Harmonisation of payment transactions in Switzerland

Harmonisation of payment transactions in Switzerland

ISO 20022 standard

The essentials

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 ISO 20022 standard.
  • The process to harmonise payment transactions concerns all clients, companies and individuals.
  • BCGE is working to ease the transition for all its clients. Our specialists are at your disposal to assist you in these developments.

Developments

From 30.09.2022, financial institutions will no longer process orange (BVR) and red (BV) payment slips and will gradually phase them out by that date.

Therefore, the following changes will apply from 31.10.2021:

  • The bank will no longer issue new BVR contracts and will instead offer the QR-bill
  • The option to order payment slips in your Netbanking will be removed and replaced by the QR-bill
  • It will no longer be possible to order blank perforated BVR paper through your adviser

We recommend that you to switch to a new invoicing method now, which your customers are in principle already prepared to process as of 30.06.2020:

  • If you have an BVR contract, switch to the QR-bill instead and settle your transactions automatically using camt files (ISO 20022 standard). BCGE will be happy to assist you in this process.
  • If you order payment slips via Netbanking or from your adviser, you can now order QR-bills in just one click. This function is already available.

The introduction of the QR-bill on 30 June 2020 represents a new stage in the modernisation of invoicing methods. The move towards the QR-bill was confirmed at the beginning of 2021, with the announcement that payment slips will be discontinued from 30 September 2022. Issuers that have not yet adopted the QR-bill will have to be ready by this date.

 

What is going to change?

  • The new QR-bill 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 is replaced by an account number exclusively in IBAN or QR-IBAN format. BVRs additionally contain a specific QR-IID for each individual financial institution. Switching to the IBAN format is imperative in order to be able to issue and process QR-bills.
  • The QR-bill is available in three formats with two new payment references: QR-IBAN with QR reference, IBAN with creditor reference, IBAN without reference (more information).
  • The QR-bill can either be printed directly by the invoice issuers with any standard printer on white perforated/pre-cut paper so that the payment section and receipt can be separated, or it can be printed in PDF format with visible dividing lines and a scissor symbol on the invoice.
  • The electronic and automated tracking of QR-bill payments requires a switch to ISO20022 (camt). The camt.054 file that replaces the current BVR file (V11) will reconcile both QR-bill payments and BVR payments during the transition period.
  • The technical specifications of the QR-bill can be consulted here.

 

Note: The QR-bill provides all the necessary payment information. You can pay your invoices electronically or by sending a Quick Order to the bank.

 

What are the advantages?

For the invoice recipient

  • Reduced risk of error thanks to the QR code
  • More information can be exchanged between the issuer and the recipient
  • Free choice of payment channel
  • Harmonisation of the payment slip format

 

For the invoice issuer

  • Reduced risk of error thanks to the QR code
  • More information can be exchanged between the issuer and the recipient
  • Detailed information on statements and notices
  • Free choice of payment channel
  • Harmonisation of the payment slip format
 

What steps should you take to pay your QR-bills?

What steps should be taken to issue QR-bills?

eBill facilitates the management of invoices for both the invoice issuer and the invoice recipient.
 

As an issuer, eBill enables you to create your invoices in your accounting system and send them directly to your clients via their e-banking.

 

As a recipient, you have an overview of your digital invoices at all times. You can access the eBill platform via Netbanking. The platform opens in a separate window and offers extremely practical functions.


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