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Where should I change Swiss francs into euros?

3 minutes reading time

Currency exchange, bank, or online exchange service? Find out where you should be changing your Swiss francs (CHF) into euros (EUR).

Où convertir ses euros en francs suisses

Changing money can be a recurring headache if you need to exchange currency to convert your salary, buy a property, or as part of your day-to-day business.

Bank, currency exchange, or online currency service? We give you the low-down on how to get the best margin and the exchange rates that work best for you.

Converting Swiss francs into euros at the bank

You trust your bank. You have your mortgage with them, and you’ve followed their advice about whether to choose a fixed or variable rate. They’ve waived overdraft fees and maybe helped their children’s student loans. So you have every reason to use them for currency exchange.

Even though you may have a good relationship with your bank, there’s no avoiding the fact that banks are far from perfect when it comes to currency exchange.

Exchange your money quickly and securely

Interbank exchange rate and bank margins

The interbank exchange rate is determined by the level of supply and demand for each of the two currencies: if demand is greater than supply, the exchange rate goes up.

The financial intermediary (bank, exchange, online service) where you carry out your exchange adds its margin on top of the interbank rate. So it makes sense to compare your options. However, doing so is likely to reveal that the margins added by banks often aren’t so great for your wallet!

Exchanging currency – a nice little earner for banks, less so for customers

A significant proportion of a bank’s revenue comes from the margins it charges customers exchanging currency – particularly private customers. This margin eats straight into your salary or capital and will be somewhere between 1.65–2% depending on the bank.

And that is without getting into hidden costs – fixed costs, variable costs, exceptional charges related to the transaction amount. If you don’t think to ask what they are beforehand, these ‘hidden’ expenses will only appear once the transaction is complete.

Because income from these margins represents a significant portion of their profit, exchange rates offered by banks often aren’t so great for customers.

Changing Swiss francs into euros at a currency exchange

Currency exchanges are financial intermediaries that carry out immediate, manual exchanges between currencies.

As businesses handling banknotes, currency exchanges are subject to specific regulations and have to clearly display their prices and conditions of sale (i.e. rates of exchange, commission, and possible charges). Currency exchanges buy currency and then decide their costs for exchanging one currency into another.

Currency exchange margins continue to be attractive

Some currency exchanges like the sector leader Change Migros offer good margins for swiss franc euro exchanges compared to banks. However, margins tend to be 40–50% lower and can be higher for more unusual currency pairs.

Exchanging Swiss francs into euros online

Many businesses are disrupting the world of currency exchange by offering entirely digital services that are straightforward, responsive, and that offer unbeatable prices.

With their low margins and open-all-hours accessibility, online exchange services can combine the best of both worlds. For example, b-sharpe’s online exchange service saves you the trouble of traveling to exchange your currency as you can order it at a competitive price from the comfort of your own home with your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

Customers can relax with the knowledge that they have access to the best rates at any time 

without any risks associated with a physical currency transaction at an exchange counter or the astronomic rates charged by banks.

b-sharpe customers enjoy:

  • Enhanced security – an insurance guarantee against hacking and fraud (up to five million Swiss francs);
  • Completely transparent pricing – no monthly subscription cost, opening or closing fees, or management fees.
  • Staying up to date with currencies in real-time using the b-sharpe currency converter to choose the best time to carry out a transaction

Between these three most popular options on the market, using online currency services is the easiest way to make savings. Faced with dealing with traditional banks demanding high fees or a currency exchange with limited access, digital solutions offer real answers these days.

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