A boost to the digitization of Switzerland
PostFinance and the other banks are harmonizing their credit transfer schemes to streamline complex formats, procedures, and payment slips that have evolved over time. Processes will be automated end to end and aligned on the basis of the international ISO 20022 standard.
Financial services industry initiative
With more than a billion credit transfers a year, payment traffic’s vitally important to Switzerland. The financial services industry initiative supports the digital transformation of the economy and society, assures automated compliance throughout the process, and boosts Swiss business attractiveness.
Harmonization will facilitate global trade of goods and services. Switzerland is acting in harmony with its European partners and the trend to globally recognized technology standards. This guarantees straightforward transfer chains and assures security of investment in the long term.
Standardized message types make communication between financial institutions and their clients quicker and more precise. Financial institutions are supporting their corporate clients and working hand in hand with software providers on implementation, which is in full swing.
Why change if everything works fine? People are very satisfied with the payment transfer system, but no industry is immune to technological change. They have to adapt. The changeover is under way. For it to be a success, the necessary steps have to be taken in good time.
Digitally readable QR codes will significantly reduce the manual work involved and reduce error rates in credit transfers. This will save private individuals and SMEs time and money, and enable companies to optimize their cash management and costs of capital.
The QR code, part of the digital routine in many industries, is also finding its way into the payment transfer system. It is regulated by international standards, secure, easy to use, and with the appropriate app can be scanned by any smartphone. The underlying systems are reliable and secure.
After the changeover all the data necessary to assess risks will flow to the recipient’s bank. This will enable full, automated compliance with the anti-money laundering legislation. The international ISO 20022 standard will facilitate efficient adaptation to future requirements.
Harmonization of the payment transfer system will boost the digitization of Switzerland and facilitate the transformation taking place in many areas of business and society. The change is being made responsibly, taking account of all sections of the population and businesses.
Facts & figures
ISO 20022 Implemented Successfully
The successful introduction of ISO 20022 for corporate users marks an important milestone in the harmonization of payment traffic. By the end of June around 80% of corporate users were submitting their payments on the basis of the new technology standard. As a survey of banks conducted by SIX Interbank Clearing AG showed, 80% of transaction volume had also been migrated. In recent months there has been a rapid and continuous increase in the number of users making the changeover – a message also underscored by a representative survey conducted by gfs.bern in April 2018 on behalf of the financial industry, which indicated that 90% of the organizations polled had already launched a changeover project.
Backbone of the economy
A highly available payments infrastructure is the foundation of economic coexistence and the backbone of the Swiss economy.
Although payment traffic is just as important to Switzerland as the water and electricity supply, it’s provided by the private sector.
1 In terms of gross value added (2014) and number of employees (2015). 2 In terms of importance to the economic cycle and the provision of basic supplies, and in terms of substitutability. 3 Excluding payment traffic
Source: Deloitte (2016): Study into the impact of payment system harmonization in Switzerland
Trend to digital
The trend to digital payments will accelerate in the next few years with the advent of ISO 20022 and the new QR-bill.
Responsible structural change
The Swiss financial industry is taking a very responsible approach to digital transformation. Even after the introduction of the QR-bill it will be possible to make paper-based payments by post, at a bank or post office, or enter payments manually via e-banking.
Introduction of the QR-bill at companies: Prepare in good time
Companies have to be able to pay QR-bills from 30 June 2020. From billing to payment and notification, corporate users will find the new payment processes easier and more cost-efficient. But they will need to make certain adjustments, particularly in terms of their accounts payable and payment software. They will also have to make sure the hardware and software of their reading devices and scanning platforms are prepared in time to process QR-bills.
The new QR-bill will replace all payment slips
The seven different types of payment slip will give way to a digitally readable QR code containing all payment-related data. The new solution, called the QR-bill, will make it easier for businesses and consumers to handle invoices and credit transfers. Companies will be able to print out QR-bills themselves, and recipients of bills will be able to initiate payments with only a few clicks using a smartphone or other reader. It will be possible to read all the information necessary for the payment without technical equipment. People will still be able to make payments at the post office counter or by mail, or enter them manually via e-banking.
Ready for ISO 20022
Key milestone reached
The successful introduction of ISO 20022 for corporate users marked an important milestone in the harmonization of payment traffic. On the basis of the internationally recognized standard, payment information now flows end to end in digital form from the party initiating payment to the recipient’s accounting software. This makes companies’ entire financial management more efficient and economical. Corporate users from a range of industries report on their experience with ISO 20022 and reveal the benefits payment traffic harmonization has brought them.
