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Send Money to Switzerland

How to send money to Switzerland using a money transfer service or foreign exchange broker to a Swiss bank account.  

Send Money to Switzerland

Transfer money to Switzerland

When transferring money to Switzerland either regularly or occasionally, there are several measures you can take to ensure you get a great rate. Excellent service and ensure you are transferring money to Switzerland safely. 

Ways to Send Money to Switzerland

  • Bank Transfer – You can elect to transfer your money directly from your Pound sterling current account in the UK. Typically, the exchange rate to transfer money to Switzerland will be less competitive than the exchange rates offered by a foreign exchange provider. You may have to visit your local branch to transfer a significant amount. When sending money to Switzerland via a bank transfer, you will also incur a transfer of around £10-30.   
  • Debit Card – If paying for goods online or via a retailer, you may have the ability to pay using a debit card. You are unlikely to be offered a great exchange rate when sending money to Switzerland using a debit card. You may also incur an admin fee or charge. Those transferring money to Switzerland to purchase a home or pay a legal bill for an overseas property purchase might be obliged to send money to Switzerland via bank transfer. Meaning they will need to transfer via their bank or, ideally, a foreign exchange specialist. In many cases, a foreign exchange specialist will accept a debit card as payment, allowing you to enjoy the convenience and gain a better exchange rate.  
  • Credit Card  Ideal for renting a property in Switzerland to get financial recourse and the bank’s guarantee. Not great in terms of the exchange rate, but sometimes air miles or bonus points can offset this.  
  •  Swift/SEPA – Swift payments are relevant to money transfers outside the EU. Within the EU and therefore applicable when sending money to Switzerland is the SEPA. Many reputable foreign exchange specialists adopt the SEPA payments system. It ensures a quick and safe transfer of funds to Switzerland and other areas of Europe.  

Required Bank Details To Transfer Money

Identification – To send money via bank transfer, you will need 1-2 forms of a photo ID and need to have your bank card in your possession when visiting the branch. If you can send money to Switzerland via your online bank account, you might need a card reader, logins, etc.  

 If using a foreign exchange provider, all of your documents etc., will be stored when you opened the account. Your account manager will ask you a few simple questions to validate the account via phone. Their online systems are very similar to those of a bank, just with better online exchange rates pricing.  

IBAN – The IBAN should begin with CH and be followed by 19 characters. You’ll also need the name of the individual or business you send the money to pay a beneficiary. 

Time Needed To Transfer Money to Switzerland

  • Typical time – For a foreign exchange provider to receive, convert your currency to Swiss Francs and transfer your money to a Swiss bank account, allow between 1-3 working days. Occasionally the beneficiary bank might take a while to process and allocate funds. If using a retail bank, you should allow for 1-2 days more as there processing is typically slower.  
  • Same-day transfer – If your foreign exchange provider is already in possession of your funds, the same day transfer is possible. However, it’s always worth allowing for 1-2 days to avoid disappointment.  

Cost of Making a Money Transfer Switzerland

  • Transfer Fees – A bank will typically charge anywhere between £10 -40 to transfer your money to Switzerland. The vast majority of foreign exchange specialists won’t charge a fee.  
  • Commission – Commission rates charged by banks vary from bank to bank but are invariably uncompetitive. A broker will typically be able to save between 1-4% when sending money to Switzerland.  
  • Exchange Rate – Banks will typically work from a ‘day exchange rate’, set when the branch opens. A healthy margin will be added to cover any daytime volatility to cover any FX market fluctuations with the swiss franc. On the other hand, foreign exchange specialists work from live Swiss franc rates, allowing you to benefit from positive movements and seek guidance if the rate works against you.  

Fees To Receive Money in Switzerland

Switzerland participates in the SEPA payments service. Therefore, if you are sending money from a European country, you should incur no receiving fees. The majority of foreign exchange providers and banks use the SEPA, so if you are charged, the charge will have been taken by your Swiss bank.

Limits On Money Transfer To Switzerland

There aren’t any limits providing you, or your company can justify the payment. The foreign exchange broker then approves it. There is no fixed limit to how much you can trade. Typically, if a transfer exceeds £500,000+, your Currency provider might request a copy of a bank statement. To show proof of funds or a document explaining the reason for transfer (e.g., Swiss property purchase contract).

