Downloads & FAQ Download Center FAQ Glossary SIX Products & Services Banking Services Payment Standardization Downloads & FAQ FAQ FAQ Standards QR-bill Standards QR-bill Questions and Answers on Standards in Payment Traffic Message version change ISO 20022 IBAN Validation portals Search Where can I find the Implementation Guidelines? Here you can find the current and future ISO 20022 release versions for customer-bank and interbank messages SPS IG SIC IG You can also find all documents in our Download Center Where can I find XML schemes? Schemes and message examples can be found at: SPS IG SIC IG You can also find all documents in our Download Center Where can I find the Implementation Guidelines? The SPS Implementation Guidelines for customer-bank messages and the SIC Implementation Guidelines for interbank messages can be found at: SPS IG SIC IG You can also find all documents in our Download Center Where can I find XML schemes? Message schemes and examples can be found at: SPS IG SIC IG You can also find all our documents in our Download Center Where can I query an IBAN? The IBAN check digit calculator can be downloaded from the Extranet ( https://gate.sic.ch/cug/dam/downloads/current/cug-check-digit-calculator-ibanipi.zip). It is used for the generation of the participant’s IBAN. An IBAN can be checked for correctness at iban.ch. Where can I download the IBAN tool? The IBAN tool can be downloaded at iban.ch. How often is the IBAN tool updated? The IBAN tool (software) is updated twice a year. Where can I validate my message? Validation portal for customer-bank messages Validation portal for interbank messages Validation portal for Swiss QR Code Support for validation portals: Private customers contact the support department of their bank directly. Can't find the right answer to your question? Our experts will be happy to help you Contact us Questions and Answers about QR-bill In General QR-bill Generating QR-bills Printing the QR-bill QR-bill information Paying QR-bill QR code as a data carrier Use of references Payment at the post office counter Legal aspects Search When can the QR-bill be used? The QR-bill was successfully introduced on 30 June 2020. From this date, it has been ensured both in the customer-bank interface and in interbank payments that payment orders from the QR-bill are reliably processed. This means that since summer 2020 it has been possible for invoice issuers to create and deliver QR-bills and for invoice recipients to pay them. The last few months have shown that both market participants and the systems and channels of financial institutions – be it at the post office counter, in online banking or in the direct interfaces – may process QR-bills reliably and securely. Can physical payment instructions be still submitted at banks or can payments still be made at post office counters? Yes. Thanks to the perforation, invoice recipients can conveniently separate the payment part and the receipt from the invoice and pay either at the counter or with a payment order by mail. Can the QR-bill be freely shaped? No, the "Swiss Implementation Guidelines QR-bill" are to be observed. Failure to comply with the standards can result in QR-bills being rejected and payments not being processed on time. What utilization possibilities are available? The following types can be used: QR-bill with QR IBAN and QR reference QR-bill with IBAN and creditor reference (ISO 11649) QR-bill with IBAN without reference The difference lies in the use of IBAN and references. Is a perforation mandatory on a QR-bill between the invoice and the payment part as well as between the payment part and the receipt? Perforation of the payment part is mandatory if the QR-bill is to be printed out and mailed. All market participants must follow the set standard and always use perforated paper for printed QR-bills. The payment part and receipt must always be separated from the invoice if the QR-bill is paid at the counter or with a physical payment order. QR-bills that are not made out on perforated paper must be cut off by the customer. An incorrect separation of the payment part and receipt can lead to problems during processing at the post office counter or with physical payment orders. Details on the design of the QR-bill can be found in the Style Guide QR-bill. Can the QR-bill be used for foreign payments? Two cases must be distinguished here: Payments from Switzerland to other countries: This is only possible if the invoice issuer offers a bank account in Switzerland or Liechtenstein. Payments from abroad to Switzerland: We cannot influence whether banks abroad support the QR-bill. There may be corresponding offers for Swiss customers in regions close to the border. We recommend using the QR-bill with Creditor Reference and IBAN for such payments. Which currencies can be used? Swiss francs and euro. The currency code CHF or EUR must be printed on the QR-bill. Can an invoice issuer who as a service provider (e.g. insurance company, health insurance scheme) sends a copy of the settlement to its insured person fill in the amount field with XXX? If payment does not have to be made, the QR-bill version "DO NOT USE FOR PAYMENT" should be used with the amount of 0.00. Further information can be found in the "Swiss Implementation Guidelines for the QR-bill", Chapter 4.4 What values can be used in the "reference" field? Permitted in the "Reference" field are the 27-digit QR reference (former the ISR reference number) or the up to 25-digit Creditor Reference according to the ISO 11649 standard. The QR-IBAN is used with the QR reference and the IBAN with the Creditor Reference. How and where can messages be placed? Unstructured information can be entered in the field provided for this purpose to indicate a payment purpose or for additional textual information. A message can be entered if a reference number is used. The information used there must be printed in block letters on the QR-bill. Handwritten additions by the invoice recipient or issuer are not permitted. If technically possible, these data can be entered manually when entering the payment in e-banking. Can additional elements like advertising be placed on the QR-bill? The use of the payment part and the receipt as an advertising medium or advertising material is excluded. Printing on the back side is not permitted. In the case of a self-printed QR-bill, is there an obligation to examine and approve it? There is no obligation for the invoice issuer. The QR-bill will only be examined if this is explicitly requested by the financial institution. The following tools are available to software developers and invoice issuers for self-control purposes: grid sheet in "Style Guide QR-bill" SIX QR-bill Validation Portal The Swiss QR Code printed in a faulty manner may lead to disruptions when processed. Such payment parts can be rejected. Please contact your bank if you require further assistance in this regard. SIX does not offer any quality checks. What requirements must be met for the introduction of the QR-bill? Migration of all the financial institution's payment traffic applications and their customers to the new ISO 20022 message standard according to the Swiss recommendations which contains the QR-bill Availability of suitable infrastructure for billers and payers, such as printers and scanners that can print and read QR codes. Provision of the channels for the payment traffic. Migration of electronic reportings to camt. Is it possible to create QR-bills with the creditor’s preprinted details, but without yet knowing the details of the intended payers? The beneficiary may obtain physical payment parts with Swiss QR Code without details of the amount and debtor from his house bank (depending on the bank's product offer) or from a printing company or create them himself. These fields can be subsequently completed in handwriting by the debtor on the payment part and receipt. It should be noted that no other such handwritten additions are permitted. In this case, depending on the order channel, additional costs may be incurred by the beneficiary after payment by the debtor. Is there any need for action when using accounts receivable systems? Check your accounts receivable master data. If possible, make sure that the addresses are stored in a structured manner. Determine whether your invoicing solution supports the generation of QR-bill and plan the conversion time in the transition phase. Before changeover to QR-bill, make sure that your financial solution can process notifications with camt messages. Where can I find samples of the QR-bill? In the introduction scripts (Download center) you will find checklists, test cases and samples to support the successful introduction of the QR-bill. Can pre-printed QR-bills be ordered from SIX? No QR-bills can be ordered from SIX. To do so, please contact the house bank. What online offers do you recommend for generating QR-bills? Since SIX does not evaluate offers from third parties and does not favor individual software providers for competitive reasons, there are no recommendations to this effect. However, here you will find a list of browser-based solutions for generating QR-bills. How can the payment part of the QR-bill be used? The following design specifications refer to the payment part of the QR-bill with a receipt, which can be used in the following ways: as a component of the invoice on paper as eBill, if eBill is used as an "alternative procedure" as a paper enclosure to the invoice The QR-bill can also be generated as a PDF file. QR-bill (or separate payment parts with receipt) in PDF format are only suitable for online banking payments, but not for paper-based payment transactions at the counter. When printing PDF files, it must be ensured that the aforementioned format specifications are adhered to (print in original size). Is there a measurement and design template for the QR-bill? The requirements concerning the current payment slips have been eased. It must be noted that the “Swiss Implementation Guidelines QR-bill” are to be observed. The document “Style Guide QR-bill" contains help/support in the form of design specifications and recommendations for the QR-bills. Must the amount and address data of the debtor be printed? No. If information on the amount and debtor is not printed when the invoice is issued, colorless fields with corner marks must be included in the QR-bill in handwriting. You can find respective information in the “Swiss Implementation Guidelines QR-bill". Is it possible, as it is today, to use additional information, e.g. a payment purpose? Additional information can be used in the notification procedure and in the structured reference procedure. Unstructured