Swiss QR Code and SWICO: Potential = Optional? Also for AI?

18. February 2021

Today, Switzerland has various standardised payment receipts such as ES or ESR. While BLU DELTA has been able to read ESR information for some time, the first receipts with the brand new Swiss QR Code have been trickling in to our BLU DELTA service since 30 June 2020. The Swiss QR Code will replace the more than 30-year-old payment slip by mid-2022 and has been in a 2-year transition phase since mid-2020. BLU DELTA now also extracts the data contained in the Swiss QR Code.

Swiss QR Code and BLU DELTA

In contrast to its European counterpart (EPC QR Code – also known in Germany as e.g. GiroCode), the Swiss QR Code offers 2 obvious advantages in our view:

  • Swiss QR Code will be mandatory from mid-2022
  • Swiss QR Code contains more information

If we put on the AI glasses, however, we see things from a second perspective. AI is data-driven and having reliable training data is half the battle.

But let’s look at the obvious advantages first.

What is included in the Swiss QR Code?

All the information of a standard payment section of a deposit slip can also be found in the Swiss QR Code:

  • Currency (EUR or CHF)
  • Amount
  • Account information:
    • QR IBAN (replaces ISR participant number)
    • IBAN
  • Payee
  • QR Reference: (basically the ISR reference number)
  • Additional information (UNFORTUNATELY OPTIONAL)
    • Unstructured information (e.g. purpose of payment)
    • Structured invoice information (SWICO): Information such as invoice number, date, customer ID, sales tax number, VAT, etc. is included here.

The Swiss QR Code will drive digitisation in the area of payments and the SWICO definition with all its additional fields has the potential to provide the creditor with improved automated recognition of invoice information. However: the big potential is in the OPTIONAL (structured invoice information)!

But could Swiss QR and SWICO also help AI?

Similar to children, artificial intelligence learns from imitation. It needs examples from which it can learn. If the AI learns from false examples, then the AI will also adopt the false patterns in its behaviour. Correct, true and reliable data examples are an absolute must for good intelligence (by the way, this also applies – in a somewhat more subtle form – to humans). The SwissCode or Girocode could be such a data source for AIs that supports humans in reading document data. Reliable billing information in the QR code can be read and used for training for automated address recognition, for example.

Unfortunately, there are currently no augmented reality glasses that point out the inexhaustible but often hidden potential for AIs when we see data. We humans still have to learn this from good examples (like BLU DELTA)!

The next few months will show whether the Swiss market will seize the opportunity to simplify the automated collection of data including SWICO.

Good source for details on the Swiss QR Code

More information on SWICO 

BLU DELTA is a product for the automated capture of financial documents. Partners, but also our customers’ finance departments, accounts payable clerks and tax consultants can use BLU DELTA to immediately relieve their employees of the time-consuming and mostly manual entry of documents by using BLU DELTA AI and Cloud.

BLU DELTA is an Artificial Intelligence by Blumatix Intelligence GmbH.

Christian Weiler

Author: Christian Weiler is a former General Manager of a global IT company based in Seattle/US. Since 2016, Christian Weiler has been increasingly active in various roles in the field of artificial intelligence and has strengthened the management team of Blumatix Intelligence GmbH since 2018.