The results of the Swiss EFT Insights 2021: First insights into the structures and costs of cashless payment transactions in Switzerland.

11 April 2022

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In late 2021, treibauf partnered with the consultancy Arkwright to conduct the first Swiss EFT Insights – a survey on the structures and costs of cashless payment transactions in Switzerland. In early 2022, we presented the results in a webinar. But why was this survey conducted in the first place? What was examined? And what were the main results? This article answers the most important questions.

Content of the article

Why did we conduct the Transparency Survey?

Looking at the payment market, there is a clear trend that also applies to Switzerland: more and more customers are paying cashless. As a result, the fees for these cashless payments are also becoming an increasingly important cost factor for businesses.

Nevertheless, for many companies, both the exact composition of these fees and their relative level compared to other market participants remain a «black box» – just like several other key topics.

We want to change this. That is why we have developed the Swiss EFT Insights: a series of surveys intended to bring more transparency to the Swiss cashless payments market. In late 2021, we conducted the first survey. This work also produced recommendations for the sustainable and efficient management of payment services.

What did the survey look into?

We asked the participating companies a series of questions on four major topics:

  • Pricing models and fee structures for cashless payments
  • Market participants’ preferred acquirer
  • Change in the use of various payment methods since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The biggest challenges in cashless payments

Who took part in the survey?

The focus of the first survey in late 2021 was primarily on small and medium-sized companies in Switzerland: 40.5% of participants have 1–10 locations, 23.8% have 11–50 locations, and 17% have more than 51 locations. A total of 84 retail companies participated in this first survey.

Composition of the survey participants
Composition of the survey participants

What were the main results?

The results of the survey were presented on 18 January 2022 in a webinar. The participants have received all results in a PDF document.

We have summarised below the main findings of the first survey from our point of view.

Over 50% have no preference as to the choice of acquirer

Surprisingly, 53% of the survey participants had no preference as to the acquirer. In turn, the main reasons for preferring cooperation were hardly surprising: they include broad card acceptance, service, and good value for money.

Preference as to the choice of acquirer
Preference as to the choice of acquirer

Almost 80% of participants are “satisfied” with the acquirer

78.7% of the participants were fairly satisfied, satisfied, or even very satisfied with the cooperation with their acquirer. The main reason given for this was the seamlessness of processes. 21.3% of the participants were dissatisfied with their acquirer. The main reasons given for this were pricing and conditions.

Almost 80% of participants are “satisfied” with the acquirer
Almost 80% of participants are “satisfied” with the acquirer

Three major challenges involved in cashless payment transactions

The three biggest challenges for companies when it comes to cashless payments at the POS were increased costs of payments (41.4%), an increasing dependence of retail companies on payment service providers (38.6%), and system complexity and the service provider landscape (53.7%).

Challenges involved in cashless payment transactions
Challenges involved in cashless payment transactions

Will there be a follow-up survey in 2022?

The response to the Swiss EFT Insights has exceeded expectations: Not only did the webinar participants show a lot of interest, but we also received a lot of positive feedback about the importance and relevance of the survey to the market as a whole.

There is a growing awareness that more and deeper insights help retail companies to better understand this key part of their business.

For this reason, we will also conduct a follow-up survey in 2022 – this time with even more participants, including from large companies. Incidentally: Numerous Swiss associations have already pledged their support to the Swiss EFT Insights 2022.

How can I participate in the next survey?

We would be delighted if your company, too, would participate in this year’s Swiss EFT Insights. Naturally, all data will be completely anonymised, and no conclusions will be drawn about individual companies.

Interested? Then sign up for our survey per this form right now. We will inform you immediately as soon as the new survey starts – most likely in autumn 2022.

Summary: The Swiss EFT Insights survey

  • For many companies, both the exact composition of cashless payment fees and their relative level compared to other market participants are not really transparent.
  • To bring more transparency to the EFT market, treibauf conducted the Swiss EFT Insights alongside Arkwright in late 2021. The survey examined, in particular, the structures and costs of cashless payment transactions in Switzerland.
  • Increased costs, increasing dependency, system complexity, and the service provider landscape were cited as the biggest challenges for the companies.
  • Since the survey has met with great interest nationwide, we will be conducting a follow-up survey in late 2022, for which you can register here.
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