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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 on a regular basis or once in a blue moon, there are a number of measure you can take to ensure you get a great rate, 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 on offer by a foreign exchange broker and you may have to visit your local branch in order 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 but 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 foreign exchange broker.  In many cases a foreign exchange broker 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 in order to get financial recourse and the guarantee of the bank. 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.  The SEPA payments system is adopted by many reputable foreign exchange brokers and ensures quick and safe transfer of money 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 photo ID and need to have your bank card in your possession when visiting the branch. If you have the ability to send money to Switzerland via your online bank account you might need a card reader and logins etc.

If using foreign exchange broker all of your documents etc will be stored when you opened the account, and they will just 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 are sending the money to to pay a beneficiary.

Time Needed To Transfer Money to Switzerland

  • Typical time – For a foreign exchange broker to receive, covert your currency to Swiss Francs and transfer your money to a Swiss bank account you should allow between 1-3 working days. Occasionally the beneficiary bank make 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 broker is already in possession of your funds a same day transfer is possible. however, its always worth allowing for 1-2 days to avoid disappointment.

Cost 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 brokers wont 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’ which will be set when the branch opens. To cover and market fluctuations with the Swiss franc a health margin will be added to cover any daytime volatility. Foreign exchange brokers on the other hand 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 and therefore if you are sending money from a European country you should incur no receiving fees when sending money. The majority of foreign exchange brokers and banks use the SEPA so if you are charged the charge will have been take by your Swiss bank.

Limits On Money Transfer To Switzerland

There aren’t any limits providing you or your company can justify the payment and it is approved by the foreign exchange broker there is no limit to how much you can trade. Typically if a transfer exceeds £500,000+ your foreign exchange broker might request a copy of a bank statement showing 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 bank account. Just ensure any documents required and your Swiss bank account details are to hand and 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. This naturally depends on the account and bank you choose.

Safely Transferring Money to Switzerland

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

  • FCA – Always ensure your foreign exchange 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 be able to offer guarantees their accounts should be held with tier 1 banking partners. All funds should be allotted to segregated account separate from their own working capital which means if something was to happen to the company you could reclaim the funds directly from the bank.
  • Protection – Foreign exchange brokers follow stringent anti money laundering protocol to ensure they are only working with legitimate clients and companies. This is continued when they remit funds and many brokers will request information on transfer whose beneficiaries look the slightest bit dubious. Their trading systems are also encrypted and 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 foreign exchange broker. Always ensure correspondence with your broker is from a correct email address and if you are contacted by a new account manger 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 broker 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 you Swiss property mortgage.
  • Family – birthdays and Christmas are never far a 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 passing away overseas. You might be faced with having to repatriate the proceeds of an overseas inheritance.
  • Car – If relocating to Switzerland you may wish to purchase a car in order to commute or travel around the country
  • Holiday – if renting a property for a holiday overseas your foreign exchange broker will ensure you get a much better rate than your bank or credit card.
  • International wholesalers – when running a small business you may need purchase goods from international wholesales that sell in a different currency

Foreign Exchange Brokers

Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange broker is the best way of guaranteeing to save money when sending money abroad. Savings between 1-4% are feasible which will be significant on regular transfers and a 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 broker 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 foreign exchange 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 all over the globe 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. Foreign exchange brokers offer 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 to check 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 foreign exchange broker will process your transfer to Switzerland with no transfer fees and 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 broker offers several supplementary 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. 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 currency 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 automatically day or night.
  • Option contract – as with the forward contract but also having the ability to opt for a superior rate is the market rate improves. Typically for businesses rather than private clients.
  • Regular international transfers – A payment plan to send money overseas 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 3 months old)

List of Foreign Exchange Brokers

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

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. The 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 success of the Swiss banking system 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 FCA’s guarantee in the UK. Larger banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse are considered too big to fail.

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

Work Permits And Swiss Visa

Visa’s 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 or 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 subject to the area you are looking to reside. 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

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

The order and serenity of Switzerland attracts many to the picturesque countryside and thriving cities. Famous not just for its fabulous chocolate but its high wages and great work life balance. It’s now estimated that 2 of the 7 million that call are Switzerland home now are expats.

Combined with higher than European average salaries are its excellent schools, both state and international. For those planning on moving, research will be required into the visa needed which is subject to the work you are looking to do and which work permit is required.

Do Foreign Exchange Brokers Transfer Money to all Swiss Banks?

Absolutely, providing your Swiss bank or your beneficiaries Swiss bank is regulated and approved you will have no issue sending money to Switzerland.

The End Of Your Stay In Switzerland

For those who are on a fixed duration contract in Switzerland, another consideration when leaving will be how to repatriate any supplementary 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 specially reference Swiss Franc account and 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 should outweigh any cost incurred transferring your Swiss francs to their segregated account.

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