If you have recently arrived in Switzerland you might be a bit confused about how to pay your bills as there are no cheques (checks). If you have been used to e-banking, then you will have no difficulty adjusting as this is an increasingly common way of paying bills. You will need to register with your bank to use this service.
Swiss banks are careful about security so you are likely to be given a little gadget that generates a new number every time you log on. You will have to type in this number when logging on to access your account. Alternatively, the number may be sent to you as a text message via your mobile phone. When you have a bill to pay, whether you pay it via e-banking or other methods, you will need to refer to the payment slip that comes with each bill. This is called an Einzahlungsschein. They are either pink or orange and include the account number (Konto) and also the reference number (Referenz Nr). Insert this into the online form along with the amount to be transferred and the date you wish the payment to be made. You can make a copy for your records. It is also possible to arrange automatic regular payments (Daueraufträge) or direct debits (Lastschriftverfahren LSV).
These methods are very useful for regular monthly bills. If you don’t want to use e-banking, then you can either take the Einzahlungsschein to the Post Office with the exact amount of cash or to your bank. You will be given a receipt. The Einzahlungsschein combined with your cash, operates in a similar way to your cheque/check without needing to post anything.
With any of these methods you can have peace of mind that the money will get there securely. Usually you will have 30 days to pay a bill, however, do check the invoice carefully in case it is less. For additional information, check the website of your bank. Most banks are happy to send you information in English as well as other languages. We hope this explanation makes all payments go smoothly.