- e-government, allows you to do more and more simply online
- e-signature, allowing you to sign a contract online (need an additional software for that such as SwissSigner10 and is also supported by Adobe 9)
- as a login/authentication mechanism to use web applications that support SuisseID
The Swiss Post is the official distribution partner for the SuisseID. You need to fill out a form online and then go to a post office to verify with your current ID such as a passport to obtain the chip card with your ID. There are then three ways to use it: simple USB reader that holds the chip, USB stick that holds the chip and also contains more software such as a secure browser and the SwissSigner10 software to do online signatures, or a plastic card (the size of a credit card) that works with a card reader.
I looked into it as a way to do online signatures for us but then decided that we actually don’t need it right now or the 238 CHF for this option is not worth it. Probably for a company who does many contracts this is a small worthwhile investment though. The option with USB reader only is quite cheap with 39 CHF. For doing e-government this is worth paying I think and once I am officially Swiss will probably get one to be able to vote online and use other e-government services conveniently.