Harmonization

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

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