Payment transactions Pay bills easily with the QR code

Orange and red payment slips are gradually being replaced. The new QR-bill makes payment transactions easier.

by UBS Insights 25 May 2020

For years, they’ve been part of every bill: the orange payment slip with reference number – used by most companies – and its red counterpart, without reference number. With subvariants, there were no fewer than seven different types of payment slips in circulation in Switzerland.

This is now changing and, from 30 June 2020, companies will introduce the QR-bill with the “Swiss QR code” as its central element. This modernization of payment transactions offers many benefits and allows payment in the usual ways. Whether UBS E-Banking, the UBS Mobile Banking app or in our branches, weʼre ready for the switch.

The benefits of QR-bills

The QR-bill will make life for companies much easier because they will be able to generate invoices on commercially available black & white printers. They’ll only need to use standard perforated paper if they want to send hardcopy invoices, meaning special paper will no longer be required. The QR-bill also offers many benefits for you as a private client:

  • You can scan the QR code quickly and easily with your smartphone: no need to type in the account and reference number any more.
  • All relevant payment information is integrated in the QR code, as well as being clearly printed on the QR payment part.
  • Black on white, bills are easier to read – for the human eye as well as for your smartphone camera.
  • Instead of seven variants, there will be only one QR-bill.
  • It will still be up to you how and when to pay the invoice, whether via UBS Mobile Banking, in UBS E-Banking, at a UBS Multimat in your branch, by post, e.g., with UBS easy, or also at the post office.

Want to know more about the new QR-bill?

Everything about handling QR-bills at UBS at a glance.

Important information about QR-bills

The modernization of Swiss payment transactions has been under discussion for some time. Additional adjustments, which were very well received by market participants in a public consultation in the fall of 2018, further improved the new standard, but led to a delay of one year in the launch of the QR-bill.

Since the first announcement, some myths have already started circulating, which our experts are happy to comment on for you:

Three myths about QR-bills

QR-bills can only be paid digitally.

No, you can also settle a QR-bill at a UBS Multimat, at a post office, or using the UBS easy form.

QR-bills can only be paid using a QR-compatible end device.

No, QR-bills can also be entered manually, e.g., in UBS E-Banking.

The red and orange payment slips will both be abolished in one go.

No, both orange and red payment slips remain valid. Although it is not yet clear for how long, companies will be given enough time to change over their systems and a period of two to three years can be assumed.

How to pay a QR-bill

You decide how to pay a QR-bill. As a UBS client, you have several options to choose from, e.g.,

  • In the UBS Mobile Banking app, scan the bill conveniently anywhere and anytime.*
  • In UBS E-Banking, scan it using either a scanner or your computerʼs built-in camera, or enter it manually.*
  • Enter it in your own payment software and then send it to UBS.
  • Scan it at a UBS Multimat – UBS’s electronic counter.
  • Send it to UBS by mail using the UBS easy payment order forms.
  • Settle it in cash or use a payment card at the post office.

* Important: Security confirmation in UBS Digital Banking

Pay more easily with eBill

Do you want to go fully digital? With eBill you can send invoices directly to UBS E-Banking and pay them with just a few clicks.

The history of the payment slip

Today, payment slips are used around 800 million times a year in Switzerland. Around 15 percent of all payment orders are settled in cash at the post office. Payment slips have a long history in this country going back more than 110 years.

Source: Kulturgeschichte des Geldflusses, Verlag SKV, Zürich

The green payment slip was introduced in 1906. Do you remember it? It remained in use almost unchanged until 1986.

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In 1971, the PTT as it was then called launched the blue payment slip which enabled fully automated payment processing. It was in use for 30 years.

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In 1986, the post office and the banks issued a new common green payment slip.

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The red payment slip can also be scanned; it replaced the final version of the green payment slip in 1998.

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In 2001, the orange payment slip by banks and Postfinance replaced the blue payment slip.

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Under the leadership of SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd, three versions of the QR-bill will be introduced as of 30 June 2020. After a transition period to be determined, they will replace all orange and red payment slips.

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