The QR-bill has ushered in the future of payments in Switzerland. It was first used on June 30, 2020. The QR-bill contains a QR code that smartphones and other electronic devices can read.
As of October 1, 2022, all orange and red payment slips (orange ISR / red IS) became permanently invalid. Banks or any other financial institution no longer process these slips. Payments made after this date are made with a QR-bill.
All domestic and international businesses that work with Swiss businesses should be able to send or receive a QR code for accounts receivable or payable.
The Swiss QR-bill is meant to simplify payments and make them more secure. It will also reduce the risk of errors when making payments.
In this article, we will explain the Swiss QR-bill, the timeline for its rollout, how it will work, including contents and generation, and its advantages.
Let’s dive right in!
What is the Swiss QR bill?
In Switzerland, electronic payments have been upgraded and made simpler thanks to the QR-bill standard. Every QR bill has a different QR code that smartphones and other electronic devices can read.
The Swiss QR-bill has revolutionized the nation's present system of payment.
Paying bills has become quicker, simpler, and more secure thanks to QR codes.
Additionally, the QR code has made payments more precise and decreased the possibility of human error.
Swiss QR-bill introduction timeline
Introducing the QR-bill in Switzerland is part of a larger plan to phase out traditional paper payment methods gradually. The QR-bill was first introduced on October 1, 2022, becoming the only valid payment method in the country.
The Swiss QR-code was introduced on June 30, 2020, and has been a popular payment method.
Switzerland has been phasing out orange and red payment slips two years later, and the QR-bill has been the only valid payment method.
This transition has enabled Switzerland to move towards a cashless society and reduce the country's environmental impact. The QR-bill makes it easier for businesses to accept customer payments.
Are QR bills mandatory in Switzerland?
The processing of QR-bills (also known as QR-slips), which must be issued alongside the invoice, became mandatory in 2020. Banks stopped processing orange and red payment slips as of September 30, 2022, rendering them invalid.
Customers have been receiving the information previously offered on a payment slip in the form of a QR code starting on October 1, 2022. This affects both the B2B and B2C markets in Switzerland.
From a VAT standpoint, these modifications do not impact invoicing requirements. The QR code is unnecessary for generating a formal, accurate invoice that would qualify as an input VAT deduction for a taxpayer.
However, a QR code containing this information should be printed on the invoice if a payment slip is affixed to it. Therefore, if businesses want to incorporate payment information, they must use a QR code.
How does the Swiss QR-Bill work?
The Swiss QR-bill is a QR code-based payment slip that contains all the necessary information for a successful transaction. The payer will generate the QR code, which will be read by the payee's smartphone or other electronic devices.
Generating a QR-bill is simple, and there are two ways to do this:
1. Using a Swiss Bank Account
You can create QR-bills if your company has a relevant bank account. When you manually enter the payment details, the QR code will be automatically generated. All Swiss document types have the Swiss QR-code extraction enabled by default.
2. Using an electronic invoicing provider
You can use an electronic invoicing provider if you prefer a more automated solution or do not have a Swiss bank account. This option involves less manual input and can be more convenient for businesses that frequently send invoices.
An e-invoicing provider will generate the QR code and include it in the PDF of the invoice. The payee is responsible for scanning the QR code and making the payment. The advantages of using an e-invoicing provider are that it is more efficient and can save time.
You don't need to input the data manually; most providers will offer autofill features that can populate the fields for you.
When the Swiss QR-bill comes into effect, e-invoicing providers will become more popular as they offer a more straightforward payment method.
A good example is Storecove, an ISO-certified e-invoicing provider that can generate secure QR codes for you.
The QR-bill can be paid in two ways:
- By scanning the QR code with a smartphone or other electronic device.
- By entering the QR code into a payments app
Every QR-Bill includes the following information:
- Name and address of the payee
- Amount to be paid
- QR IBAN of the payee
- QR reference number
The payee's information will be automatically populated when the QR code is read.
The payer can then review the information and confirm the payment. This will ensure that the payment is made to the correct payee and for the correct amount.
If there are discrepancies, one of the parties can cancel the payment and generate a new QR-Bill.
How do I replace payment slips with Swiss QR bills?
If you're a business owner, you can start using QR-bills by replacing your payment slips with QR-bills. When a customer makes a payment, they will scan the QR code on the bill, which is processed automatically.
You can also use QR-bills to make payments online. You will get the option to pay with a QR-bill. Simply select this option and follow the instructions on the screen.
How can businesses ensure compliance with Swiss QR-bill requirements?
To ensure compliance with Swiss QR-bill standards, companies can take the following broad measures:
Understand the requirements
Learn about the Swiss financial authorities' specifications and rules for Swiss QR-bills. This will help you understand exactly what information should be printed on the paper document and encoded into the QR code.
