Reaching the Goal in Stages

The standardization and harmonization of payment transaction processing program is proceeding according to the implementation plan defined by the Swiss financial center.

You will find our interactive high-level roadmap below. Click on the individual elements to find out more about how the changes will proceed.

Upcoming Developments

Extension of the Parallel Use of Different ISO 20022 Message Versions

The Board of Directors of SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd ("SIC Ltd") has decided to extend the two-year parallel phase for the use of the older (version 2009) and the new (version 2019) ISO 20022 message standard, as described in the Swiss Payment Standards ("SPS"), by one year, until November 2025. This allows the Swiss financial center to account for international developments (e. g. in the SWIFT environment) and enables software suppliers, financial institutions and their customers in Switzerland to plan their work required for the switch more economically and efficiently. The prolonged parallel phase is now also timely in line with the extension of the permitted character set and the adjustment to structured addresses.

Within the framework of the SPS, the financial institutions and their software suppliers are required to accept and provide the previous message versions (pain.001.001.03, pain.002.001.03, camt.05x.001.04) alongside the new message versions up until the standard release in November 2025. Until November 2025, the relevant SPS schemes in version 2009 will be amended only if there is a mandatory regulatory requirement to do so. For the use of new elements or services, any further developments to the SPS will be based on the latest message versions (e.g. pain.001.001.09, pain.002.001.10 and camt.05x.001.08).

What are the benefits?

Description

The Swiss financial services sector is adapting to the international framework conditions and as of November 2022 will introduce new message versions into SIC Implementation Guidelines (IGs) and the Swiss Payment Standards (SPS). A three-year parallel phase until November 2025 is scheduled for SPS.

Reason for the adjustment

From March 2023, SWIFT will introduce ISO 20022 message versions in version 2019. The EPC has decided to follow suit as of November 2023. A corresponding TF consisting of experts from SIX and PaCoS banks made extensive clarifications. It has been established that the recommended course of action would be to make the switch at or around the same time for both forwarding in SIC and placement of payment instructions by end customers to prevent loss of data and manual post-recording. RTGS already switched to new message versions for the SIC release in November 2022.

In 2025, the Swiss financial services sector is switching its payments to structured addresses

Description

The Swiss financial services sector is adapting to the international framework conditions and as of November 2025 will be introducing the obligation to use structured addresses, complying with the ISO 20022 standard for both foreign (SEPA, SWIFT) and domestic (SPS, SIC) payments.
Since November 2022, there has already been an obligation to use structured addresses for the new elements "Ultimate Debtor" and "Ultimate Creditor" for processing payments via the SWIFT network.

Reason for the adjustment

SWIFT is planning to introduce the obligation to use the structured address for its network as of November 2025. The EPC has also announced that it will be amending the Rulebooks for SEPA accordingly in November 2025. A corresponding TF consisting of experts from SIX and PaCoS banks made extensive clarifications. It has been established that having one standardized rule is easiest and most efficient for communication and implementation purposes.

What is changing? (As of December 2022, any adjustments are published here)

  • The element <AdrLine> will no longer be permitted from November 2025.
  • New <PstlAdr> with various sub-elements/fields. Mandatory fields are "Town" and "Country".

During the parallel phase (November 2022 to November 2025)

  • During the transition phase, when participants are invited to switch to the use of the structured address, the current form of entry containing two occurrences of the unstructured address element "Address Line" in combination with the structured address element "Country" will continue to be accepted.
  • As of November 2022, only the structured address can be used in cross-border payment transactions (payment type "X") for the "Ultimate Creditor" and "Ultimate Debtor" parties.
  • Use of the structured address will be mandatory from November 2025 for all parties and all payment types ("D" for domestic, "S" for SEPA, "X" for foreign and domestic foreign currency).
  • For all payment types, the use of structured addresses is recommended as of now. The structured address can already be used in both message versions.

Example of an unstructured and a structured address in pain.001

Description

Characters in Unicode character set UTF-8 can be used in ISO 20022 XML messages. According to the Swiss Payment Standards (SPS), the following subset of characters is permitted: printable characters of the following Unicode blocks:

  • Basic Latin (Unicode codepoints U+0020 to U+007E)
  • Latin1 Supplement (Unicode codepoints U+00A0 to U+00FF)
  • Latin Extended A (Unicode codepoints U+0100 to U+017F)

Reason for the adjustment

The previous rule (valid until November 2022) was difficult to explain and outdated. Negative feedback came repeatedly, especially from French- and Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland. Consequently, the ISO 20022 PT Switzerland working group decided to make the adjustment in the course of the version change and also anticipate future developments (e.g. standardized character set for all personal register files from January 2024 – two-year parallel phase (cf. federal media release)). The SIC Implementation Guidelines were adapted accordingly.