Financial literacy: Did you know?

Thanks to our exciting facts, you might crack the million dollar question and soon join the super-rich 4% of the population.

Surprising facts about money and finance More than 330,000 millionaires live in Switzerland. Useless knowledge? Hardly! Thanks to our exciting facts, you might crack the million dollar question and soon join the super-rich 4% of the population. Let's go:

Did you know…

1 … that banknotes are real sources of germs?
New York University scientists found over 3,000 species of bacteria on banknotes. There were also traces of DNA, lots of fungi and pathogens. The rule of thumb applies: The smaller a note, the more germs, because small notes usually pass through many hands. So a little tip on the side: With mobile payment, pathogens don't stand a chance!

2 … that paper money comes from China?
"Who invented it?" For a change, it wasn't the Swiss. The first paper money was used by merchants in China in the 7th century. Notes did not appear in Europe until the 17th century. Sweden was the first European country where you could pay with paper money, starting in 1661.

3 … that you can rid banknotes of germs in Japan?
In fact, such great importance is attached to hygiene in the country that there are special cleaning ATMs. They heat the banknotes to 200 degrees with hot air, killing all germs.

4 … how much does it cost to produce a Swiss banknote?
Yes, even money is not made from nothing. It costs around 40 cents to produce a single banknote.

5 … why our banknotes are all different colours?
Because it's nice? Yes, maybe that too. But actually there is a very simple and practical reason behind it: Banknotes must be easy to distinguish. Notes with similar numerals even have colours that are far apart on the colour wheel. For example, the 10 note is yellow and the 100 note is blue.

6 ... how francs and rappen got their names?
The franc takes its name from the French coin "rex Francorum" ("King of the Franks"), which was often abbreviated to franc. The rappen, on the other hand, has a funny story: It bears its name thanks to an unsuccessful attempt to stamp the imperial eagle on a coin. The somewhat misbegotten bird was insulted as a raven (or rappen, in German) and has kept its name ever since.

7 ... that women in Switzerland were not allowed to have their own bank accounts until 1976?
Strange but true: Until 1976, married women in Switzerland could only work and open their own bank accounts with the permission of their husbands. Luckily we finally put that behind us!

8 ... that a urine tax gave rise to the saying "Money doesn't stink"?
The Roman emperor Vespasian wanted to make as much money as possible and generously levied taxes on everything. Among other things, also on the use of the quiet place. When his son accused him of this, the resourceful emperor held a bill under his nose and asked him if it stank.

9 ... that around 35 percent of all billionaires never got a college degree?
It is noteworthy that education alone is not the only factor in financial success. Personal characteristics and the ability to recognize and seize opportunities also play an important role.

10 … that only eight percent of all money in the world is actually tangible and the rest is only digital?
If everyone were to withdraw their money at the same time, the cash would used up very quickly. 

11 … that the iPhone is the most profitable product in the world and about 50 percent of the price is Apple's profit?
This shows how successful and lucrative this product is for the company. This has helped Apple become one of the most valuable companies in the world.

12 … the term “money laundering” goes back to Al Capone, since he used laundromats for this purpose?
The term is often associated with the notorious American mobster Al Capone, who invested illegal proceeds from prostitution and smuggling alcohol in laundromats in the 1920s. These businesses were convenient because they were cash-intensive, and the proceeds could easily be mixed with the legal proceeds of the laundromat to maintain the appearance of legality.

13 … that if you invested just $100 in Bitcoin in July 2010, the Bitcoins would have been worth over $27 million at the end of 2018?
In July 2010, the price of one Bitcoin was around US$0.08. If you invested $100 in Bitcoin at that time, you would have bought about 1250 Bitcoins ($100 / $0.08 per Bitcoin).

14 …that American Airlines saved $40,000 in 1987 by using one fewer olive in each salad than before?
This cost saving shows how small changes in food preparation and catering can translate into significant savings for a business, especially considering airlines prepare thousands of meals for their passengers every day.

15 … that in 1999 the Google founders wanted to sell their company to competitor Excite for one million dollars and Excite rejected the deal?
In 1999, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin attempted to sell their company to then-competitor Excite for $1 million. Excite was one of the leading search engines and online portals at the time. The Google founders were still students at the time and their company was in its infancy.