Who is affected and what needs to be done?

The process to harmonise Swiss payments will affect everyone on the Swiss financial market, with banks and businesses set to have most to do in light of the changes. Private individuals will not notice much of an impact initially.

 

Companies

Essentially, the changes being made to payments will affect all companies that transfer money and, specifically, the following business processes:

  • Processes relating to accounts receivable and invoicing (including direct debits)
  • Processes relating to accounts payable and paying invoices
  • Processes relating to HR and salary/pension payments
  • Account reconciliation and statements; liquidity and cash management

In other words, companies need to take direct action.

It all depends on what software your company uses!

Key to the switchover to the ISO 20022 standard is the type of software a company uses for its payments.

Do you use standardised software solutions?

Standardised solutions of this kind are developed for accounting, billing, payments and similar tasks. If you use standard software, then we recommend that you do the following as soon as possible:

Recommendation: 

  • Contact your software partner.
  • Upgrade your software.
  • Undertake the necessary configurations (e.g. bank account, account number, master data).

Do you use individual software solutions?

If you use your own software solutions, you must make them ISO 20022-compatible.

Recommendation:

  • Contact your IT department and/or your software partner.
  • Launch a project to carry out the implementation in a structured manner.
  • Conduct an impact analysis and define your requirements.
  • Plan implementation and testing.
  • Your software partner will then ensure that your own software solutions meet the ISO requirements.

Further recommendations:

  • Replace your reader for BISR payment slips with a scanner for the QR invoice that support QR codes by mid-2020 at the latest.
  • Start migrating all your key data to IBAN format now, without forgetting your standing orders.

IBAN calculator: Individual IBAN calculations of conventional bank accont numbers from Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

Private individuals

From 2021, it will only be possible to use the 21-digit IBAN (e.g. CH12 3456 7890 1234 5678 9) for any kind of payment, with a  new QR invoice set to replace the old slips in future. Aside from these changes, private individuals will not really notice much of the harmonisation process. On the whole, the new Swiss payments system is designed to make it even easier for people in the country to pay by e-bill, direct debit or credit transfer.

 

This means that individuals will not need to do anything as the new features will primarily be informative in nature.

The main changes to payment processes

Recommendation:

  • Start migrating all your key data to IBAN format now, without forgetting your standing orders.