Whether you're just visiting as a tourist or you're relocating to the country, you'll need to be wise with your finances here. And that'll be a lot easier to do if you have your own local bank account. Setting up your own account in a Swiss bank will actually be one of the smartest things you'll do. And here's what you need to know about it!
Are You Eligible?
Firstly, you have to know whether you're eligible to set up a bank account in Switzerland or not. Though your legal status may come into play at times, overall, anyone can open their own local Swiss bank account. Yes, even tourists! Although for non-residents, only those over the age of 18 are eligible to set up the account. For the most part, all you're required to show is a valid ID (a valid passport is enough!) and proof of income. Some Cantonal banks may ask for proof of residence and the like but such are rare cases overall.
Can You Set Up The Account Abroad?
You can also start setting up your local Swiss bank account from abroad. Most of the national banks in Switzerland have their own online platforms, many of which are available in the English language, where you can start the process. Do note, however, that this often requires more work than setting up your account in person. Swiss banks reserve the right to ask their foreign online applicants for more documents, such as a residence card (if applicable), employment history, and the like. In this regard, it's often easier to apply to an international bank that has branches in both Switzerland and your current country of residence.
Opening A Swiss Corporate Account
Thanks to its stable economy and job market
, more and more foreigners are looking to open companies and even work in Switzerland
. For the former, they'll need to open a corporate bank account for their upcoming business. Though the process for setting it up greatly differs from that of a personal bank account. In this case, you're required to actually go to the branch in person to hold video meetings for further discussions. Of course, there's also the extra set of documentation, which includes business registrations, legal papers, and the like. It's better to do this here in Switzerland than to start it abroad.
Mobile Banking in Switzerland
As previously mentioned, mobile banking has become common in Switzerland. This has even allowed foreigners to start setting up their local bank accounts abroad. Most, if not all banks in the country, both national and cantonal, have their own online websites and/or mobile apps that help their clients manage their finances wherever they are. So for those who've just moved to Switzerland, this makes an even better case for their need to join a local mobile network
. Only with a local SIM card, especially with its own accompanying internet data, will it be easier to access such portals no matter where you are.
Common Banking Services
When it comes to the common banking services you'll face in Switzerland, there are a ton. Firstly, there are, of course, ATM machines. But do note that when you use the ATM machine of a different bank, you'll get charged with service fees. The price varies from bank to bank. There's also the credit and debit cards, which are very important seeing as many (practically most!) places in the country only accept them for various transactions. And finally, there's the international money transfer, wherein most Swiss banks charge a service fee of around CHF 5.00 to CHF 20.00 per transfer.
The Best Swiss Banks To Choose
The main difference when banking in Switzerland compared to other countries is that there are two main types of local banks you can go for. There are the national banks and the cantonal banks. The former is available throughout the entire country while the latter is exclusive to the Canton where you've settled down in. Generally, going for national banks would be a better option for expats since they often provide a wider variety of services, and are generally wired to serve foreign clients. The most popular ones include UBS
and Credit Suisse
, among many others. If you want to know the different Cantonal banks in the country, Top-bank.ch
listed them all down.
Closing Your Swiss Bank Account
The importance of choosing a Swiss bank for your finances extends to when you actually want to close your account as well. Most of the bigger banks in the country, namely the national institutions mentioned, offer services where you can switch to another bank and close the one with them. All you'll need to do is sign some forms and they'll transfer your data, money, and more to your new bank. Just make sure that, before closing off your old account, you've paid all outstanding fees. However, when it comes to your debit and credit cards, your old banks may not close your old account yet until such cards have expired.
Switzerland is one country where managing your finances wisely will help you go far! That's why if you have plans of going to the country, regardless of how long you'll stay here, you'd do well to set up a local bank account!
When you finally have a bank account in Switzerland, you can finally get everything you wanted here, especially a luxury home