Further development of e-billing

The PostFinance e-billing service is continuously being developed and improved, which is why various modifications, including technical ones, are planned. As your reliable partner for e-bills, we will notify you early on about these changes and keep you updated.

Our services

The information here is for software partners, service providers and customers with a direct interface to PostFinance. We support our customers with the following:

  • Delivering e-bills
  • Redirecting e-bills to eBill
  • Delivering e-bills to B2B recipients
  • Interconnect B2B from and to other provides
  • E-bill services such as enclosures, instalment payments, signatures etc.
  • Tools such as e-bill light and much more

E-billing role model from PostFinance

As the e-invoicing provider in the center, PostFinance operates in both B2E banking and the B2B sector. In its double role as a financial institution and an e-invoicing provider, PostFinance offers unique two-pronged customer access and hence everything from a single source. PostFinance is an e-bill provider, network partner and financial institution all at the same time and therefore offers an integrated digital solution. PostFinance’s e-bill solution allows all customers to be reached with an electronic invoice. B2E banking: invoices are issued and received via eBill. The invoice is routed to the eBill platform and the payment is made in e-banking. PostFinance ensures this link in its role as a network partner and financial institution. B2B: In the processing e-bills between two business customers, where the invoice recipient automatically imports and processes the e-bill in their ERP system, PostFinance is available in the role of e-bill provider and links the invoice issuer and invoice recipient. This either happens directly, from the invoice issuer to the invoice recipient with PostFinance acting as the e-bill provider, or alternatively the incoming or outgoing delivery is carried out via a service provider or an Interconnect partner.

Innovations from October 2021

E-invoicing is one of the most significant strategic business areas for PostFinance, which is why we are focusing on consistently developing our services in this field.

We are now going to show you our key innovations.

     

  • Background on the registration form redesign

    Registration forms (registration screens) have always been used to enable eBill customers to register with an invoice issuer. Currently, registration forms are hosted by the invoice issuer’s primary network partner. This leads to a large number of different forms which are inconsistent within the eBill portal.

    What’s new?

    SIX has harmonized the eBill registration forms to simplify registration via invoice issuer search for invoice recipients. PostFinance will provide the new form.
    Invoice issuers must be able to process the “Registration via invoice issuer search” option using the name, postal address, e-mail address or company ID number. If these details are not sufficient, the invoice issuer can define individual supplementary text and up to three extra identification features (e.g. customer number) per registration form (private and/or business customers). The invoice recipient must fill these out during registration.
    On the eInvoicing portal, the invoice issuer has the option to define the registration form and select the preferred delivery format (CSV v2.0 or XML v2.0)

    What needs to be done / technical impact

    The current CSV file from PostFinance and the BBX registration process from Paynet will both be discontinued as of the end of October 2022. Registrations and deregistrations will be delivered in a new CSV file aligned to eBill or in an XML (both version 2.0). 

    Who is affected

    Invoice issuers

  • What’s new
    What needs doing
    Who is affected
    • Rather than using XML and PDF files, a QR-bill can be delivered as a PDF instead.
    • There is no need to enter any additional information. The necessary data is read from the QR code.
    • The alternative eBill procedure as well as the syntax definition of the billing information according Swico must be used in the QR code. This ensures the invoice data can be interpreted as thoroughly as possible.

    Create PDF with QR code (including alternative procedure) and upload

    E-invoice issuer;

    B2EBanking

  • Rollout plans for 2021-24 are not yet set in stone, some features are still in the planning phase and are subject to possible changes/delays (the list is not conclusive).

    For invoice issuers/recipients

    • Consistent development of the eInvoicing portal with convenient features that facilitate accounts receivable management.
    • Standardization of eBill registration forms: the registration forms for eBill will in future be managed centrally with eBill. Alongside the standard information, an individual additional text and up to three additional fields can be configured.
    • By using new technologies, we can respond to individual data conversions more quickly and flexibly.
    • You can submit e-bills in the following formats: Factur X (ZUGFeRD), FSCM-XML (PayNet XML 2003/2013) and IDOC INVOIC (01/02).
    • In future, you will also be able to use the following Paynet replacement transfer channels: DWS Transfer Client, DWS EDX Connector V5, DWS Direct Connection.

