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Economy - The new payment slip is here: How to pay your bills with the QR code in the future

The new payment slip is here: How to pay your bills with the QR code in the future

The classic orange and red payment slips will soon be a thing of the past, and the QR-bill will be in circulation from June 30th. The most important questions and answers about the new way of paying.

Paying becomes easier thanks to the QR-bill. This is how the financial service provider SIX is promoting the new payment slip. What you as a consumer need to know about the QR-bill.

1. What is a QR code anyway?

Quick Response (QR) codes are black and white cube patterns that are related to the traditional barcode on products. Extensive information can be embedded in a QR code. QR codes are often used by Swiss Post as digital postage stamps or on digital billets in rail transport.

2. As the recipient of the invoice, how do I pay with the new payment slip?

It will be easier for the invoice recipient. The new payment slip contains a QR code that contains all the information required for payment. It can be recorded using a smartphone, PC camera or a reader. This eliminates the laborious process of typing in account and reference numbers. This will make payment faster and less error-prone, SIX announced. If you want, you can still enter the account details manually.

3. What payment options are there?

Specifically, consumers have three different ways of paying for a QR-bill.

Via e-banking: Open e-banking on your computer or laptop, scan the QR code with the computer camera and trigger the payment with one click.

Via mobile banking: Open the mobile banking app of your own bank on your smartphone, scan the QR code with the built-in QR reader function of the smartphone camera and trigger the payment with a tap of your finger.

By post: Like a previous payment slip, the QR-bill can also be paid for at the post office counter and payment machine, or it can be paid to the bank using a payment order in an envelope.

In principle, the payment of the QR-bill is already via Twint possible. The respective biller must, however, want this method and have agreed with Twint as an intermediary.

4. What do I, as the recipient of the invoice, have to consider when paying?

Anyone who pays using a QR bill should compare what is stored in the QR code with the plain text (to the right of the QR code) each time before approving the payment. E-mails are also less suitable as a sending channel for QR bills than physical mail because they are more susceptible to manipulation, says Marco Menotti, member of the SIX Group Management. As a customer, you should also pay special attention to this.

The security problem has not worsened compared to the conventional payment slips, says Menotti.

5. What does the QR-bill look like?

The QR-bill is in white with black letters. It replaces the previous seven orange, red and neutral payment slips. A receipt serves as a certificate (receipt) for cash payments at the post office counter. The payment part contains the QR code with all the necessary data as well as additional printed payment information.

The payment information includes the name and address of the payee, the IBAN and the reference number. The currency and amount are also printed. Billers can also note additional information such as the purpose of payment, terms of payment or VAT.

6. Are the old payment slips still valid?

Yes. During a transition phase, it is still possible to use today's red and orange payment slips for payments in parallel. No one has to change their payment habits if they do not want to, since the previous payment channels at the post office and banks will continue to exist as before, says SIX. "We're not taking anything away from consumers, we're making the QR-bill available to them as an additional payment option," said Patrick Graf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIX Interbank Clearing at a media conference on Tuesday.

The end date for today's payment slips has not yet been set. As soon as QR bills have established themselves as the new means of payment, a decision will be made when the old receipts will be completely removed from the market.

7. When are the QR bills put into circulation?

From June 30th, the first QR bills can be received by bill recipients instead of the usual payment slips. The Swiss banks would adjust their mobile banking and e-banking solutions punctually for this date for the payment of the new QR bills, says SIX. Consumers don't have to do anything.

However, there are some changes for the invoicing companies: They have to make adjustments to the accounts payable and payment software as well as to the reading devices and scanning platforms. Only then can QR bills be received and paid for.

8. Why is there a switch to QR bills at all?

The QR-bill is part of the “Digital Switzerland Strategy Action Plan” of the Federal Office of Communication. In the long term, Swiss payment transactions are to be digitized. Paper-based payments are on the decline and e-banking is now the most widely used channel, says SIX. Mobile banking is also gaining in importance.

The QR-bill now strikes a middle ground between the paper-based and paperless form of payment. However, several providers have already switched to the purely digital eBill function. Customers can receive electronic invoices directly in their e-banking.

9. In 2012, the planning of the new payment slip began. Why does he only appear now?

The new payment slip is seriously delayed because there were numerous delays in its preparation. The planners first discovered that the central QR code, which contained all of the payment information printed on the receipt, was too small.

At the beginning of 2018, the schedule was adjusted because many corporate customers could not switch to the new technology quickly enough. The introduction was therefore postponed to mid-2019, but it did not stop there. Because numerous financial players wanted to have a say in the design of the payment slip, several drafts had to be presented and changes implemented. This included the receipt, which, like the previous payment slips, can be separated by a perforated line.