Harmonisation of payment transactions in Switzerland

Harmonisation of payment transactions in Switzerland

ISO 20022 standard

A snapshot

More straightforward payment transactions

What you need to know

  • Switzerland's payment system is being upgraded towards simpler, faster and more secure transfer methods, in line with the international standard ISO 20022.
  • The process to harmonise payment transactions concerns all companies and now, with the forthcoming replacement of payment slips by the QR-invoice, individuals.
  • BCGE is working to ease the transition for all its clients. Our specialists are at your disposal to assist you in these developments.

The main changes in ISO 20022

A new payment process for credit transfers

The ISO 20022 international standard is the standard for electronic payment orders (EPO)

  • The deadline for replacing the DTA format by the xml format (pain.001) has expired; this standard has been adopted by all Swiss banks.
  • All our clients have made the necessary adjustments and are now making their electronic payments in ISO20022 format.
  • Some clients have already adopted the ISO format for their electronic statements and notices (camt.053/054); others have remained in MT940/42 format, which will disappear by 2025 at the latest (time horizon to be confirmed for Switzerland).
  • Our specialists are at your entire disposal on +41 (0)22 809 22 88 or by e-mail iso20022@bcge.ch to assist you in the change.


         With ISO 20022


What are the benefits?

  • Increased automation of invoicing and monitoring processes
  • Optimisation of payment handling, checking and reconciliation processes
  • Clear identification of payments, from start to finish of the payment process (straight-through processing: STP), making it easier to process any returned payments


A new direct-debit payment system

With eBill, managing invoices is easy. Automate the approval of your invoices and save more time.


What's going to change?

For the invoice recipient
  • The new, more modern interface allows you to have an overview of your digital invoices at all times. Accessible from Netbanking, the eBill platform opens in a separate window and offers new and very practical functions.
  • You have additional options in managing eBill invoice authorisations, including automated delivery of invoices issued by companies of your choice.

For the invoice issuer

  • eBill allows you to issue your invoices in your accounting system and then send them to your clients via their e-banking.
     

More information 


A new invoicing format : the QR invoice
The issuing and paying of invoices is being modernised with the introduction of the QR invoice on 30 June 2020.
The QR invoice will ultimately replace the payment slips currently in use for payments in CHF and EUR. Invoice recipients must be in a position to pay QR invoices by June 30 2020, whereas a transition period (not yet determined) will be provided for issuers. In the meantime, payment slips and QR invoices will coexist.
Get ready in time !

What's going to change?

  • The new QR invoice contains a Swiss QR code that replaces the coding line and contains all the important payment information, enabling payments to be reconciled automatically.
  • The postal account or BVR participant number will be replaced by an account number exclusively in IBAN or QR-IBAN format. For BVRs, the QR-IID number specific to financial institutions will be incorporated.
  • The QR invoice is available in three versions with two new payment references: 
    QR-IBAN with QR reference, IBAN with Creditor reference, IBAN without reference (more information)
  • The QR invoice allows invoicing in CHF and EUR.
  • The QR invoice can be printed directly by invoice issuers with any standard printer.
  • The electronic and automated monitoring of QR invoice payments requires the switch to ISO20022 (camt) format. The camt.054 file that replaces the current BVR file (V11) will reconcile, during the transition period, both QR invoice payments and BVR payments.
  • The technical specifications of the QR invoice can be consulted here.

Note: All the information required for the payment will be clearly displayed on the QR invoice. It will therefore always be possible to pay your invoices via your Netbanking or giving an order to the bank.


        Current payment slips


      The new invoicing format

 


What are the benefits?

For the invoice recipient: 
  • Simplified processing of invoices
  • Free choice of payment channel (ATM, bank, electronic, mobile)
  • Reduced risk of errors thanks to QR code and improved readability
  • Standardisation of the information received
  • Payment possible in a few clicks


For the invoice issuer:

  • Simplified formats
  • More information can be exchanged between the invoice issuer and the invoice recipient
  • Simplified payment reconciliation process (camt file)
  • The QR code can be integrated into commercial applications and used in new digital payment methods
  • Printing possible on white paper by any standard printer

 


What are the consequences? What steps should you take?

Invoice recipient
  • Check your databases and enter account numbers in IBAN format

  • If you process BVRs in an automated way, you should plan to adapt your readers and scanners in order to be able to read and interpret both the QR invoices and the payment slips currently in use, depending on the type of payment slip you receive.


Invoice issuer  

  • Check your databases and enter account numbers in IBAN/QR-IBAN format
  • Check with your suppliers to ensure that your software is adapted for the generation and, if necessary, printing of QR invoices.
  • Ensure that your software will be able to reconcile payments on the basis of electronic statements in ISO20022 (camt) format.

BCGE supports you

Business e-Solutions centre

The harmonisation of payment transactions provides your company with concrete advantages, making it possible to lay the foundations for simpler and more efficient payment transactions.
"These developments are an opportunity for your company to optimise its payment processes."
Experts at our Business e-Solutions centre will help you in analysing your current position, suggest running a diagnosis of your payment processes and support you through the switchover. They will also be able to guide you towards the right tools and solutions for your business.


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