On its SME Portal, SECO explains the background to the harmonization.
QR-bill – payment slips
The new QR-bill replacing all current Swiss payment slips from January 2019 will make payments even more efficient in the future. It is an important contribution to the sustainability of payment traffic in a digital Switzerland. The QR-bill shows the QR code with a Swiss cross as the identifying feature. This Swiss QR Code contains in digital form all the information necessary for payment.
Along with the printed information, the Swiss QR Code forms the payment part of the QR-bill in A6 format. It is suitable for all payment types, supports billing in CHF and EUR and is fully compliant with the regulatory requirements arising from the revised Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance.
The most important new features for billers
- The QR-bill can be created by the biller using a standard commercial printer, as the payment part is in black and white.
- The QR-bill may contain additional information such as the company identification or a bill number to the bill recipient, enabling automatic reconciliation with bookkeeping.
- The Swiss QR Code itself can be included on posters or flyers (e.g. for donations) and used for alternative payment procedures available currently or in the future; e-billing and TWINT, for example, are currently being discussed.
The most important new features for bill recipients
- The payment part of the QR-bill is in black and white instead of colour, which ensures better contrast and also improves readability for people with impaired vision.
- All payment information can be read with just one click, for example, with a smartphone (mobile banking) or reading device (e-banking) and then sent to the bank. There is no need to manually enter information, or add additional information subsequently.
- As well as being contained in the Swiss QR Code, all the information needed for payment is also printed on the payment part and so can be read without using a technical device.
- The QR-bill can also potentially be used for alternative procedures such as TWINT and e-billing, should billers offer this.
There will be a transition period, which will be kept as short as possible, during which the current payment slips can be used alongside QR-bills. Billers will therefore be able to make the switch at a time that is preferable to them. As billers will be able to send the first QR-bills from January 2019, from that date all market participants will be required to have the technical capacity to use QR-bills for payment and processing.