1) For tourists, there is the Swiss Half Fare Card at CHF 130 per person. See: Swiss Half Fare Card
It is an e-ticket that does not need any photo or account. It is valid together with the physical passports, so bring them with you when you travel in Switzerland. Passport copies and photos are not accepted.
2) Yes, you can buy the Swiss Half Fare Card for all your group members. There is no account needed to do so. However, for each Swiss Half Fare Card you must enter their first and surname as well as their date of birth as given in the traveller’s passports.
You can buy all the tickets for your group members. It is sufficient if you open an account for you, through which you can purchase all the tickets. You could also use the SBB Mobile app for this. To purchase tickets for others, you have to add them as co-travellers on tab Profile first. Enter their names and date of birth as each ticket must bear the first name and surname as well as the correct date of birth of the person travelling.
I am working as a ticket inspector. Sometimes I find it quite cumbersome to check multiple Swiss Half Fare Cards and multiple tickets, all shown on the same mobile phone. This way, the ticket check takes ages. It would be much easier if everyone had a print out of their Swiss Half Fare Card and present their tickets individually, for example together with the tickets taken at the SBB Travel Center or from the machine, unless you want to buy Saver Day Passes or Supersaver tickets.
3) The international phone number from the U.S. is 011 41 51 225 78 56 (available 24/7).
Please get back to us should you have more queries.