Transfer Deposit to Open a Swiss Bank Account

A bank and foreign exchange broker will help you deposit funds into your Swiss account. Just ensure any documents required and your Swiss bank account details are to hand. They’ll both be able to help with your bank deposit transfer to Switzerland.  

Typically, your Swiss bank will expect you to deposit between upwards of 5000 CHF as an initial deposit when your account is opened. The deposit naturally depends on the account and bank you choose.

Do Foreign Exchange Brokers Transfer Money to all Swiss Banks? 

Providing your Swiss bank or your beneficiaries’ Swiss bank is regulated and approved. You will have no issue sending money to Switzerland.  

Safely Transferring Money to Switzerland

Luckily Foreign exchange providers are very conscious of global payments fraud, and they will be diligent on your behalf. Foreign exchange brokers will also run beneficiaries through their systems and flagging any suspicious payments.

  • FCA – Always ensure your currency broker is financial conduct authority authorised. They should never be unwilling to share their number on the FCA’s register, and it should be featured on their website. 
  • Guarantees – Whilst a broker won’t offer guarantees, their accounts should be held with tier 1 banking partners. Client funds should be allotted to segregated accounts, separate from their working capital. Account segregation means if something was to happen to the company, you could reclaim the funds directly from the bank.  
  • Protection – Foreign exchange providers follow stringent anti-money laundering protocol to ensure they are only working with legitimate clients and companies. This Money laundering protocol continues when they remit funds. Many brokers will request information on transfer whose beneficiaries look the slightest bit dubious. Their trading systems are also encrypted. They implement high levels of technology to avoid the prospect of their data being corrupted.  
  • Fraud – Naturally, Fraud does exist and can occur if you’re not vigilant. Never send your logins etc., over email or be incentivised to make an international transfer by your currency broker. Always ensure correspondence with your broker is from the correct email address. If a new account manager contacts you, agree to call them back to ensure they are a staff member.  

Reasons to send money to Switzerland

  • Bills – Your Swiss property rental or home will naturally come with ongoing costs. These may include local property taxes, repair bills or utilities. A foreign exchange provider will be more than happy to assist in topping up your Swiss bank account to cover these regular bills. 
  • Loans – if you have borrowed money from a relative overseas, you might wish to send them money to repay the loan. Additionally, you might want to pay off a chunk of your Swiss property mortgage. 
  • Family – birthdays and Christmas are never far away. A foreign exchange broker can be used to send small monetary gifts to relatives overseas. 
  • Property – when the CHF exchange rate moves in your favour, you might wish to capitalise and make home improvements. 
  • Inheritance – regrettably, many encounter relatives who pass away overseas. You might be faced with having to repatriate the proceeds of an overseas estate. 
  • Car – If relocating to Switzerland, you may wish to purchase a vehicle to commute or travel around the country.
  • Holiday – if renting a property for a holiday overseas, your currency provider will ensure you get a much better rate than your bank or credit card.  
  • International wholesalers – when running a small business, clients may need to purchase goods from global wholesalers that sell in a different currency.  

Foreign Exchange Brokers

Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange broker is the best way to save money when sending money abroad. Savings between 1-4% are feasible, significant on regular transfers and Swiss property purchase money transfers. They can also provide you with several solutions to maximise the amount of currency you receive in Switzerland.

Finding a reputable Foreign Exchange Broker

Clients can compare the offerings of transfer services and foreign exchange brokers in many ways when they need to transfer money to Switzerland. 

  • Regulation – always ensure the foreign exchange provider you use is regulated; in the UK, for example, brokers must be authorised by the FCA (financial conduct authority).
  • Length of time in business – typically indicating knowledge of the market, number of clients they’ve helped, stability in the market. They are most likely to have helped many other clients transferring money to Switzerland and dealt with many different scenarios. 
  • Transfer fee or no transfer fee – especially worth considering when the payments being transferred to Switzerland are small. A transfer fee can typically outweigh the advantages of sending the money to Switzerland via a bank or broker, even if the rate offered is competitive. All brokers promoted on Foreign Exchange Live work on a fee-free basis. 
  • Online transfer, telephone transfers or both – online Apps are great for small transfers to Switzerland. Recourse can be slow if the money goes astray. Customer service, when dealing solely online, can vary. Much of this service is via a chat/text box or email. An established currency broker will operate both an online and telephone dealing service. Meaning you speak directly to an account manager who will be assisted by a back-office team or customer service division.  