Update billing software
Ensure the billing or invoicing software your company employs supports QR-bill creation in the format required. This can entail integrating with third-party services that support QR-bill or changing your software.
Ensure your billing software can produce QR bills with the required encoded payment information. This comprises the IBAN, payer, payee information, invoice amount, currency, and reference number.
Integrate QR Code generation
The QR code on the bill itself is a crucial component. Your billing software must be able to create the QR code that contains all your own QR bills details. The invoice can then be printed using this QR code or delivered electronically.
Check with banks
Various banks may have slightly varying standards or preferences for handling QR bills. To ensure your generated QR-bills comply with your bank's systems and procedures, get in touch with them.
Test and validate
Conduct testing and validation to ensure the generated QR codes are precise and compliant before fully integrating QR bills. Making test payments or using the QR-bill validation tools offered by the Swiss financial authorities may be required.
Provide training on the new QR-bill format to any staff that manages your company's invoices, payments, or financial operations. They should be able to scan QR codes, decipher the data, and handle payments appropriately.
If you frequently deal with clients or customers, let them know well in advance about the switch to QR-bills. Inform them about the modifications, QR-bills operation, and the proper way to handle payments made in the new format.
Keep abreast of any alterations or additions to the QR-bill specifications that might be made in the future. Maintaining compliance is a continuous effort. Therefore, your systems and procedures must follow the most recent guidelines.
Consider talking with specialists or professionals, such as Storecove, who are knowledgeable about Swiss financial legislation and payment standards if you're uncertain about any area of QR-bill compliance.
Advantages of QR-bills
QR-bills payments offer many advantages over traditional payment methods for businesses and customers. They are faster, more convenient, and more secure.
Keep in mind that the Swiss QR-bill system is dynamic. Therefore, frequently referring to the most recent official guidance and resources is crucial to ensuring accurate compliance.
Advantages of QR-bills for issuers
Issuers or businesses can generate QR-bills for their customers quickly and easily.
This offers several advantages, such as:
Businesses will no longer need to print and mail paper invoices. They can send or display QR-bills electronically, saving on printing and postage costs.
The only cost to businesses will be the QR-bill processing fee, which is typically much lower than the cost of paper invoices.
Other reduced costs include those associated with billing mistakes, such as late fees and penalties.
With QR-bills, businesses can ensure outgoing and incoming payments are processed correctly and on time.
Improved customer satisfaction
Customers will appreciate the convenience of QR-bills. They can make payments quickly and easily without fumbling around with paper bills, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
QR-bills' convenience will lead to more customers purchasing from businesses that accept them. If your customers are happy, they're more likely to make repeat purchases.
QR-bills are more secure than paper invoices. They can't be lost or stolen, and they can't be tampered with. This reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft.
Some transactions are considered high risk when using Red and orange payment slips since they can be duplicated and reused.
The QR-bill eliminates this risk by generating a unique QR code for each transaction.
QR-bills are more efficient than paper invoices. They can be processed automatically, which eliminates the need for manual data entry. This saves businesses time and money.
QR-bills can also be processed in real time, meaning businesses will receive payments faster.
The faster companies receive payments, the more cash they have on hand to reinvest in their business. This increases efficiency and helps companies to grow.
Advantages of QR-bills for recipients
Payers, or customers, can use QR-bills to make payments quickly and easily.
When making a payment, they simply need to scan the QR code on the bill. This offers several advantages, such as:
QR-bills are more convenient than paper invoices. There's no need to search for a payee's bank details or account number. The payee can make the payment with just a few clicks.
Customers can also save their QR-bill as a profile picture when paying online. This makes it even easier to make future payments, as they won't need to enter their bank details each time.
The payee's information is encrypted in the QR code, so it can't be intercepted or stolen. This reduces the risk of fraud and identity theft.
The payee's information is also verified when the QR code is scanned. This ensures that the payment is made to the correct payee and for the correct amount.
QR-bills offer more privacy than paper invoices. The payer's information is not visible to the payee. This protects the payer's personal and financial information and prevents businesses from using it for marketing purposes.
This is a huge advantage for customers who are concerned about their privacy. QR-bills will revolutionize the payments industry and make it easier and safer for everyone to make and receive payments.
Takeaway: Learn the right requirements for Swiss QR Bills to ensure compliance
QR-bills are the future of payments in Switzerland. You must ensure you're prepared for the change if you're a business owner.
You can do this by understanding the requirements and finding a way to generate QR-codes that meet those requirements.
QR-bills are more efficient than paper invoices. They can be processed automatically, eliminating the need for manual data entry.
This will help businesses in Switzerland save time and money.
In addition, QR-bills are more convenient for customers and offer more security and privacy.
Now is the time to start if you're not already using QR-bills. Storecove can help you make the transition. Our "send from anywhere to anywhere" API solution will enable you to pay QR bills easily. Contact us today to get started.
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