Request to pay (R2P) solutions: a brewing revolution in Swiss digital payments - Banking blog


What is request to pay?

Request to pay (R2P) is a secure payments framework, which offers a new and flexible way to settle payments between businesses (B2B) and consumers (B2C or P2P). The payment flows through a network in which the payer receives a secure digital message with an invoice or a payment request triggered by the payee. When receiving the request, payers have the option to make the payment immediately, postpone it, or request to pay in instalments (both online and at the point of sale in stores) via buy now pay later (BNPL) offerings for B2C. BNPL is gaining momentum globally as well as in Switzerland.

This blogpost is the second in our series dedicated to 'The future of payments in Switzerland – strategic outlook for financial and payments services executives'. Read the first post - What could the roll-out for instant payments mean for Switzerland? Three evolutions to consider.

What are the key benefits of R2P and how can it transform the Swiss digital payments ecosystem?

R2P could resolve challenges with existing pre-transaction solutions such as paper invoicing, direct debit, e-invoicing, marketplace invoicing and bill-splitting. These solutions currently have poor processes for making amendments and can be manually intensive, giving less flexibility to payees and payers.

Main benefits of R2P for different stakeholders could be:

  • Swiss banks can increase revenues by studying the offering of R2P services such as eBill** to their corporate customers, allowing these to issue invoices to their customers. Banks can also collect and monetise data from R2P payments (e.g., identification of customers’ key ‘moments of truth’, affiliate marketing) or creating cross-selling opportunities. Wider integration with European SEPA R2P schemas will enable broader R2P adoption and provide benefits for cross-border payments.
  • Retailers can increase revenues and reduce payment attrition by studying the use of R2P to allow consumers to pay only after delivery of goods. This can further reduce the costs with chargebacks. Furthermore, with instant payment (IP), R2P payments can be settled immediately offering new opportunities for point of sale and online payments offerings*.
  • End users can be offered an improved customer dialogue and overall experience (i.e., efficient digitalisation enabling faster execution). It also increases the payment options available to the end user.
  • Corporate and institutional clients can improve their liquidity management by invoicing corporate and retail customers using R2P for more instant settlement of payments. For recurrent or periodic payments, if they use R2P solutions they can reduce their operational costs with direct debit or card chargebacks, especially when using a standing approval capability, available with services such as eBill**. Finally, e-invoicing is now mandatory in Switzerland and the EU. Coupled with R2P solutions this can greatly improve the settlement of invoices.

*further details on this series’ first blogpost on IP.

Current examples of R2P in Switzerland include:

  1. **eBill is a digital invoice service provided by SIX for more than two million registered customers and is accepted by most Swiss banks. It enables corporates to send invoices, by paying a fee to eBill providers, to banking customers which can receive and pay them directly at their online banking. Similar solutions exist in other countries, such as eBill in the US, PayUK in the UK and BPAY in Australia.
  2. TWINT supports online, in-store as well as P2P payments via smartphone and is currently used by four million users with 200 million transactions per year.
  3. QR code billing in parallel with the above R2P services has been the most common feature of a B2C R2P arrangement in Switzerland, enabling immediate payment via online banking of an invoice by scanning a QR code. Since 30 September 2022 all invoices are required to have this feature replacing the previous invoice model - the orange slip.
R2P B2B example
Figure 1. R2P B2B example (Deloitte)


Why should banks and merchants explore R2P solutions and act now?

Both fintechs and traditional payment service providers (e.g., global card providers) are seeking first-mover advantage to gain a greater market share. For instance, Mastercard launched its R2P solution in 2021 in the UK, and recently partnered with Temenos to accelerate its adoption. Some merchant players (e.g., Amazon and Alipay), social media platforms (e.g., WeChat) have also integrated this feature in their respective platforms. Swedish Fintech Klarna set up a business model for small purchase lending through a BNPL solution and Apple added a R2P feature to Apple Pay in April 2022. In Switzerland eBill adoption has significant potential for expansion (see the Figure below) and can offer further opportunities for monetising.

Comparison on use of direct debit and eBIll
Figure 2. Comparison on use of direct debit and eBIll (Swiss National Bank payments survey, 2020)


Swiss banks should look holistically at payments solutions for merchants and consider adding R2P to their existing banking applications for retail clients. Merchants, corporates, and e-commerce market players should also reassess their payments strategy and offer a greater variety of options.


Sergio Cruz

Sergio Cruz - Business Operations Lead 

Sergio is a Partner and leads Deloitte’s Business Operations practice. He has over 23 years of experience in financial services with a focus on banking operations and brings extensive expertise in risk and regulatory-driven transformations. He has worked on several large assignments both in Switzerland and abroad, covering the implementation of regulatory requirements, the definition and implementation of target operating models and the development of front-to-back processes. He has worked in areas such as IBOR reform, investor protection, FATCA / AEI and Basel requirements among others. Key clients Sergio has worked with include Swiss global and private banks as well as major UK and US banks.



David Frei - Swiss Payments Lead

David is Deloitte Switzerland’s Payments Lead and a Director in the Business Operations Consulting practice in Zurich, with global experience gained in Consultancy and the Banking industry. He has a macro view across retail and banking payments, financial service products, payments costs, regulations and systems as well as a detailed knowledge of key processes in Acquiring, PSP and omni-channel/e-commerce payments. He has advised large clients through impactful payments transformation and digital payments projects in Switzerland and beyond.



 Katerina Kochova - Swiss Payments Expert

Katerina is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Switzerland in the Business Operations team. She is specialized in banking and FinTechs. She gained experience on banking and insurance projects from France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. Katerina has experience on large digital transformation, process excellence setups and Target Operating Models definition projects in Retail Banking, Private Banking and Wealth Management. Furthermore, Katerina worked on definition of payments strategy and payments process optimization via RPA automation.


Joao vieira

João Vieira de Meireles - Swiss Payments Expert

João is a Manager in Business Operations with over 7 years of Consulting experience. He is a member and SME of the Payments Offering within the Business Operations Team and has expertise in Stakeholder management and Project management, as well as payments strategy and transformation (Market offering, TOM Ops and IT, Migration, SWIFT ISO20022, Instant Payments, Open Banking incl. PSD2, BNPL), Corporate and Private Banking, Brokerage and Insurance.

João has substantial experience in Banking and Payments, as well as financial services (Brokerage, Insurance) while working in the North America (the US, Canada) and Europe (Switzerland, Netherlands, the UK, Germany, Austria) in projects ranging from IP rollout in Canada and US, payments hub redesign (TOM, STP, SWIFT ISO20022 migration), Corporate Banking transformation project (TOM, Core Banking, Processes restructuring, Change management, Migration) and two new digital bank rollouts.




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