Of customer payments amounting to CHF 6,946 billion, more than one-fifth are cross-border transactions. In 2015 a total of around CHF 1,500 billion was transferred from Switzerland to another country or vice versa, more than one third in euro. The Swiss economy is intricately connected with the rest of the world. ISO 20022 will simplify payment transactions to and from other countries and facilitate the exchange of goods and services. Harmonization will extend an increasingly digital value chain to include payment traffic and help create more favorable economic conditions for business overall. This in turn has the potential to boost the entire economy and Switzerland’s attractiveness as a place to do business. More
Euro payments area
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) comprises 34 countries including Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In August 2014 all EU states migrated their national payment systems to SEPA and in conjunction with this to ISO 20022. Collaboration within the SEPA is based on private-law contracts between the European Payments Council (EPC) and the financial institutions. The EPC, an alliance of banks and banking associations from across Europe, defines the rules for all standardized and international payment schemes in the SEPA. All countries undertake to keep to these rules. The bank-client relationship is not directly affected. However, certain standards can only be complied with if they are adopted by the clients of financial institutions; this will be the case for the changeover to ISO 20022.
Cross-border customer payments
Long-term security of investment
ISO 20022 is also gaining ground in the rest of the world. More and more countries, including Japan and Australia, have already introduced the standard in various forms or are in the process of doing so. Other major industrial nations, including the United States and Canada, are also looking into implementing ISO 20022. This international trend to globally recognized standards not only guarantees end-to-end interoperability, but also assures security of investment in the long term. IBAN, introduced in Switzerland in 2002, is also based on an ISO standard (ISO 13616). It is now used in almost 70 countries as a universal identification number facilitating cross-border payments.