Further information about payment transactions in Switzerland

Cashless payment systems have become an important alternative to cash. Increasing cost pressure, competition and technological change are constantly resulting in new services, processes and infrastructures and ensure that the Swiss payment transaction landscape remains dynamic and up-to-date.

In this environment the tasks of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) include facilitating and securing the functioning of cashless payment systems in Switzerland in accordance with the National Bank Act (NBA) (art. 5 para. 2). The SNB performs this duty principally by acting as system manager for the Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) system. The SIC system, which is operated by SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd on behalf of the SNB, processes both large-value payments and retail transfers. Together with other financial market infrastructures, the SIC system makes up what is known as the «Swiss Value Chain» (cf. report «Behind the scenes of financial markets (...)»).

The National Bank Act also allows the Confederation to avail itself of the banking services provided by the SNB (NBA art. 5 para. 4). In this regard the SNB provides payment transaction services for the Confederation and federal bodies, acting on their instructions.

Further information about the SIC system may be found in the SIC disclosure report. This report provides information on the Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) payment system, in accordance with the provisions of the National Bank Ordinance (NBO) and the CPMI–IOSCO ‘Principles for financial market infrastructures’. It is the result of collaboration between the SNB (Department III) in its capacity as SIC system manager, and SIX Interbank Clearing as SIC system operator.