information can be used to indicate a payment purpose or for supplementary textual information on payments with a structured reference. Invoice information contains encoded information for the automated booking of a payment. The data is not forwarded with the payment. Can handwritten additions be made on the QR-bill after it has been printed? The name and address of the payer, along with the amount, can be added in handwriting if these fields are not given with regard to content. Otherwise, no handwritten additions are possible. Can pre-printed QR-bills be ordered from banks, including PostFinance? Depending on what the financial institution offers, you can order pre-printed QR-bills with or without a reference. Is there an obligation to test and approve the QR-bill by a financial institution? There is no obligation for the invoice issuer. The QR-bill will only be tested if the financial institution explicitly requests this. The following tools are available to software providers and invoice issuers for the purpose of self-monitoring: grid sheet in "Style Guide QR-bill" SIX QR-bill Validation Portal An incorrectly printed Swiss QR Code can cause processing problems. Such payment parts can be rejected. Please contact your bank if you need any assistance in this regard. SIX does not offer any quality checks. What is the purpose of structured billing information? The billing information can be used to automate accounts payable. In other words, as the invoice recipient, you receive information such as the invoicing issuer's VAT number or the VAT amount in a standardized and structured form that your accounting software can read in automatically. Do I have to enter the billing information when I issue an invoice? The use of this function is voluntary. Whether you have to enter billing information depends on what you have agreed with the invoice recipient. What information does the billing information contain? Each industry is basically free to decide which information from the invoice issuer to the bill recipient is useful. Up to now, only the syntax of Swico (trade association of the ICT and online industry) has been defined in the “Recommendations on the structure of information from the invoice sender for QR-bills”. What does "ultimate debtor" mean and what happens to his data? An ultimate debtor is a person who receives a QR-bill. Data on the ultimate debtor must be forwarded from the debtor's institution to the creditor's institution in accordance with the agreement with the debtor, provided that this data is transmitted by the debtor in the payment order and no instructions to the contrary or special agreements with the debtor preclude forwarding. Can the payer change certain contents of the QR-bill in the payment interface before initiating the payment in e-banking, mobile banking or with a payment software? Before triggering the payment in e-banking, mobile banking or via a payment software, the payer can change some specific contents in the payment interface. For the QR-bill, this applies not only to the amount, but, among others, also to the elements “Additional information” or “Unstructured message”, as well as to the address of the debtor. All elements that are permitted in Swiss payment transactions can also be used or added to the addresses in the payment order, such as those of the debtor or the ultimate debtor. This can lead to the situation that address data in the credit advice do not match with those in the issued QR-bill. When the payment order is processed, the information of the debtor (account holder) are retrieved from his bank’s master data. This information can also contain any of the permitted elements of the structured address. Can the QR-bill be used for paper-based payment instructions? Yes, the payment part of the QR-bill can be enclosed with a payment instruction in paper form. What is an "Alternative procedure"? IIn the Swiss payment traffic, there are various methods for creating an invoice. A service provider (network partner) can convert the QR-bill into another method. The information required for this conversion can be found in the "Alternative procedure" field. The currently registered alternative procedures are published on here. Do I have to fill in the field "Alternative procedure" when I issue an invoice? The use of this function is voluntary. Whether you have to enter an alternative procedure depends on what you have agreed with the invoice recipient or your network partner. How can the QR-bill be used for online services? With the payment information contained in the QR-bill, payments can be initiated in online banking, for example, or alternative payment methods such as eBill or TWINT. Can the QR-bill be used for cash payments at the Swiss Post branch, at a branch with partner or at the bank counter? Yes, such payments are possible with the QR-bill. Payment part and receipt must be separated from the invoice if the QR-bill is paid at the counter or with a physical payment order. For this reason, it is important that paper-based QR-bills are always printed on perforated paper. A receipt is also available for confirming payments. Can the invoice recipient also pay a PDF invoice at the post office counter or send the printed payment order on paper to his bank? If the invoice issuer sends a QR-bill to his customer in paper form – in line with the financial