2020 will see the introduction of the QR-bill in Switzerland: a new standard for invoicing that will replace the current payment slip from 30 June next year. It is predicted that this will have a significant impact on the way donations are collected in the mid to long term.
The QR-bill is being introduced to modernise and simplify payment transaction processes in the country, and to enable it to meet the challenges presented by digitalisation and regulation.
The new QR-bill will display a QR code including the Swiss cross as an identification feature, known as the Swiss QR Code. All the information needed for the payment will be contained in the Swiss QR Code and printed on the payment part. QR-bills can be used for billing in Swiss Francs and Euros.
For charities, the innovation brings both advantages and challenges: one advantage, for example, is that a QR code on a billboard can lead donors directly to the banking app on their mobile phones and facilitate making donations. Problems, on the other hand, may arise with out-of-pocket and spontaneous donations. Swissfundraising has therefore set up a working group to draw up recommendations for charities and fundraisers.
Roger Tinner, executive director at Swissfundraising, says:
“It requires new approaches for the integration of online and offline activities. This is an important matter for us as an association, as we want to ensure that our members are as well prepared as possible for this transition.”
Charities and other organisations must be able to pay QR-bills by 30 June 2020, although payment slips will also be accepted for a transitionary period.
Once introduced, the biller will generate a QR-bill containing a Swiss QR Code with all the relevant information about the creditor and debtor, the amount, and currency, and a payment part and receipt. This will be sent out to the bill recipient, usually on paper or digitally as a PDF document, who will then use the QR Code to pay the bill in their preferred way, such as by e-banking or mobile payment, or a cash payment at a post office.
Billers will need to use software or a browser-based service to generate their Swiss QR Codes.
Further information on the QR-bill is available from the Swiss Payment Standards.