Transforming Switzerland’s payments landscape: Benefits for banks with ISO20022 and instant payments - Banking blog


The implementation of the ISO20022 offers a great opportunity to transform and modernise banking operations and payments.

The growth in Payments

Payments are the lifeblood of the economy, facilitating transactions for goods and services and the greater flexibility and speed have greatly expanded the choices.

In Switzerland, besides cash, debit cards were the preferred payment method between from 2017 and 2020 (22% to 32% of payments by volume and 28% to 34% by value). Whereas volume and value has remained on a similar level since then, contactless payments have increased between 2020 and 2022 (from 13% to 19% in value).

Additionally, a substantial growth in mobile payment transactions have been observed between 2020 and 2022 (4% to 11% by volume and 4% to 8% by value).

Image 1 ISO20022Source: SNB Payment Methods Survey of Private Individuals in Switzerland 2022

Insights of our recent Payments survey

In our recent payments survey of more than 20 banks in Switzerland, 45% rate payments as a strategic driver, and 55% as a need-to-have commodity.

Furthermore, 82% of the banks consider that payments will be even more important in five years than it is today, and only 18% believe that they will be less important.

Payments are a key connector between a bank and its customers. Depending on a bank's positioning and product offering, over 50% of customer interactions involve payments.

Image 2 ISO20022Source: Deloitte payments survey 2023

Payment regulation

ISO20022 and instant payments

The implementation of instant payments and adaption to ISO20022 is mandatory and follows a clear roadmap outlined by SIX (mandated by SNB) with a product migration path.

Together with the financial institutions, SIX is initiating the technical rollout of ISO20022, followed by the technical readiness for SIC5 by the end of 2023. The largest Swiss banks must comply by the end of 2024, with a capability of processing instant payments (receiving), and the remaining banks must comply by 2026 at the latest.

Open banking

Open banking − which permits access to bank customer interfaces for third-party providers − is not yet mandatory for banks and other financial institutions in Switzerland. However, Open banking was made mandatory for banks and other financial institutions in the EU with the regulation Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) regulation.

On 28 June 2023, the European Commission published draft legislation, PSD3, which aims to:

  • Combat payment fraud by allowing financial institutions and payment service providers to share fraud-related information with each other
  • Strengthen consumers’ rights, improving transparency on their account statements
  • Enabling non-bank payment service providers to access all EU payment systems while preserving their right to a bank account
  • Improve open banking functionality and customer control over payment data, allowing new and innovative services to enter the market.

In Switzerland, the Federal Council has included open banking in its 'digital agenda' for 2024. Therefore, it can be assumed that this will trigger transformation activities for banks and financial institutions on the regulatory side.


Payments are undergoing a profound transformation, based on/initiated by changes in customer behaviour, technology, commercial/business models, partnerships/fintech’s as well as in regulation.

It will therefore not be sufficient in the long term simply to implement the new regulatory requirements for payments.

Banks and other financial institutions should now deal with the challenge of payments transformation holistically and set the right course.

Banks and financial institutions will be confronted with the following consequences if they do not modernise and upgrade their payment systems:

  • Lack of innovation, less customer proximity and resulting weaknesses in the market offering
  • Ever-increasing process-related disadvantages compared to other banks and competitors, due to costs not being reduced and processing times not being accelerated
  • the consequences of regulatory non-compliance.

Image 3 ISO 20022

Payments transformation

ISO20022, combined with the advent of instant payments, holds immense potential for financial institutions in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. This combination offers many opportunities for early adopters, enabling them to enhance their operations, streamline processes, and stay ahead of the curve.

Opportunities and advantages from early adoption

  • Enhanced operational efficiency: ISO20022 introduces a standardised data format that allows for seamless inter-communication and interoperability between financial institutions. By adopting ISO20022 early, Swiss and Liechtenstein financial institutions can leverage this standardised format to simplify and automate processes such as payment initiation, reconciliation, and reporting. This streamlining of operations reduces manual effort and the risk of errors and improves overall efficiency.
  • Better customer experience: Instant payments, enabled by ISO20022, revolutionise the speed and convenience of transactions. With real-time payment capabilities, financial institutions can offer their customers around-the-clock near-instantaneous and frictionless fund transfers. This enhanced customer experience should foster customer loyalty and satisfaction and help to attract new clients by differentiating early adopters from their competitors.
  • Competitive edge: By embracing ISO20022 and instant payments at an early stage, financial institutions can gain a significant competitive advantage. They can position themselves as leaders in the industry by providing cutting-edge payment solutions that cater to the evolving needs and expectations of customers. This proactive approach should also help to attract business partners who seeking collaboration with innovative financial institutions.

