The Swiss QR Code and the future of digital payment

‘Who invented it…?’ — it wasn’t the Swiss but they do know how to make clever of it!

You may already know that the payment formats used in Switzerland were changed over as of the end of June 2020, thus taking a digital step forwards with the new ISO 20022 standard. In the course of this, the payment slip for the payment of business bills in all Swiss companies has been replaced nationwide by the Swiss QR Code, which appears on the lower part of the invoice.

This code will simplify commercial processes and exploit synergies between all those involved in payment transactions, which in turn will make the procedures faster, better and therefore also more cost-effective in the long run.

What is the new Swiss QR Code?

We are all familiar with the two-dimensional QR barcode, which can be read quickly and easily by a smartphone, relieving us of the task of setting up an Internet connection, linking us to a specific website and feeding us with other data. The new Swiss QR Code also consists of the black and white matrix that contains binary coded data. It does of course bear the Swiss cross brand, which from now on is located on the lower part of the bill. Until just recently, as in many other countries, a payment slip could be found on red perforated paper.

The entire billing process is now very simple:

  • using appropriate tools, the bill issuer generates the bill, which contains the new Swiss QR Code.
  • the documents are then sent to the end customer.
  • the customer is pleased and can conveniently complete the payment with his banking app by simply reading the Swiss QR Code.

How does this work technically?

It works by converting and coding all the required payment information into a formally correct Swiss QR Code and then automatically integrating this generated code into existing documents and templates.

For this purpose, a so-called formatter or renderer creates documents, such as bills and so on in the document management and in the background also converts the previously entered information directly into the QR code, which it then automatically inserts into the document.

This works great with so-called batch documents (i.e. bulk consignments like bills, reminder notices, etc.). However, there are also integrated solutions in the Customer Communication Management System for individual correspondence and circular letters. These work with an optional template element that can be inserted as required and guides the user in a quick and uncomplicated way through the creation process for such a code. In this process the user is guided step by step so that only the relevant data, such as the IBAN number, the amount, etc., have to be entered in the prescribed field in order to generate the Swiss QR Code.

What role does DocuMatrix play in this?

At DocuMatrix, we provide our customers with the necessary tools so that they can quickly and conveniently generate the new Swiss QR Codes. So, for our Swiss customers Bossard we already started the Swiss QR Code pilot project back at the beginning of May 2020 in order to gain experience at an early stage prior to the official changeover and to expand our products (dmDOC & docTYPE).

This means that Bossard has the requisite Swiss QR Code at hand without any complications or additional work whenever they create a document. This makes them fit for the future of payments in Switzerland with an innovative product that offers many other advantages.

The advantages at a glance

Top of the list is convenient handling of the payment process for the end customer, who is able to process the complete billing process in just a few minutes.There are also numerous advantages for the bill issuer, though, because the new method has the potential to save time and costs, while contributing to a more sustainable corporate strategy.

If the right programs are integrated into the billing process, the system delivers, virtually at the push of a button, a QR-code that can be used for all payment methods and references. Thanks to this, billing in either local or foreign currency is easier to implement and the digitization of the data also enables—in addition to the time-saving, efficient creation process—the easier monitoring of incoming payments.

In addition, specially perforated and coloured forms are no longer required. Bills therefore have even greater potential for being created, sent and processed fully electronically. That means less manual work, lower paper costs and a step further in the direction of a paper-free future.

Regardless of whether you are in Switzerland or any other country, if you are interested in changing your payment process in order to save time and costs in the long term, we will be glad to provide you with our professional advice!

We are happy to advise you!
by Maik Schawalder written on 20. September 2021