Future of Invoicing

Future of Invoicing

The white paper “Future of Invoicing” examines invoicing practices in Switzerland and aims to furnish guidance for invoice issuers and recipients. It summarizes the key findings and conclusions from the analysis of three different invoicing methods, and also delves into potential short and long-term developments in the industry.

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Together with the University of Applied Science of Lucerne, SIX provides an overview of the Swiss invoicing industry, highlighting its importance to the Swiss payment traffic and economy, both in terms of transaction volume and its role in the Swiss payments culture. The analysis also illustrates the trend towards increasing digitalization of the invoicing industry in Switzerland, with an increasing number of payments being initiated electronically and paper-based payments declining consistently.

Invoicing in Comparison

The study outlines the three invoicing methods currently available in Switzerland: direct debit, eBill and QR-bill. It provides statistics in absolute figures, average amounts, a categorization within the industries, and the historical development of the number of eBill users and eBill transactions. The analysis shows that the absolute number of transactions has increased for all three invoicing types, with the average volume per transaction in 2021 being 1,113 Swiss francs. Additionally, the number of eBill users and eBill transactions has increased in recent years.


Breakdown of cashless payment transactions in Switzerland, absolute figures in millions. The figure is based on an illustration from BAK Basel with updated data sourced from the Swiss National Bank.

Sustainability and Convenience

Furthermore, the authors focus on sustainability and convenience, with an emphasis on political/environmental indicators and social indicators respectively. Electronic documents are seen as the more sustainable option as they reduce the consumption of natural resources such as wood. Furthermore, invoices that are designed for easy access to information (eBill or QR-bill) are considered more user-friendly. The results of the analysis also indicate that platform-based approaches that can offer seamlessly integrated processes and customer experiences are far ahead in many of the indicators analyzed in the study. This suggests the potential for further development of eBill, which represents such a platform system. However, invoicing standards such as the new QR-bill are also expected in the future due to their spread, coverage of different use cases, and high flexibility.


Historical development of number of eBill transactions from January 2015 to July 2022. Data source: SIX.

Future of Invoicing

Finally, the eBill platform appears as a successful example of an intelligent invoicing platform that can support users in various ways with additional integrated functions and services. It looks at possible long-term developments for the eBill platform, including Scaling, Further Intelligence, and Open Billing. Scaling includes the integration of direct debit, expansion to Europe, and migration of existing volumes to the eBill platform. The integration of Request to Pay into the eBill platform could drive expansion into Europe and lead to positive economies of scale. Further Intelligence concerns the integration of credit functions, data management and instant payments. This means that the path of a transaction from the payer’s account to the payee’s account could take only a few seconds in the future. Open Billing is a nested word that builds on the principles of Open Banking, Open Finance and Decentralized Finance. Open Billing aims to give customers control over their invoicing data and allow them to access and selectively share this data with authorized third parties to develop innovative products and services. Examples of Open Billing ecosystems are bLink and EBICS. They offer financial institutions and software or service providers a scalable platform for standardized interfaces (APIs) and enable the efficient and secure exchange of financial data.

Facts & Figures

400 mn 400 mn

invoices per year from companies to private individuals in Switzerland

83% 83%

of payments were initiated electronically in 2021

2.74 mn 2.74 mn

registered eBill users (December 2022)

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