«Structured additional information» for billers
Many – particularly large – billers seek to process the bills they receive as automatically as possible. Therefore, they expect their billers to send structured additional information to them.
The banks are aware that the needs in this regard can vary. Therefore, logic was defined that enables billers to send specific information to their customers in the QR code.
So that incoming bills can be automatically processed even better, the database of the QR code offers the option of transmitting additional information from the biller. Since no suitable field was available for this, the option of also delivering structured information was created in the "unstructured message" field. The content of this field is interpreted as text (= "unstructured") until the character series "##" appears. As of this position, the rest of the field is interpreted according to a defined syntax (structure) (= "structured" part). The additional information necessary can vary from biller to biller. So that the needs of the various sectors can be depicted, an approach was defined that makes it possible to depict a variety of solutions. The meaning of the first two characters of the structured part (after "##") is predetermined as follows:
|1st character||indicates the syntax that describes the further content|
|2nd character||indicates the version of the syntax used (facilitates future further development of the syntax)|
The following table shows which organizations have currently defined syntax and where the definition of the syntax is to be found.
|Organization||Indicator||Description||Link to syntax definition|
|SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd||BD||Bilaterally defined||There is no syntax for this. The parties involved have agreed the content bilaterally.|
|Swico – Trade Association for Digital Switzerland||S1||General syntax that enables the most common information to be depicted||www.swico.ch|
Further organizations or associations that would like to define and maintain their own syntax can contact PaymentStandards.CH to clarify the possibilities and further procedures. To receive its own code, an organization must demonstrate that it represents a relevant group of companies, among other things.
Implementation through providers of solutions for billing
During the implementation of this function, providers of software solutions must make sure that the filling of structured information can be managed through the master data. For each bill recipient it must at least be possible to define whether they should receive this structured data (does not make much sense for private individuals). A more convenient form must even make it possible to control which version (filled in information) should be delivered (e.g. choice between n versions).
There are neither guidelines nor recommendations regarding this. Providers of software solutions know their customers best and should be in a position to define a good solution for them.
Implementation through providers of bill processing
If a bill recipient receives structured data from his supplier, it should be possible to read it from their solution. Since the structured content received by most bill recipients will vary (different values with the same syntax or possibly even different syntax), their solution should be able to process various constellations. Furthermore, it would make sense to already plan for the extension of a new, future syntax.