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  #21  
Old 17.07.2008, 11:06
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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The main difference is that a credit card allows you to spend money you don't have, with the expectation that you will have that money at the end of the month (or some unspecified time in the future ).

With a debit card attached to your bank account you can only spend money that you already have. This means that people who have problems with managing debt can have the convenience that a credit card offers without the problems that easy credit can cause them.
Fraudsters can also spend all the money in your bank account and not just your credit limit.
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  #22  
Old 17.07.2008, 11:11
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Hi All
Not wishing to sound holier than thou, but considering the terrible mess most of my countrymen in the UK have got themselves into with ridiculously easy access to credit, (19,000 average household debt, that does not include the car!), perhaps the Swiss have their heads screwed on.
I think it's actually the opposite. The Swiss spent more on credit cards than debit cards as VISA debit cards are unavailable. But I agree it is a lot harder to get these credit cards and regularly paying off the balance seems to be the norm.
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Old 17.07.2008, 11:26
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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But I agree it is a lot harder to get these credit cards and regularly paying off the balance seems to be the norm.
That's because access to consumption credit is tightly regulated by federal legislation.
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  #24  
Old 17.07.2008, 11:37
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

I think we are all missing one or two points.

CASH. The idea was just OK. Lacking security in my opinion, that is why
it never took off that well with the public. You preload a sum onto the
Maestro Card with a golden chip. I think the maximum was around CHF
300,- at first. When you make a purchase, you plug the card into the
machine and it withdraws the funds from the card's balance. Easy. No
PIN number to remember, just have the card loaded and handy.

Another thing that people above claimed: Was that they cannot make
online payments using a standard Maestro/ATM card. Well, that is
history folks. Of course the selling agency or shop must offer this
service, and that numer is growing daily... SBB and Swiss Los are the
first two that come to mind (that I have used).

So, payments online using my Maestro/ATM card from the Swiss Post
Finance is now possible. Life just got a little easier, especially for the
business bookings. For example; just last night I booked and paid for
two business related train tickets with City Pass. I have the tickets
already here, printed them myself... and the receipt is already tucked
away where I need it at the end of the financial quarter.

My comment to a few other postings, keep in mind, that the Swiss are
very trusting souls (generally). If I call a company and order a box of
widgets, they deliver and send a bill. Business or private, most shops
deliver up to a certain amount per invoice. Maybe this is the reason that
the debit card is not accepted here.

Lastly, if the debit card is not available in Switzerland, it is just one way
for the public to control their finances better. CH are not like the US ---
Ka-Ching
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  #25  
Old 17.07.2008, 11:48
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

I had a VISA debit card back in the UK and while it was useful, I've not missed it much. My Maestro card works in all the shops I visit here, and also works in most shops back in the UK, internet purchases are a bit of a problem, but I now use the credit card and pay it off every month.

What does annoy me is having a PIN on the Credit Card, as I hardly ever, ever use it, I've forgotten it. It's practically useless in an emergency, like when I managed to lose my debit card back in the UK a couple of months ago, and suddenly found I couldn't pay for petrol I'd just purchased.

Luckily, in that case, I only had to sign for it.

Last edited by cyrus; 17.07.2008 at 11:48. Reason: pedant
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  #26  
Old 17.07.2008, 12:01
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

The Danish Dankort system was really excellent. There is no transaction fee charged to retailers, just a single annual fee based on the number of card transactions made, so it's possible to pay for anything in Denmark by card.. even just a few re (rappen) and card machines are ubiquitous right down to street stalls. Better still it's also a VISA that you can use abroad/online.

I think it's because the system was originally set up by the state in the 80's. It's strange to think that while cash everywhere is state controlled and organised, the future of money lies very much in the hands of private corporations.
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  #27  
Old 17.07.2008, 12:47
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

I had a Visa debit card back in Australia, which I thought was great because it allowed me to purchase things on the internet under the disguise of a credit card, but it was really my own money. Maestro is not quite the same because you can't use it for on-line purchases (well, I haven't come across a site which allows payment by Maestro).

