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Switzerland has introduced a new banknote. It is one of the world’s most valuable banknotes,  worth 1,000 francs ($1,007, £764). It is slightly smaller than other Swiss notes and depicts two people shaking hands above a globe. So far, 48 million of them have been made. This is about 60% of the value of all Swiss banknotes.

This new note has come when most countries around the world are using less cash. Many countries have also stopped making large valued banknotes; however, Switzerland is different. Cash is the most popular form of payment in Switzerland and is very important to the culture. Many Swiss banks will even let you withdraw up to 5,000 francs per day from an ATM without notice. It would also not be unusual to buy something for more than 10,000 francs with cash in Switzerland.

Many Swiss people feel that cash is easier to use. They feel safer with cash in their pocket rather than a card. They also feel it is easier to keep track of their money as cash gives them more control.

Many younger people in Switzerland prefer cash as well. A 29-year-old Swiss woman said, “When it’s electronic you spend the money more easily.”

Other countries say that large notes make things easy for criminals. Large notes make it easy for them to move large amounts of money, as well as to hide money. Most of Europe has stopped making 500 euro notes for this reason.

Many Swiss people prefer cash because it gives them privacy and control. For digital payments to become more popular, they need to prove that they have these things.

Difficult words

Banknote (n): A piece of paper money.

Depict (v): To show or illustrate.

Withdraw (v): To take money out of a bank.

ATM (n): A machine that lets you take money out, cash machine.

Electronic (adj): Something that uses electricity.

Digital (adj): Something on a computer.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Banknote A. Illustrate
 2. Depict B. Cash machine.
 3.  Withdraw C. Paper money.
 4. ATM D. Uses electricity.
 5. Electronic E. Take money out.

True or False?

1. Swiss people prefer credit cards to cash. T / F

2. France has a new banknote. T / F

3. The new banknote is worth more than $800. T / F

4. ATM’s in Switzerland let people withdraw large amounts. T / F

5. Most countries in the world are using more and more cash. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. new / banknote / has / a / Switzerland / introduced

2. that / feel / is / Swiss people / cash / Many / easier

3. safer / They / cash / feel / with

4. for / notes / Large / it / easy / them / make

5. people / prefer / Many / cash / Swiss

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English: 

Popular Pocket Valued
Amounts Introduced Spend

Switzerland has (1)______________ a new banknote. It is one of the world’s most valuable banknotes,  worth 1,000 francs ($1,007, £764). It is slightly smaller than other Swiss notes and depicts two people shaking hands above a globe. So far, 48 million of them have been made. This is about 60% of the value of all Swiss banknotes.

This new note has come when most countries around the world are using less cash. Many countries have also stopped making large (2)_________ banknotes; however, Switzerland is different. Cash is the most popular form of payment in Switzerland and is very important to the culture. Many Swiss banks will even let you withdraw up to 5,000 francs per day from an ATM without notice. It would also not be unusual to buy something for more than 10,000 francs with cash in Switzerland.

Many Swiss people feel that cash is easier to use. They feel safer with cash in their (3)___________ rather than a card. They also feel it is easier to keep track of their money as cash gives them more control.

Many younger people in Switzerland prefer cash as well. A 29-year-old Swiss woman said, “When it’s electronic you (4)__________ the money more easily.”

Other countries say that large notes make things easy for criminals. Large notes make it easy for them to move large (5)__________ of money, as well as to hide money. Most of Europe has stopped making 500 euro notes for this reason.

Many Swiss people prefer cash because it gives them privacy and control. For digital payments to become more (6)____________, they need to prove that they have these things.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. How popular is cash in your country?
5. What is your preferred payment method?
6. Are you quick to adopt new technologies relating to finance?
7. How safe is banking in your country?
8. How popular are loans in your country?
9. Do you think large cash denominations like this should be eliminated?
10. How strong is the currency of your country?
11. Do you follow the changes in currency value?
12. Should more countries adopt the same currency like the Euro?
13. Is your country’s culture similar when it comes to money, preferring privacy and ultimate control?
14. Are ATMs easy to find in your country?
15. Are there fees at ATMs in your country?
16. What is the smallest and biggest valued note in your country?
17. Would you feel vulnerable or more secure with a large amount of cash in your wallet?
18. Is there any part of your country that you feel is behind the times?
19. Do you trust online banking or institutions such as Paypal?
20. Do you feel you would spend less money if you only used cash?