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. This is an intensive period for everyone concerned as all PostFinance business customers will switch to the new standard by the end of 2017 at the latest.

Carrying out such a large-scale project successfully requires not just a binding final deadline but also a clear strategy supported by all managers. All aspects must be defined and implemented on time from general principles to the finest detail. We have therefore allowed sufficient time to draw up the concepts and modified the implementation steps defined where necessary. Comprehensive market development plans and a wide-ranging set of reporting measures have been prepared in cooperation with external experts. It is also vital that the project has been given the necessary priority and, in turn, the personnel and financial resources.

Once the concepts have been established, the software partners are the first point of contact. The switch to ISO 20022 requires business customers to update their payment transactions or financial software. Once the software is ready, the customers can start on the actual changeover. We notified all parties concerned at an early stage to ensure they had sufficient time for the switch to ISO 20022. Our business customers have also each received a binding changeover deadline. This is the only way to ensure we definitely adhere to the final deadline and complete harmonization successfully.

A vast project like the harmonization of Swiss payment transactions can only be achieved if there is a binding requirement on the one hand. Understandably, companies have other priorities than a modification to payment transactions. However, setting specific final deadlines has encouraged customers to switch over, and ultimately everyone will benefit from simplified, automated processes. On the other hand, smooth cooperation between financial institutions, software partners and customers is also required. It is imperative that everyone pulls together in the same direction. We would therefore like to thank all those who have played a part in the project’s success. In doing so, everyone is making a significant contribution to harmonization in the Swiss financial center.

We are now in the middle of the final sprint for the finishing line. Looking back, I am able to say that I’m proud that our concepts have worked. I am grateful that we have encountered so much goodwill despite the pressure. And I am delighted that we have been able to celebrate many successes. It is now a matter of seeing things through to the end and providing customers with support until the very last changeover.