Digital payment processes
The Swiss payment traffic is among the fastest and most secure in the world. To ensure it remains at the head of the field, by 2020 it will be modernized on the basis of ISO 20022. This is an opportunity to streamline all the different payment processes and instruments that have evolved over the course of time. PostFinance and the other banks will be aligning their credit transfer schemes and replacing their own proprietary standards with ISO 20022. The multiplicity of formats, procedures, and types of payment slips will be harmonized, and all bank and postal account numbers will be replaced by the international standard IBAN. The seven types of payment slip currently in use will give way to a digitally readable QR-bill containing all payment-related data. In the course of harmonization, the Swiss financial industry intends to create a single market solution incorporating the functionalities of the different direct debit procedures used by the banks and PostFinance. The entire payment process, from biller to bill recipient, will be streamlined and harmonized in line with a single standard, to the benefit of all market participants.
The benefits of greater speed
The changeover will affect all billers, as it involves the introduction of a new data format for the entire range of credit transfers (message types) and account movements. As a result, in addition to financial institutions, companies of all sizes, public-sector bodies, non-profit organizations, and associations are all now required to migrate their systems to the new message types and at the same time adapt their payment interfaces to the banks. The payoff following the changeover will be end-to-end digital processes allowing more efficient credit transfers, notifications, and reporting. The current payment slips will be replaced by the QR-bill that speeds up the settlement of payments for private and business customers. More
Payment process: ISO 20022 throughout
For years the international standards ISO 20022 and ISO 13616 (IBAN) have been in increasingly widespread use, not just throughout the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), but worldwide. Switzerland, which has been part of the SEPA system since 2006, already uses these two standards for SEPA payments. Now it is making the technological shift for Swiss franc payments as well. This means that in the future, the IBAN is all that will be needed for account identification for both domestic and cross-border transactions. More
Paper-based payments still possible
Even after the introduction of the QR-bill it will be possible to read all the relevant information without technical tools. So people will still be able to make payments at post office counters or by mail, or enter them manually via e-banking.
On behalf of the Swiss banks, SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd is coordinating the changeover to ISO 20022 and the harmonization of payment traffic, and via PaymentStandards.CH is issuing binding standards for all parties involved in Swiss payment traffic.
SIX Interbank Clearing, a SIX company, is a joint venture of the Swiss financial industry. On behalf of the industry the company issues operating rules for payment traffic, represents the industry in matters related to the issuance of domestic and international standards, and develops, processes, and operates payment methods and systems.