When I opened a bank account here in Zurich, my bank manager also had no idea what a Visa debit card was. I refused an offer for a credit card, which my bank manager thought was incredulous because "everyone" has a credit card here.

I think it comes down to the preferred payment options in this country. A lot of places still like to send you an old-fashioned invoice (orange slip) for payment, whether you are shopping in-store or on-line. Until Visa decides to introduce their debit card product in Switzerland, no one here will really know about it.

I don't really believe that first class banking services exist in Switzerland - maybe just for corporate clients, but their reputation there is now a bit shaky. For retail customers, I happen to think their banking services are pretty ordinary.
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Old 17.07.2008, 12:52
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

Private banking definitely seems dated, expensive and technologically behind here compared to either the UK or Denmark. However the service has been a lot more personal and direct (despite my lack of German too).

The odd thing is that despite how lovely most of the bank staff I've met are (both for personal and business matters) they all seem to share the delusion that Swiss banking services are years ahead of the rest of the world. Maybe this self-satisfied view is why it's slipped way behind? If you make a country extremely attractive to do business in from a taxation point of view, then keeping your services at the forefront probably isn't a big deal.
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:05
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Private banking definitely seems dated, expensive and technologically behind here compared to either the UK or Denmark. However the service has been a lot more personal and direct (despite my lack of German too).

The odd thing is that despite how lovely most of the bank staff I've met are (both for personal and business matters) they all seem to share the delusion that Swiss banking services are years ahead of the rest of the world. Maybe this self-satisfied view is why it's slipped way behind? If you make a country extremely attractive to do business in from a taxation point of view, then keeping your services at the forefront probably isn't a big deal.
Swiss banking has been in real time for at least 20 years. Take some money from a Swiss ATM and then look at your statement on the ATM, you'll see the cash has already been deducted.

The UK still fights with cheques and 3 to 5 working days to get paid/ make payments. Also try withdrawing euros form an ATM in the UK...
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:11
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Swiss banking has been in real time for at least 20 years. Take some money from a Swiss ATM and then look at your statement on the ATM, you'll see the cash has already been deducted.

The UK still fights with cheques and 3 to 5 working days to get paid/ make payments. Also try withdrawing euros form an ATM in the UK...
That's true, although I remember hearing about the UK trying to implement some new system. I think in reality I'm just thinking of Denmark who also have real-time payments and transfers (they even skipped out on the whole cheque thing all those years ago and went straight for cards). I remember when I first had money transferred from the UK to my Danish account and it was faster than a regular transfer between the same bank in the UK

Real time money transfer is awesome, but being sent an orange slip when you buy something online is kind of spoiling the party
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  #31  
Old 17.07.2008, 13:13
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Swiss banking has been in real time for at least 20 years. Take some money from a Swiss ATM and then look at your statement on the ATM, you'll see the cash has already been deducted.

The UK still fights with cheques and 3 to 5 working days to get paid/ make payments. Also try withdrawing euros form an ATM in the UK...
I don't believe the reason that the UK and US banks aren't in "real time" is because they can't or don't know how, it's because their political lobbying arms have "convinced" their governments to have laws that allow them to use their customers' money for free for 3 to 5 days giving them a great amount of free cash.

This has gotten much better in the US in the last year or two, but the UK is still sh*te. I still can't believe that Nat West is allowed to take money out of our current account to pay our Nat West credit card and then not debit the credit card account for 3 to 5 days...all done through an online transaction. I mean, how long does it take them to put the cash in their other pocket?!? Ridiculous.
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:18
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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The UK still fights with cheques and 3 to 5 working days to get paid/ make payments. Also try withdrawing euros form an ATM in the UK...
Most UK BACS transfers are now same-day as opposed to 3-5 days.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7417303.stm
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  #33  
Old 17.07.2008, 13:22
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Most UK BACS transfers are now same-day as opposed to 3-5 days.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7417303.stm
Thanks Castro. That's what I was talking about when I said I'd heard they were changing things... and yes it's totally about not changing things because it's better for the UK banks this way. The UK banking industry is going through a little shake up at the moment though It has always been a largely "free" service supported by a bewildering array of hidden charges. Plans are afoot to make them simpler and more open (which will probably result in standard charges coming in).
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:27
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Real time money transfer is awesome, but being sent an orange slip when you buy something online is kind of spoiling the party

Not quite with you on this one. Don't know the UK, but can image it is
very similar to the states in many ways.