Modernising applications and processes

  • Seamless integration: ISO20022 is a catalyst for modernising existing applications and legacy systems. Financial institutions can integrate ISO20022 messages seamlessly into their existing infrastructure, enable smoother data exchange between various systems, and pave the way for improved analytics, reporting, and compliance monitoring.
  • Enhanced data insights: ISO20022 supports the transmission of enriched data, including detailed payment information and contextual data. Financial institutions can use this additional information to obtain valuable insights into customer behaviour, spending patterns, and markets trends, enabling them to offer personalised services, develop targeted marketing strategies, and make data-driven business decisions.

Fostering innovation

  • Open banking opportunities: ISO20022, combined with instant payments, lays the foundation for open banking in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. It enables secure and standardised data exchange between financial institutions and third-party providers, fostering collaboration and innovation. By embracing ISO20022, financial institutions can explore new revenue streams, offer value-added services, and create innovative partnerships with fintech firms, whilst ensuring the security and privacy of customer data.
  • Product and service innovation: ISO20022’s rich data capabilities enable financial institutions to develop innovative products and services that go beyond traditional payment offerings. By analysing customer behaviour and preferences, they can identify opportunities for creating tailored financial solutions, such as real-time budgeting tools, personalised savings plans, and AI-driven investment recommendations. These innovations will not only enhance customer engagement but will also generate new revenue streams.


ISO20022 and instant payments present Swiss and Liechtenstein financial institutions with unprecedented opportunities to modernise their applications, streamline their processes, and innovate. Early adoption of ISO20022 will enable them to gain a competitive edge, enhance operational efficiency, and deliver an exceptional customer experience. By leveraging ISO20022’s capabilities, financial institutions can transform their operations, unlock valuable data insights, and drive product and service innovation.

Embracing ISO20022 is not only a strategic move. It is also a crucial step in future-proofing the payments landscape.

Finally, payments will be a challenge for banks and financial institutions to develop process excellence and to meet regulatory requirements. Payments will become a key differentiator in the management of client expectations and customer centricity.


Banner 2nd payments event

Cyrill kiefer

Cyrill Kiefer, Partner, Banking Consulting Lead

Cyrill is Partner in the Banking Transformation Practice. He has successfully led various «end-to-end» transformation projects from strategy to go-live in the area of trading, regulatory, sales excellence, digitalisation and organisational change management. He has more than 18 years of consulting experience in serving retail and private banks as well as market operators. Cyrill focuses on optimising the interaction between banks and clients by using digital solutions and develops agile front-end solutions for the Fintech industry.

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Roger Kuhn, Partner, Consulting Business Operations Lead

Roger is the Lead Partner of Deloitte's Business Operations practice in Switzerland with over 20 years of experience advising clients on large-scale business transformations and technology implementations. He collaborates with our clients across the spectrum of their end-to-end journeys, focusing on the transformation, modernisation, and optimisation of their business operations systems.

Roger's academic background lies in economics and business administration at the University of St. Gallen, with a specialization in financial accounting and reporting. In his previous roles, Roger was responsible for overseeing complex global finance transformation programs for major Financial Service organisations.

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David frei

David Frei, Director, Payments Lead Switzerland

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 vast experience and a macro view across retail and banking payments, payments processing, financial service products, consumer, payments costs, regulations and systems as well as 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 Europe.

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M Penning

Michael Penning, Payments Expert

Michael is part of Deloitte’s Business Operations practice and a member of the Payments offering. He has over 7 years’ experience in the banking area with focus on banking operations and transformation.

He has gained diverse experiences in financial services from the inside out, through advising, auditing, and working as an employee. From client facing role to IT transformation and executing the multi-year plan for the Chief Operating Officer and regular meetings with Senior Management.

Michael is an experienced project manager and led transformation projects, ranging from IT implementation projects to adapt the ISO20022 standard to projects with focus on B2B cross-border payments and ESG initiatives among others.  

Email| LinkedIn 


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