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Three facts about Swiss Post’s universal service obligation

In the universal service obligation, the legislator has set out clear criteria for Swiss Post to determine how it can offer the Swiss population the best possible public service. But what does the universal service obligation or public service actually entail? Here are a few facts.

The statutory mandate
Swiss Post’s universal service

The Postal Services Act and the Postal Services Ordinance are among the most stringent legal requirements in the world. They define what Swiss Post’s universal service obligation involves and how it must be fulfilled.

An illustration of the delivery days per week. Newspapers in subscription: on six days. Letters and parcels: on five days.

Universal postal services

  • Delivery of addressed letters and parcels on at least five days of the week
  • Delivery of subscription newspapers and magazines on six days of the week
  • Operation of a nationwide post office and postal agency network

90 percent of the population must be able to reach these services within 20 minutes on foot or by public transport. In areas where Swiss Post offers a home delivery service, they must be accessible within 30 minutes. In cities and conurbations, Swiss Post must operate one access point per 15,000 inhabitants or workers.

Universal payment transaction services

Swiss Post must offer the payment transaction services included in the universal service to all natural and legal persons based in Switzerland.

Again, 90 percent of the population must be able to reach these services within 20 minutes on foot or by public transport. This applies regardless of the technology used to provide the services.

Swiss Post finances itself
Not a cent of taxpayers’ money

Swiss Post does not receive any subsidies or taxpayers’ money for the provision of the universal service – it finances this from its own resources. In some cases, unprofitable services within the universal service are co-financed through profitable services – for example, the delivery of letters in rural areas through the delivery of letters between cities. This solidarity is a part of Swiss public service and of Swiss Post’s basic understanding of itself.

The future of the universal service
Public service as an investment

Swiss Post has been connecting people for 170 years – reliable transportation of goods and information is part of the company’s DNA, as is shown by its history. Yet society is becoming increasingly digital. Our lives have become more mobile, we are more flexible in when and where we work, and we can achieve a great deal with the click of a mouse. Swiss Post wants to continue providing the entire Swiss population with the best possible service, and digital services and innovations are an integral part of the process.

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Popular views of Swiss Post
Fact or fiction?

Swiss Post operates on the free market.

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Swiss Post is financed through taxes.

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Swiss Post delivers more than just letters and parcels.

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Swiss Post is offering more and more access points.

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Swiss Post combines its core business and innovation.

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