As I mentioned before, show me such TRUST in the US. Show me a
flower shop that leaves plants outside overnight and on the weekends.
Show me a painter that leaves his ladder hanging on it's hooks,
unsecured. There are plenty of such examples throughout Switzerland.

The TRUST in Switzerland that you will pay for the items you ordered
within the allotted time frame. If you don't there are ways to trash a
credit reputation in Switzerland and somewhat into Europe. I have
personally seen to it that two people and one company do not have the
privilege to buy something without prepayment or cash on the barrel
head.

Another thought; if you don't have the money to pay for something,
don't buy it. If you don't have the money to buy it with a debit card,
then you don't have the money to pay for it with credit. If you are
expecting a deposit (usually, every month), then you can make your
purchase during the month and pay for it at the end of the month...
easy! (Credit card or invoiced orange payment slip)

As a business owner, 80% of my invoiced payments arrive between the
28th and 5th of the following month.
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Old 17.07.2008, 13:53
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Not quite with you on this one.
Yeah, I was just teasing. I know you meant that receiving a slip is common when you buy something from a Swiss retailer that maybe also accepts orders online.

I run a web technology company that often deals with building global, scalable systems accepting subscription payments for things such as software-as-a-service, but also payments for real goods.

The concept of sending out payment slips and then having to reconcile them afterwards is kind of against the spirit of the the internet and um.. "the future" or something (not to mention the environment). Consider, say, Amazon could operating in this manner. In all seriousness, web based transactions are already well on their way to becoming instant, automated and universally global and that's a good thing.

But, yes, you're totally right. There is a lot of trust in certain parts of Swiss life (as there is also in Scandinavian life) that you do not find in the UK (and I guess the US), which are a refreshing addition to one's quality of life
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  #36  
Old 17.07.2008, 14:08
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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In all seriousness, web based transactions are already well on their way to becoming instant, automated and universally global and that's a good thing.
Your noticed.

Actually, it would be absolutely pleasing for me (small business owner)
to see an instant payment process installed in Switzerland that does
not cost me an arm and a leg. 3-5% per plus a transaction fee and
initial set-up fee. Just the latter two would cost me CHF 1500.- for the
first month.

Sorry, I would rather accept prepayment, send out and consolidate
orange payment slips or accept simple cash. I don't have that many
transactions each month, which is OK by me... keep it small, less
headaches with *employees (as we read about here numerous times).

* Don't get me wrong, the employees are not the majority of the
problem... I am referring to the dark side that the employee does not
see.
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:46
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

Get a PostFinance bank account - the PostFinance card is as close as it gets to a debit card by the sound of things. Took a few months to come through but now it's here. Someone mentioned using it on the internet - that we haven't done - but in Coop, at the station, some shops etc, done.
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:53
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

Switzerland does have debit cards they're called "Maestro" cards (your bank account is debited straight away) many shops here wont accept Credit cards but will accept Debit cards, try buying an item in Media Markt, they wont touch credit cards.

Nick.
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Old 17.07.2008, 14:55
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Switzerland does have debit cards they're called "Maestro" cards (your bank account is debited straight away) many shops here wont accept Credit cards but will accept Debit cards, try buying an item in Media Markt, they wont touch credit cards.

Nick.
No sh!t... Due to the 3-5% and transaction costs.
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Old 17.07.2008, 15:09
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Re: The concept of a VISA debit card

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Switzerland does have debit cards they're called "Maestro" cards (your bank account is debited straight away) many shops here wont accept Credit cards but will accept Debit cards, try buying an item in Media Markt, they wont touch credit cards.

Nick.
These are not the same type of debit cards the OP is talking about. The ones to which the OP refers are also branded with Visa or MasterCard so they can be used anyplace the same branded credit cards are used. There aren't many websites outside CH where you can use a Maestro and probably none where you can use a PostFinance card. If your online shopping is only within CH, then you're probably fine with just a Maestro or PostFinance.
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