Financial institutions participate in the Swiss RTGS systems SIC and euroSIC through proprietary interfaces from software providers or through the SWIFT network. In cases of emergency, file transfer or data carriers can be used as an alternative solution.
Participants must choose one of the following two access channels.
The majority of payments are exchanged through the Messaging Gateway access channel. Communication takes place through the closed Finance IPNet network. Banks have the choice between interfaces offered by multiple software providers. This software can be operated either by the bank on its own or through a service bureau. These software providers also offer modules for additional services from SIX or even the connection to SWIFT.
This is an access option for participants with small payment volumes who would like to use their existing SWIFT infrastructure for the RTGS connection. Conventional FIN messages (e.g. MT202) can be used until 17 November 2017. Communication takes place through the SWIFTNet, and the SWIFT FIN service will be used until 17 November 2017. As of that date, all participants must use ISO 20022 and the SWIFT InterAct service will be used for communication.
Web portal as a complement
The web portal supplements the two access channels mentioned above. Certain use cases can be manually initiated with it through IP networks such as Finance IPNet or the Internet. Examples of use cases include the querying of a settlement account or a cancellation.
Research can also be conducted online through the web portal. This is already possible for euroSIC, and will be for SIC in April 2016. The web portal also supports participants who receive truncated ISO messages within the scope of the migration to the ISO 20022 message standard. In this way, the original messages, such as a pacs.008, can be checked on the screen or downloaded.
Participants with the “SWIFT” access channel are required to use the web portal, because not all use cases necessary for a participant can be carried out via SWIFT.
Identification of the user in the web portal takes place using electronic certificates that are issued by third-party providers. To be able to ensure high security, the certificates must at least meet the following requirements:
- The user certificate must be saved on a hardware-based security token
- Validity of the user certificate: not expired, must still be valid for nine months for new registrations
- Validity of the root certificate: not expired, must still be valid for five years for new registrations
- Standard: X.509 V3
- Signature algorithm: sha1RSA
- Key length: at least 2048 bit
- Key usage: client authentication, digital signature.
For use of self-issued certificates, at least ten users must be registered.
Financial institutions that prefer to use certificates from other third-party providers – such as foreign certification points or the bank's own certificate – must first contact SIX Interbank Clearing.
Proof of identity
Recommended is the electronic identification from SuisseID, which can be ordered online. Please note that for this an identification verification point in Switzerland must be visited and that the user must provide personal identification. According to SuisseID, identification verification points include:
- Post offices of the Swiss Post (yellow identification)
- Through SwissSign or QuoVadis authorized persons
- Municipal and city administrations
- Notary publics in Switzerland
- SBB Change/Western Union counters (SBB customer identification).
Due to legal requirements, the following means of identification are exclusively accepted:
- For Swiss, German, French or Italian citizens: a valid passport/personal ID or valid ID card (with details about the person and validity, including signature)
- For all other persons: valid passport (with details about the person and validity, including signature).
Where to order SuisseID?
The SIC franc payment system
SIC processes Swiss franc payments between banks in real time on behalf and under the supervision of the Swiss National Bank.