Frequently asked questions

We have summarised all the important information about the harmonisation of Swiss payments for you.

Who is being affected by the migration of payment processes?

The switchover of payment processes is essentially affecting everyone on the Swiss financial market, However, the implications and the need to take action will vary from case to case. For instance, the impact on financial institutions, providers of payment services and international corporations that do not use standardised software to process their payments will be greater than on SMEs that handle all their payments on a standard system.

Private individuals will not really notice much of the harmonisation process initially, with the main obvious change being the new QR invoice featuring a data code.

Which customers will be affected by the switch to the new ISO 20022 standard?

Primarily companies.

I’m a company. What do I need to do?

Contact your IT and/or software partner. If you use standard software, a release update will switch you to ISO 20022. If not, a software developer will ensure that your own software solutions meet the ISO requirements.


Who is affected and what needs to be done?

I’m a private individual. What do I need to do?

As you are a private individual, you do not need to do anything at the moment. However, we recommend that you switch all your key data to IBAN format now, without forgetting your standing orders.


Who is affected and what needs to be done?

I’m a customer of Bank CIC. Can I keep on using the same payment products as I do now?

Yes. The products that Bank CIC offers for credit transfers and direct debits will still be available.

What are the benefits of the changes to payment processes?

Everyone stands to benefit from the harmonisation of payments because migrating them to the international ISO 20022 standard will generate synergy effects along the entire value chain – meaning more information and lower processing, development and maintenance costs. The uniform ISO 20022 standard will simplify processes, improve data quality and straight-through processing (“STP”) rates and minimise errors. And the varied mix of payment slips currently in use will be replaced by just one.

How will companies benefit?

Payment processes will become simpler, quicker, more efficient and more secure. The changes that are needed will also enable companies to optimise the payment services that they use in the interests of integrated cash management.

Is Switzerland discontinuing the DTA format for payment instructions?

Yes. The Swiss DTA format will no longer be offered on the market. Nevertheless, you will still be able to submit all your payment instructions to Bank CIC as DTA files during the transition period, which will run until at least the end of 2018. DTA is set to be replaced by messages that comply with the ISO 20022 standard.

How is Bank CIC going to be introducing the harmonisation process for its payments?

Bank CIC is using the developments on the market as an opportunity to align its payment infrastructure even more closely with its customers’ requirements. Old applications are being replaced by new ISO 20022-compatible systems. Bank CIC will be switching its systems to ISO 20022 gradually and will keep you regularly up to date on any news.

When will Bank CIC be fully ISO 20022-compliant?

The system at Bank CIC has been completely switched over by mid of November 2017, at which point it is possible to process payments via this interface.

Which message types in accordance with the ISO 20022 standard will be offered by Bank CIC?

  • Pain.001 Credit transfers, client > bank, in CH format (from Nov. 2017)
  • Pain.002 Status reports, bank > client, in CH format (expected from Q4 2018)


Account statements/reports, bank > client (camt messages)

  • Camt.053 ISO Version.04
    Previous day account statement, without collective entry information (from Nov. 2017)
  • Camt.054 ISO Version.04
    Credit advice, with BESR information (from Nov. 2017) and credit/debit advice with all collective entry information (expected from Q4 2018)

For how long will Bank CIC continue to support the DTA standard?

Until the end of 2018.

When will eBill be available at Bank CIC?

It is expected to be available from the second quarter of 2019 onwards.

How would Bank CIC recommend its customers prepare for Switzerland’s harmonisation process?

  • Changing all of your old account number formats over to the latest IBAN format, including for payments within Switzerland.
  • Changing all of your old bank codes to BICs (SWIFT codes) for payments abroad.
  • If relevant, contact your IT or software partner so that you can plan and budget for the changes you will need to make in the future in light of the ISO 20022 standard (abolishing the DTA format).

We’re still using a lot of the traditional-style account numbers. What’s the most efficient way to change them all to IBANs?

SIX Interbank Clearing provides various tools for switching traditional-style Swiss account numbers to IBANs. You can use SIX’s IBAN calculator to convert individual account numbers. For switching a large number at once, we would recommend the IBAN tool which uses batch processing to convert Swiss account numbers (exported from your accounting system) to IBANs automatically.


IBAN calculator


IBAN tool for converting account numbers into IBANs

Will the current SWIFT messaging processes remain valid?

The SWIFT message types currently in use (MT940, MT942, MT900/910) will continue to be valid.

I am planning to convert my software to ISO 20022 standard soon. How can I make sure that there will be no problems with exchanging data with the bank after the conversion?

The best way is to use our testing platform to test the data exchange. We check the test files sent to us for you or assist you with running an analysis if your software cannot process the files provided by the bank.

I am a business customer but I do not want to exchange data with Bank CIC. What do I have to do?

If you do not want to exchange data* with Bank CIC or any other financial institution via your current software, you do not need to do anything. Simply replace the account number with the IBAN in the master data gradually and always enter the BIC (SWIFT code) for international payments.


* Transfer of DTA files (customer to bank) or receipt of BESR/MT940 files (bank to customer)

If you have any further questions about the migration of payment processes, please do not hesitate to contact your relationship manager or call our hotline on +41 (0)58 258 16 00.