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A boost to the digitization of Switzerland

Harmonization

Harmonization

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.

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Financial services industry initiative

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.

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Payment area

Payment area

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.

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Cooperation

Cooperation

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.

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Readiness

Readiness

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.

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Advantages

Advantages

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.

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Security

Security

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.

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Compliance

Compliance

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.

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Digital Switzerland

Digital Switzerland

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.

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Facts & figures

Effort Involved in Switching Depends on Degree of Automation

To find out how far the changeover to ISO 20022 has progressed, in summer 2017 the research institute gfs.bern conducted an online survey of 1,500 companies, public agencies, and associations all over Switzerland. On the basis of their degree of automation, these organizations were categorized as “seriously affected” or “moderately affected.” Companies that bill manually and make payments, for example, via online bank, are not affected by the move to ISO 20022 to the extent that they do not yet have to take proactive steps.

To the findings

Clear Majority Already Initiated Project

At the time the survey was conducted in July 2017, around 60% of seriously and moderately affected organizations had already launched a project to switch to ISO 20022. 40% of the organizations affected by ISO 20022 expected to have completed the changeover by 30 June 2018. By mid-2018 the idea is that practically all organizations will have changed over to ISO 20022. This way they will have automated processes end to end for making entries and executing incoming and outgoing payments, and will be ready for the QR bill in 2019.

To the findings

Different Industries at Different Stages

There are differences between industries. Organizations producing relatively large volumes of bills tend to be further along the path. But ISO 20022 affects all companies with accounting software. Companies still working with DTA will increasingly have to reckon with delays and manual work when initiating payments and reconciling incoming payments in their accounts receivables accounting. These problems will be accentuated by the introduction of the QR bill.

To the findings

Benefits Acknowledged

90% of the organizations surveyed are satisfied or very satisfied with the domestic payment transfer system; rates of satisfaction with foreign payments were only slightly lower, and the survey shows that most people recognize the benefits. 60% of those polled believe that the standardization will only bring benefits or primarily bring benefits; this figure rises to 70% for moderately to seriously affected companies. The most frequently cited benefits included less susceptibility to error thanks to the use of IBAN, the digitization of business processes, and more straightforward cross-border payments.

To the findings

Backbone of the economy

A highly available payments infrastructure is the foundation of economic coexistence and the backbone of the Swiss economy.

Systemically relevant

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 code.

Responsible structural change

The Swiss financial industry is taking a very responsible approach to digital transformation. Even after the introduction of the QR code it will be possible to make paper-based payments by post, at a bank or post office, or enter payments manually via e-banking.

QR-bill

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.

More information
Picture QR-bill for download

First ISO 20022, then the QR-bill

In 2019 the new QR-bill will replace all payment slips; it can only be implemented once the changeover to ISO 20022 at the end of June 2018 is complete throughout Switzerland.

More information

Requirements for the QR-bill
Changeover in accounting software

Ready for ISO 20022

Key milestone: June 2018

The harmonization of payment traffic is well under way. An important milestone is changing accounting software over to ISO 20022 by the end of June 2018. Among other things, organizations that manage the switch by then will meet the technical requirements to replace existing payment slips with the QR-bill in 2019. Companies of all sizes have already moved their payment processes over to ISO 20022. Four of them talk about their experience with the changeover and the benefits they’re set to gain from the new digital processes.

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Progress reports
Changeover in accounting software
Requirements for the QR-bill

Get started now and change over by 30 June 2018

Corporate users that make payments via file transfers, automatically reconcile account transactions, or enter them in their financial accounting must move over to the relevant bookkeeping software by 30 June 2018. Among other things, organizations that manage the switch by then will meet the technical requirements to replace existing payment slips with the QR-bill in 2019.

More information

Changeover in accounting software
Requirements for the QR-bill
Progress reports

Prepared for new payment procedures

The QR-bill will replace all payment slips. Organizations that want to be able to process QR-bills electronically must move their accounting software over to ISO 20022 prior to this. Not all information on the QR-bill can be processed using the Swiss DTA standard, and there is even a risk that payments might be rejected.

More information

Changeover in accounting software

Blog

The latest developments in the harmonization and standardization of payment traffic in Switzerland.

Author


Alfred Meyenberg__Harmonization of Payment Transactions at PostFinance Programme Leader

The final countdown has begun at PostFinance

We are making good progress on harmonization with the ISO 20022 standard which is proceeding on schedule. We are now fully focused on implementation after a long conceptual phase.

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Author


Boris Brunner__Head of Business Development & Operations, SIX Interbank Clearing AG

Cleaning the Augean stables: a herculean task for Switzerland?

One of the many labors of Hercules was to muck out King Augeas’s stables in only one day. They hadn’t been cleaned in over 30 years and were full of the dung of 3,000 cattle.

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Author


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

If you need cash you can go to an ATM, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Today we take this for granted. But fifty years ago when the first Swiss ATM was unveiled on Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse it was nothing short of a sensation.

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Author


Nicole Walker__Head of Product Management Payment Solutions, PostFinance Ltd, Member of the Swiss Payments Council

Capital works better without paper

“Big things often have small beginnings” is a particularly apt saying in the age of digitization. There’s no doubt that digital transformation is one of the most essential drivers of growth in a nation of business such as Switzerland.

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Author


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

Everyone finds it hard to abandon familiar ways. But sometimes it’s worth rethinking long-established approaches and adapting to the times.

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Author


Jean-Marc Hensch__CEO of Swico

Pixels versus media breaks

Back in the good old days everything was so “easy”: you carefully filled out your payment slips at home, went to the bank, withdrew the cash you needed, and then paid your bills at the post office.

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Author


Urs Bieri__co-director of gfs.bern

People don’t like giving up old habits

A whole 93% of business clients are satisfied or fairly satisfied with domestic payment transfer traffic. We rarely see such high figures in our surveys.

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Video

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.

The harmonization of payment traffic basically affects all organizations that make payment transfers. Here you’ll see what’s changing and how you can take advantage of harmonization.

© PostFinance Ltd

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.

About us

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.

Partners

We’re helping boost the digitization of Switzerland.

Contact

You can reach us at the following address:

PaymentStandards.CH
Hardturmstrasse 201, 8021 Zürich

vasb@cnlzragfgnaqneqf.pu

 

You’ll find more information for organizations and software providers at
www.paymentstandards.ch