center’s requirements – it is ensured that the financial institutions can process the payment part via all payment channels (e.g. in e-banking and m-banking, as a physical payment order or at the post office counter). However, if a QR-bill is sent electronically as a PDF document and is to be further processed in paper form, the creditor must ensure that the relevant requirements are met. Essential requirements are (not exhaustive): The size of the payment section must correspond to DIN A6 (105 x 148 mm); the markings and the scissors symbol serve this purpose. The separation of the number part must be done according to the given lines The paper must have a weight of at least 80 to a maximum of 100 g/m² (white or certified recycled, FSC and TCF paper). Further requirements can be found in the documents "Implementation Guidelines QR-bill" and "Style Guide QR-bill". Is there any need for action when using account payable systems? Payment parts with QR-IBAN and QR reference may not be paid as an ISR. Payment as an ISR can lead to a rejection or an incorrect credit at the creditor bank. Check your accounts payable master data. If possible, make sure that the addresses are stored in a structured manner. Check whether your document scanner (reader) is affected by the QR-bill. All data is captured via the Swiss QR Code which can also be read with a smartphone. What information is contained in the Swiss QR Code? The QR code contains all relevant information about the creditor and debtor, amount, currency, etc. A complete listing can be found in the "Swiss Implementation Guidelines QR-bill" How many lines (elements) does the Swiss QR Code contain? The QR code always contains a minimum of 31 lines and a maximum of 34 lines (when using "Billing information" and 2x "Alternative procedure parameters"). For the last filled data element, the final line break (CR/LF or LF) can be retained or omitted. If a Swiss QR Code contains only payment information, the last filled element is always the "Trailer" element with the character string EPD in line 31. Will people without technical skills be disadvantaged by the introduction of the Swiss QR Code? No. It is still possible to enter payment instructions in online banking and to submit invoices at the post office counter, postal agencies or as payment instructions at the bank. Will the Swiss QR Code limit the use of current payment traffic channels? No. All payment traffic channels can continue to be used. On the payment part, all the information therein are also printed so that it can be read with the naked eye; i.e. without technical aids. In this way, payments can continue to be entered manually without the need for additional infrastructure, such as in online banking. The same information is also contained in the Swiss QR Code. This enables payers to enter them automatically. In private households this is primarily possible through the use of banking apps on smartphones. Payers with larger bill volumes use a document reader or scanner that supports the Swiss QR Code to enable this automation. Is there a central library for generating a Swiss QR Code? Every ERP software publisher and each bank has its preferred programming language on their preferred operating system. The financial center has decided against a central library because there are enough established open source or licensed libraries for generating Swiss QR Codes on the market. How do I integrate the Swiss cross in the Swiss QR Code? To integrate the Swiss cross (ZIP), you only need to overlay the QR code, centered, with the appropriate image – respecting the proper and length and width ratios. In the Swiss QR Code, the character series CR + LF (0x0d + 0x0a) is used as as separator for the individual data elements. Can only the character CR (or LF) be used instead? The character series CR + LF was specified to be able to ensure the maximum size of the Swiss QR Code – regardless of the hardware platform or code library used. The use of LF alone, however, is also possible, since it thereby does not result in a exceeding the maximum size of the Swiss QR Code. The same separator must be used throughout the entire Swiss QR Code. May the element separator used (CR + LF / LF or CR) also be used within a data element (e.g. line return in "Additional information")? No. The separator may only be delivered at the end, not within a data element. Does the element separator used in the Swiss QR Code be considered in the maximum character count of an element? No. The information pertaining to the maximum character count always relates to the net data without element separators. Which Swiss QR Code version should be generated and with which coding? All Swiss QR Codes are to be generated in the smallest version and scaled only to the dimensions 46mm x 46mm. Version 25 is the maximum possible version. However, it is rarely used. The Swiss QR Code must be in UTF-8 without BOM coding. The ISO Latin 8859-1 (Latin-1) is to be used as the character set. Which customer references can be used? The following two reference types can be used for QR-bills with a structured reference: QR reference: Swiss standard for payment parts with reference. The QR reference corresponds in structure to the ISR reference (26 numeric characters followed by a check digit). This can only be used in combination with a QR-IBAN. Creditor