It's lunchtime. You rush to grab a bite to eat from a small Italian restaurant. But when you reach for your wallet, you discover you don't have any cash. As likely as not, your next destination is the nearest ATM. But less and less often now that cashless payment has come into vogue.

The fifth edition of the Swiss Payment Monitor from August 2021 revealed that Swiss payment habits have changed significantly due to the COVID-19 crisis. Cash use has decreased, while digital and cashless means of payment have gained in importance. The study even described contactless payment by card and mobile phone as the “new payment standard”.

A strong change in payment habits is particularly evident in point-of-sale business: cash is now only used in around one third of all transactions in Switzerland by people under 65. The study by the University of St. Gallen and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences found that over 57 percent of payments are made by card – and of these, three quarters of all transactions are contactless.

The study also showed that contactless, mobile payments by smartphone are on the rise – they represent around 7 percent of all on-site payment transactions. The Swiss payment system TWINT in particular is experiencing strong growth in terms of users, transactions and turnover. 52 percent of all transactions are processed with TWINT.

Simple and secure

The digital payment trend is growing because:

  • Paying cashless is convenient: You pay by holding your card or smartphone up to the payment terminal – that's it. Counting out money and fumbling for coins at the register is old school.
  • A sense of security: Many consumers are uncomfortable carrying around large sums of cash. The security solutions for cashless payment transactions are always state-of-the-art, so you can be confident that these new payment methods are watertight.
  • Paying cashless is easy: Payments can be made at any time, whether you have cash in your wallet or not. Payment terminals for cards and smartphones are increasingly common in retail stores, and many small shops and market stalls are following suit.
  • Never lose sight of your spending: Thanks to monthly billing and the personal financial assistant in UBS Digital Banking, keeping an eye on your account balance is simple – and you can review your expenses at any time.
  • Easily share a bill: Digital payment methods such as UBS TWINT make it easy to split and settle bills among friends.
  • Pay hygienically: Another factor has become more relevant in the wake of COVID-19: hygiene. Contactless payment is the answer. Whether you are paying smaller sums by card without PIN or by smartphone, your device guarantees security (PIN, fingerprint or facial scan).

The card acts as a foundation

The majority of payment methods require you to have a credit or debit card before you can make cashless payments. UBS offers you a wide range of options such as credit cards (with your choice of additional services), prepaid cards or debit cards.

All UBS cards can be used to pay contactless when shopping. You only need to hold the card briefly to the payment terminal. The limit for purchases without PIN entry is 80 francs. All this makes paying quick and hygienic.

Contactless payment at a glance

UBS has compiled all the information you need for paying contactless with debit, prepaid and credit cards.

Smartphone for ease of use

With security measures built into the device, paying by smartphone or smartwatch makes worrying about PIN codes a thing of the past. These can either be the device PIN, your fingerprint, facial recognition or another form of built-in security.

UBS offers you a wide range of digital payment methods for your smartphone or smartwatch. Choose the one that suits you best. UBS TWINT is the most widely used payment app in Switzerland and is available for all smartphones. In addition, the Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay payment solutions are available for many smartphones and smartwatches. smartphones and smartwatches.

Check out and decide for yourself which payment option suits you best. Chances are that you'll soon be able to choose yourself how you want to pay at market stalls – or at that little Italian restaurant around the corner!

Mobile payment at a glance

Want to know more about paying securely and conveniently with your smartphone or smartwatch? All you need to know about the different offers at a glance.