Find The Right Broker To Transfer Money To Switzerland

Specialists such as Moneycorp and Rational FX have vast experience in advising and assisting clients worldwide and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.  

  • Customer Service: Banks are cumbersome and hard to contact from overseas. Transfer apps can be convenient for smaller payments but don’t offer prompt customer support if an issue arises. Currency specialist provide a consistent service. All clients receive a personal account manager with a direct email address and phone number to enable easy contact and customer service if required. 
  • Safety and Security: All top foreign exchange brokers will hold client funds in segregated accounts. All transactions are conducted following the FCA regulations and guidelines. We strongly advise checking with your broker on the exact details. 
  • No Expensive Fees or Charges: Depending on the bank, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from £10 to £4o or local currency equivalent. A currency exchange provider will process your transfer to Switzerland with no transfer fees and a narrow margin (or spread). 
  • Better Exchange Rates: A bank will, as a rule, be making a spread of between 2-6%, whereas the rates on offer from leading providers will be around 1%. Once your trade is executed, you will be provided with a deal notification showing clearly the base currency amount and the number of Euros purchased.  

Foreign Exchange Contracts

A foreign exchange provider offers several supplementary FX services not available in banks or on many money transfer apps. These include:  

  • Spot contracts – Arranging a transfer and agreeing on a rate, and sending the money to Switzerland shortly after.
  • Forward contracts – fix today’s exchange rate for payment up to 2 years in the future. You are guaranteeing the cost of your purchase and avoiding foreign exchange volatility. 
  • Stop-loss: If your currency pair is trending lower, a stop-loss protects your currency from depreciating too much. The money is traded automatically when it hits the agreed level. 
  • Firm order – target a rate superior to the current foreign exchange market rate. Once the desired exchange rate is reached, the currency is purchased day or night automatically. 
  • Option contract – as with the forward contract, whilst having the ability to opt for a better exchange rate if the market rate improves. Typically for businesses rather than private clients.
  • Regular international transfers – A payment plan to send money to Switzerland regularly. 

Documents needed for a foreign exchange broker account

The application to open your foreign exchange account can be completed within minutes. The first step is to apply online, giving personal details and a brief overview of transfer needs. Once complete, you will typically need to supply the following to get your account approved 

  • A valid form of photo ID  
  • Recent utility bill or address proof (less than three months old)  

List of Foreign Exchange Brokers

  • Boutique brokerages such as Newbridge FX offer tailored services to cater to their clients’ needs, working tirelessly to limit their FX risk. 
  • Midsize brokerages such as Rational FX operate both corporate and private client operations, focusing on key markets such as France and Spain
  • Large multi-Geographic operations such as Moneycorp operate in multiple jurisdictions. They have many local offices to serve their global clientele best.  

Arranging a transfer to Switzerland   

When you have selected a foreign exchange broker you wish you use, and your account is open. You can make transfers arrange a transfer to Switzerland either online or on the phone with your broker. Once the swiss franc rate is locked in, your broker will send their segregated bank details to make payment. Many brokers will also allow debit card payment to make the transfer.  

When trading via app or online, the process will mainly remain the same but be processed online.  

Large Money Transfer to Switzerland 

When making a large money transfer to Switzerland, the timing of your transfer can be vital. Brokers will suggest getting in touch at least a few weeks before the Swiss money transfer is needed. The difference on a £1000 transfer to Swiss Franc if the rate moves by 3% is £30. However, a transfer of £100,000 to the Swiss franc, which experiences the same 3% movement, will vary by £3000. 

Instant Money Transfers to Switzerland 

A few money service providers will be able to make instant money transfers to Switzerland. The transfer fees taken by the companies are comparable to those charged by banks. The Swiss Franc exchange rates on offer are similar to those taken in airports and train stations.  

