Digital Payments

SWIFT Working Group To Create ISO 20022 Standard

SWIFT announced Thursday (April 4) that its working group of payments industry experts is creating a common end-to-end implementation to increase the move of cross-border transactions to the ISO 20022 standard.

In a press release, SWIFT said the community has decided to create the standard in light of multiple planned migrations to ISO 20022. SWIFT noted that creating a standard will increase efficiencies, support end-to-end STP, facilitate improved regulatory compliance, improve the party identification process and provide the opportunity for new business.

Payments experts are working with SWIFT to create global market practice and implementation guidelines for the common roll-out and implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments. SWIFT said the guidelines laid out by the working group will enable the successful migration of cross-border payments traffic to ISO 20022, kicking off in November of 2021. Embracing a standardized approach, SWIFT said in the press release, will reduce implementation costs for the entire payments industry.

“Our mission is to standardize business and operational interaction as much as possible, rendering a seamless service that banks can offer competitively to their clients,” said Harry Newman, head of banking at SWIFT, in the press release. “The benefits of the common rule book within SWIFT gpi show how successful this approach is, and the work that this group is doing to create a common implementation of ISO 20022 continues the transformation of cross-border payments.”

According to SWIFT, the move to ISO 20022 is being driven by the payments community and will require engagement and dialogue between SWIFT users on a regular basis. SWIFT said it will invite the community to review and comment on the guidelines as they are crafted. The participants in the working group include senior payments experts representing Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the Nordics, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as the International Securities Services Association. “As the migration to ISO 20022 is a community-driven initiative, the work of this group is critical to success with a project of this magnitude,” noted Paula Roels, head of market infrastructures and industry initiatives at Deutsche Bank, in the press release.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

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