    For e-bill recipients in e-banking

    • Swiss banks and network partners are currently having discussions with SIX about the plans for future eBill features:
    • OPT-in: e-finance users get an overview of their invoice issuers that offer eBill, but with whom they are not yet registered.
    • Simplification of the eBIll registration process: the eBill registration process is being made even simpler. E-finance customers do not have to enter (or, if they do, very little) information themselves.
    • Tweaks to notifications in the eBill portal: eBill customers can receive more targeted notifications about new features.
    • PostFinance is represented at eBill committees both as a network partner and as a bank. As such, please feel free to suggest ways we can improve and enhance our eBill service, which we can then bring up at these committees.
  • Bills with a QR-IBAN

    As of July 2020, it will also be possible to deliver e-bills with QR-IBAN numbers instead of ISR information. You can find more detailed information here:

    New eInvoicing portal

    What’s new
    What needs doing
    Who is affected
    • A new, modern eInvoicing portal is available to you.
    • Existing features will remain, but will be made simpler. Lots of new features are also being added.
    • You can set up the online login to the eInvoicing portal yourself. New customers can register online themselves – there is no longer any need to register on paper.
    • Self-service features: you can manage users yourself and configure your own admin settings.
    • Improved transaction monitoring: you can search, filter and assess your transactions according to different criteria.
    • Look-up feature: the invoice issuer can use the look-up function to initiate the registration for eBill themselves.
    • Search for recipients (B2B): you can identify business partners for exchanging B2B bills.
    The eInvoicing portal is the successor to the business interface. Register just once and you can use the web application to deliver and download invoice files and to manage your own customer data.

    Invoice issuer;

    B2B invoice recipient

    Look-Up Function

    What’s new
    What needs doing
    Who is affected
    • The invoice issuer can use the look-up function to initiate the registration for eBill themselves.
    • With eBill for private individuals, the unique identifier of the invoice recipient is the e-mail address, while with eBill for business, it is the company identification number (UID).
    • To ensure that the look-up function for invoice recipients can be used in full, the invoice issuer is recommended to obtain customers’ e-mail addresses or UIDs in advance and to declare when doing so that this information may be used for eBill.
    • It is possible to find out whether delivery to eBill is possible for this customer via a web service query (see section 11.2.2 of the e-bill manual) with the e-mail address or the UID.
    • You can perform look-up queries either through the eInvoicing portal under “Search recipients” or in an automated manner using the web service.

    Using the query feature on the eInvoicing portal / implementing the relevant web service

    e-bill issuer;

    B2EBanking

    Registration for eBill with the invoice issuer

    What’s new
    What needs doing
    Who is affected

    The “Register with the invoice issuer” (via e-mail) feature allows eBill customers to register for eBill directly with the invoice issuer, for instance on their web portal.

    PostFinance supports this feature with two new web services:

    • With the first service, the invoice issuer accesses this feature, and this triggers a notification e-mail with an approval code that is sent to the customer. The customer can enter this approval code on the invoice issuer’s website.
    • With the second service, the invoice issuer transfers the approval code received by the customer and by doing so concludes the registration process for eBill.

    The invoice issuer can incorporate this into their customer portal.

    The relevant web services must be set up

    E-invoice issuer;

    B2EBanking

    • E-bills sent to business customers who import these e-bills directly into their ERP system, where they continue processing them.
    • Business-to-consumer (from company to e-banking user).
    • Unique identification number for billers
    • Biller Service Provider.
    • https-Portal (Web-GUI): This portal enables bill issuers to deliver their invoices and download processing data and enables bill recipients to download digitally signed electronic invoices.
    • Customer Service Provider.
    • Unique identification number for billers
    • Technical system on which SIX operates eBill.
    • PostFinance’s e-banking application.
    • Enterprise resource planning system for planning and control of a company’s entire value chain.
    • Partner of eBill that delivers e-bills for its customers to eBill based on the role model.
    • The QR-bill contains all payment information in the QR code with payment references that can be used universally. The QR-bill is a SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd product, and will replace the red and orange inpayment slip.
    • A provider that submits e-bills to PostFinance for its customers (biller service provider), or that receives e-bills from PostFinance for its customers (customer service provider).
    • The company that implements and operates eBill on behalf of Swiss banks.
    • This is a submission/delivery method for e-bills. This stands for “Central User Guide of the Forum for Electronic Invoicing in Germany”.

More information and contact

You can find out more about e-bills at the following sites under the section “Documents and links” (factsheet, manual and technical specifications etc.).

If you have any questions, please contact your advisor. As a software partner, you can simply send an e-mail to PostFinance.