New standard

Added value for all market participants

The switch to ISO 20022 is the ideal opportunity to analyse your current payment transactions. PostFinance will not only reply to your technical questions, but will also offer support during testing. We will also be happy to help if you would like to optimize your payment transactions.

Reasons for the new standard

Cross-border trade and cash flow, as well as the associated processes and an increasing level of automation, require standardized payment transactions. By creating a new standard and a uniform format for the exchange of information, we can eliminate potential sources of error. Time- and cost-intensive reformatting will be done away with and searches will be significantly simplified.

ISO 20022 (International Organization for Standardization) lays the foundations for simpler, more cost-effective payment transaction processes.

The changes to payment transactions concern all market participants and predominantly the following business processes:

  • Accounts receivable processes for invoicing (including direct debit schemes)
  • Accounts payable processes for invoice payments
  • HR processes for salary and pension payments
  • Account balancing, account statements, liquidity and cash management

Benefits of uniform payment transactions

  • Providing information in payment transactions using the uniform IBAN format (International Bank Account Number) means errors are less likely to occur. Time-consuming reformatting (between account number, BIC, IBAN, etc.) will be eliminated and systematically searching for information will be made easier.
  • Standardized order and status reports as well as processing schemes for payments
  • Alignment of credit transfer schemes and cross-border payments will be made easier and costs reduced
  • The harmonization of payment transactions in the Swiss financial center in accordance with ISO 20022 will enable order and status reports and processing schemes for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) to be used in Switzerland.

    These formats are already used by 34 countries in Europe – Swiss payment transactions will be harmonized internationally with ISO 20022.

    The implementation of ISO 20022 will also lead to the harmonization of the cost of payments within the Single Euro Payments Area and of transaction turnaround times. Payment flows will be easier to plan. This will result in better control of liquidity (cash management), particularly when goods deliveries are linked to monetary flows.

  • ISO 20022 payment transactions will be processed according to European SEPA standard regulations. To provide optimal support for Swiss payment transactions, improvements have been made to order and status reports as well as to processing schemes for Switzerland. They will be compulsory for all financial service providers in Switzerland. The use of the IBAN is part of the ISO 20022 standard. The IBAN is the sole primary identification feature permitted in payment orders.

    Make sure that you use only IBAN account numbers in master and order data for payment recipients from now on.

  • The new formats and schemes must have been implemented in your payment transaction software before you can switch to ISO 20022. More than one software partner may be affected depending on your software configuration (for example, financial accounting, payroll accounting, payment transaction software, etc.).

    As a PostFinance customer, the deadline for you to switch your payment transaction software to the new ISO 20022 standard was the end of 2017. As long as you have implemented the necessary update, your payment transactions will continue to function smoothly from 1 January 2018 as usual.

  • Carrying out the modifications required for the migration of payment transactions represents an opportunity to analyse your payment transaction processes in detail and to optimize your cash management and working capital management (WCM). As the market leader in Swiss payment transactions, PostFinance offers a complete range of related products and services from a single source.

  • The Swiss financial center has awarded PostFinance the ISO 20022 quality seal. This shows that PostFinance has successfully implemented all necessary steps and tests for the ISO 20022 standard and that it offers professional assistance to its customers during the changeover.

    As of 1 January 2018, payment transactions via PostFinance will only run in accordance with the new ISO 20022 standard. Swiss companies must modify their financial software in good time so that payment transactions can continue to run smoothly in the new year.

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