To the progress reports
to the interview with Pius Koch, Rivella AG (in german)
to the interview with Pascal Flückiger, NOVO Business Consultants AG (in german)
to the report about Predrag Nenadovic, CBA Computer Broker AG (in german)
to the interview with Karin Merkli (in german)
to the interview with René Glauser, Swisslux AG (in german)
to the interview with Patrick Meade, quitt.ch (in german)
to the interview with Patrick Angyan, Emaform AG
to the interview with Patrick Beer, WANDER AG
to the interview with Lorenz Fäh and Stephan Ebnöther, Stewi AG (in german)
to the interview with Chantal Vuistiner, Vuistiner Frères & Cie
Closing gaps in the changeover
According to a survey of banks conducted by SIX Interbank Clearing AG, around 80% of corporate users had moved their accounting software over to ISO 20022 by the end of June. The banks are currently agreeing binding deadlines with corporate users to make the changeover before the end of 2018. It’s important for these users to meet this deadline because since 1 July 2018 the existing DTA standard has no longer been centrally supported, developed, or documented by SIX. Anyone still working with DTA can assume that this standard will no longer be accepted by financial institutions handling payments either.
Contact your bank or software provider now if you have not already embarked on the changeover to ISO 20022.
The latest developments in the harmonization and standardization of payment traffic in Switzerland.
Boris Brunner__Head of Business Development & Operations, SIX Interbank Clearing AG
Who would have thought?
Bettina Witzmann-Walter__Liechtenstein Bankers Association, Compliance & Payments
ISO 20022 and the QR Bill: an Important Milestone for our neighbor Liechtenstein
Patrick Beer__financial accountant, Wander AG
Why standards are so important for everything from Ovaltine to payment traffic
Alfred Meyenberg__Harmonization of Payment Transactions at PostFinance Programme Leader
The final countdown has begun at PostFinance
Boris Brunner__Head of Business Development & Operations, SIX Interbank Clearing AG
Cleaning the Augean stables: a herculean task for Switzerland?
Markus Beck__Head of Product Management, Corporate Client Payment Solutions, Raiffeisen Switzerland, Member of the Board of Directors of SIX Interbank Clearing AG
Bulletproof Glass Gives Way to Touchscreens: Banks Go Digital
Nicole Walker__Head of Product Management Payment Solutions, PostFinance Ltd, Member of the Swiss Payments Council
Capital works better without paper
David Wiesner__Member of the Board of Directors of SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd, Member of the Executive Committee of RBA Holding Ltd and Entris Banking Ltd
Good reason for clients to be happy: greater competition
Jean-Marc Hensch__CEO of Swico
Pixels versus media breaks
Urs Bieri__co-director of gfs.bern
People don’t like giving up old habits
The path to the QR-bill at companies. The QR-bill will be introduced, and the first bills of this type sent, on 30 June 2020. Plan the changeover well ahead and adapt your hard- and software in good time to be able to process and pay QR-bills. Find out more in the video (in german).
Payment traffic harmonization is key in terms of helping drive the process of digital transformation sweeping all sections of society and the economy. The video summarizes the most important new developments and shows what will change for corporate and private clients.
By 2020 the processes involved in Swiss payment traffic will have been digitized, and simplified. So make sure you switch your organization over to ISO 20022 – and do the relevant testing – in good time. Find out more in the video. © UBS Switzerland
It will take Michael – the head of a small construction business – a long time to forget this particular moment at 8:45 a.m. on July 30, 2018. His world is about to be turned upside down. He failed to reach the first milestone to migrate to the new ISO 20022 standard for payment transactions. Don’t let the same thing happen to you! Once you watch this video, you’ll know what to do. © Credit Suisse
The first real-time payment system revolutionized interbank payment transactions across the world, and sets new standards. Now all transactions in Swiss francs run via the SIC system.
Driving digital Switzerland together
Activating Digital Switzerland is an information campaign run by PaymentStandards.CH, the Swiss financial industry’s official communications platform for the standardization and harmonization of payment traffic. The changeover to the international ISO 20022 standard will enable more highly automated payment transactions. To implement the infrastructure project the financial industry is working closely with business and the ICT industry. Together they are driving digital transformation and helping give the whole of Switzerland a boost.