Practical Geneva

Practical information for internationals living in Geneva.

Local life:

Banks & Payments

When arriving in Switzerland, your payments will be made in CHF (1 CHF=plus or minus 1USD & 1EUR). Nevertheless, many shops, restaurants and brands accept Euros (€).

For exchange rates, see the BCGE banknotes and currencies page.

One of the first steps when settling in Geneva is opening a bank account or a postal account to pay your regular bills.

Each month you will receive your invoices accompanied by a BVR (payment slip).

You have various payment options :

  • at the post office,
  • to your bank with a payment order,
  • online, on the internet (bank, post office).

For fixed monthly bills, two payment methods are widely used in Switzerland :

  • by standing order (BVR) with a defined frequency and amount,
  • by direct debit order (LSV), authorizing your bank to debit your account for payment of bills. For more information, see the Banque Cantonale de Genève page.

Checks are rarely used as means of payment in Switzerland, under certain conditions (example BCGE).

Today more than a hundred banking establishments are present in Geneva, which is recognized as a global financial center with a rich and long tradition in both wealth management and commodity trading. More information on the website of the Geneva Financial Center Foundation.

Different places allow you to withdraw money (CHF/EUR) in town at cash dispensers (DAB or “bancomats” in Switzerland) and at many exchange offices. Most banks have branches spread throughout the canton, some with extended hours :

All about :

Geneva has two major post offices in the city center with extended services and hours :

CAGI members

Other useful information

Media & Telecoms
Private Household Employees
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CAGI services

To learn about the practical aspects of daily life in Geneva and the region

Founded by the Swiss Confederation and the Republic and Canton of Geneva, the Geneva Welcome Centre is the single entry point for the support and integration of employees of International Geneva and their families, NGOs and visiting delegates.