Reference: International standard for payment parts with reference. Creditor Reference according to ISO 11649 standard. It can contain 5-25 characters. This can only be used in combination with an IBAN. What is the QR-IBAN for? If a QR reference is used, the QR-IBAN must also be used. Payment parts with QR-IBAN are recognized by a special identification of the institution (QR-IID) within the QR-IBAN. A QR-IID exclusively contains values in the range 30000–31999. The QR-IIDs are assigned by SIX Interbank Clearing. The assigned QR-IIDs are published in the bank master. Each legally independent financial institution participating in the procedure is assigned at least one QR-IID. What is our QR-IID? All financial institutions were informed by letter about their QR-IIDs. The QR-IIDs was transferred to the productive Bank Master. Is the consistent processing of the reference number ensured? Consistent processing of the reference number is only ensured for the QR reference. The Creditor Reference is processed continuously if it is entered by the payer. As an invoice issuer, do I need to do something to use QR reference? Yes, depending on your needs and business processes. Please contact your software partner and your financial institution so that the issuing of QR-bills can be ensured. Can the QR-bill be used for payments at post office counters? Yes, as is with red and orange payment slips, it is also possible to make payments with the QR-bill (payment part wiith receipt) at the post office counter or branches with partners. Moreover, a confirmation receipt for payment confirmation purposes will continue to be availables. Can the invoice recipient also pay a PDF invoice at the post office counter or send the printed payment order on paper to his bank? If the invoice issuer sends a QR-bill to his customer in paper form – in line with the financial center’s requirements – it is ensured that the financial institutions can process the payment part via all payment channels (e.g. in e-banking and m-banking, as a physical payment order or at the post office counter). However, if a QR-bill is sent electronically as a PDF document and is to be further processed in paper form, the creditor must ensure that the relevant requirements are met. Essential requirements are (not exhaustive): The size of the payment section must correspond to DIN A6 (105 x 148 mm); the markings and the scissors symbol serve this purpose. The separation of the number part must be done according to the given lines The paper must have a weight of at least 80 to a maximum of 100 g/m² (white or certified recycled, FSC and TCF paper). Further requirements can be found in the documents "Implementation Guidelines QR-bill" and "Style Guide QR-bill". Is there a risk of patent infringement if the Swiss cross is affixed in the Swiss QR Code? According to the patent research commissioned by SIX and conducted by a patent attorney’s office, Denso Wave’s patents relating solely to the QR code have no protected and registered rights in Switzerland to corresponding designs or illustrations for QR codes. Furthermore, SIX has obtained an expert opinion on the question “Freedom to operate” from the Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). The results of this research show that the patent portfolio of DENSO includes a number of patent documents revealing combinations of images and QR codes. From the researcher’s point of view, these are mainly overlays or framing of images, but none of the patents contain claims relating to the designs or illustrations. However, the results provided by the IPI do not include documents with the country code CH. Based on the results so far, we assume that DENSO will not be able to prevent or take action against the overlapping of the QR code with the Swiss cross as prescribed in the IG QR-bill. What is to be considered with regard to patent law? With the involvement of specialists, SIX and the responsible project owners for the QR-bill for the Swiss financial center have jointly and duly examined the technical and legal framework conditions for the territory of Switzerland and provide corresponding descriptions for a standardized QR-bill (“standardization”). Subsequently, the following possible uses for invoicing or payment of a QR-bill have been assumed: Payer captures QR code with a reader or camera in online banking Payer captures QR code with a reader or scanner in their own infrastructure and transmits the payment order electronically (e.g. as a pain message) Payments at the post office counter (branches and branches with partners) Payment order form Furthermore, applications of QR-bill, such as payments at ATMs, not included in the list are not part of standardization. For the commercial technological implementation of standardization, commercial users are required to take the customary clarifications and precautions. Third-party specifications and company-specific functionalities are not the subject of standardization. Clarifications in this regard lie within the responsibility of respective providers. This applies in particular to the possibility of embedding structural information or content in the “Alternative procedures” fields. Is a contractual agreement necessary for the use of the QR-bill? Depending on the financial institution’s offer, a declaration of participation may still be required.