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Changes to payment transactions

The Swiss interbank payment system has been gradually brought into line with new market standards over the past few years.

These changes are making payment transactions smoother and easier by automating the data-transfer process across the country.

We’re here to help you throughout the transition phase and to keep you informed of future changes.

Instant payments are the next step forward


With instant payments, you’ll be able to transfer money from your Swiss bank account to another Swiss bank account in a matter of seconds. Around 50 of the largest banks in Switzerland will launch this new service in August 2024.


Thanks to instant payments, you’ll be able to transfer money from one Swiss bank account to another in less than ten seconds. Regardless of when you enter a payment order – evenings, weekends, and holidays included – it will be executed immediately, with your account debited and the beneficiary’s account credited nearly simultaneously.


Bank transfers in less than ten seconds


24/7/365 – no exceptions

Starting on 20 August 2024, Switzerland’s largest banks will be equipped to handle instant payments between their customers and customers of other participating banks. This service will expand to include all Swiss banks two years later – that means all account-to-account payments in Switzerland will take place in just a few seconds.

  • Up-to-date account balance: Account balances are always up to date since payments are credited and debited simultaneously.
  • No credit risk: Instant payments are immediately recorded on both ends of the transaction. Taken together, this means no uncertainty and no credit risk for either the payer or the payee.
  • Execution confirmation: Both parties have the possibility of receiving immediate confirmation when a payment is executed. That way the payer can be sure that the amount has been credited to the beneficiary – which is particularly useful for urgent payments.

  • Faster payment processing: With instant payments, transfers are processed immediately. This can make a real difference when it comes to delivery-against-payment transactions.
  • Improved cash flow management: Because instant payments take place in real time, you’re in a better position to manage and plan your cash flows. You know immediately when payments are received – and that can translate into crucial efficiency gains.
  • Improve your customers’ experience: Instant payments streamline your customers’ experience. They’re able to pay their bills and make purchases in the blink of an eye – a clear improvement on today’s standard payment methods. And happy customers are repeat customers!
  • Potential savings: Instant payments can also save your company money, for example by reducing the need to issue payment reminders.

Under current rules, the maximum payment amount will be CHF 20,000. The payer’s bank may impose additional amount limits.

Instant payment can be made at any time of the day or night, any day of the week.

You simply need an account with a participating bank. Beyond that, your bank may apply certain conditions, such as requiring access to its web-based or mobile banking services.

Changes introduced since 2016

  • In 2022, red and orange payment slips were permanently discontinued in Switzerland and replaced by QR bills.
  • The ISO 20022 standard replaced the various proprietary formats used by banks and the post office with the PAIN format (for payments) and the CAMT format (for advices and notifications).
  • The e-billing system evolved into the eBill service.
  • The Swiss financial sector published recommendations on the implementation of the EBICS standardized communication protocol.

Learn more

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