When should I use an Instant Money Transfer Service? 

Using an instant money transfer service to send money to Switzerland should only be considered once all payment avenues have been exhausted. If a relative or friend is without money and in dire straits, instant money services can be a great way of getting money to them quickly.  

Banks in Switzerland

As a foreigner or ex-pat residing in Switzerland, you may find that relying on the class of residence visa you hold. You might not be able to open up a bank account at every Swiss financial institution. The leading banks for foreigner or ex-pats living in Switzerland include the below, 

  • UBS Group AG 
  • Credit Suisse Group AG 
  • Julius Baer 
  • Raiffeisen Switzerland 
  • Zurich Cantonal Bank 
  • Banque cantonale de Genève (BCGE) 
  • EFG International 
  • Basler Kantonalbank  
  • Migros Bank AG 
  • Bank J. Safra Sarasin 

The above banks will offer several solutions for both individuals and businesses. They will include simple current accounts, trust, insurances and investments. To learn if you qualify due to certain visa limitations, please visit your local swiss bank branch.

Opening a Swiss Bank account

An account will have to be opened in person or by using a certified notary to approve the documentation required. 

  • Valid passport (certified by a notary if account opening isn’t performed in person)   
  • Bank statement (clarifying origin of funds deposited)

Known for their privacy, which has underpinned the Swiss banking system’s success, it is illegal for bank workers to divulge details of their client’s accounts. 

Many Swiss banks are also backed by a state guarantee of up to 100,000 CHF, much like the UK’s FCA’s guarantee. Larger banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse are considered too big to fail.  

Can I Send Money from a Swiss Bank Account to the UK? 

Sending money from Switzerland to the United Kingdom won’t be an issue at all. All Currency specialists can facilitate transfer from Swiss franc to GBP via the SEPA system. These transfers shouldn’t incur a transfer fee.    

Can I Send Money from a Swiss Bank Account to a US Bank Account?   

A foreign exchange specialist can arrange a transfer from the Swiss franc to US dollars very easily. The only details your FX broker will need to make payment into the USD account is the bank details of where you wish to transfer the money. These will include the swift code etc. 

Swiss bank account details

You can find below an example of a swiss bank IBAN format. 

The country code for Switzerland is CH. The IBAN verification number is 93 to validate the routing destination and account number combination in this IBAN. The basic account number is 0076 2011 6298 5298 7. This contains the country-specific details of the account number. The bank ID number is 00762, and the account number is 011629852987. 

Relocating to Switzerland

When relocating to Switzerland ensuring your finances are in order should be high on your priorities list. Also high on your list and relevant for those outside the EU will be your visa qualification and work permits.  

Work Permits And Swiss Visa

Visas are required by anyone planning on spending more than 90 days in Switzerland. Working permits can be tricky to obtain and are only offered to those with a university degree. This degree must be accompanied by several years of real-world experience in the role you are looking to perform in Switzerland. The process is slightly easier for EU/EFTA citizens when compared to non-EU/EFTA members.  

Proof of proficiency in German, French or Italian might also be requested. This knowledge of the language will be subject to the area you are looking to reside in. On your renewal date, a continuation in your language study may also be requested. A foreign exchange broker will be happy to transfer money to Switzerland for the payment of your visa. You can then take this opportunity to discuss any other foreign exchange needs.  

Sending Bank Deposits to Switzerland

Your Bank and foreign exchange broker will help you deposit funds into your Swiss bank account. Just be sure any documents they require and your Swiss account details are to hand. Once the funds are received and exchange rate is agreed the money will be paid to Switzerland. 

The End of Your Stay in Switzerland  

For those on a fixed duration contract in Switzerland, another consideration when leaving will be repatriating any additional proceeds from your salary or property sale. Luckily your currency transfer specialist will be more than able to assist. Their segregated CHF accounts will allow you to credit CHF into a specifically reference Swiss Franc account. Allow you to benefit from all the guidance you enjoyed when transferring money to Switzerland. Whilst you may encounter a small administration fee from your Swiss bank. The currency transfer rate savings outweigh any costs incurred by transferring your Swiss francs to a segregated account. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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