SWIFT Sets ISO 20022 Sights On High-Value Payments


As SWIFT continues to promote the adoption of the ISO 20022 payments messaging standard across financial institutions, the company said it is zeroing in on the potential for ISO 20022 harmonization in the high-value payments space.

To highlight that potential, SWIFT revealed on Thursday (Aug. 18) that it has created the High-Value Payments task force, a group of global banks and payments infrastructure companies. The task force will eventually generate a new set of ISO 20022 guidelines specific to the transfer of high-value payments — often B2B payments — so these payment systems can include more accurate, structured and high-quality data along with the transaction.

“From an industry perspective, this is a meaningful collaboration initiative that can benefit all market infrastructures and their members,” said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Gina Russo in a statement. “By encouraging a standardized global approach to ISO 20022 implementation for high-value payment systems, the industry as a whole can be in a position to reduce costs, ensure efficient implementation and realize the true benefits of using a common global standard.”

In addition to the Fed, The U.S. Clearing House is another infrastructure provider participating in the task force, reports said.

“As we prepare our implementation strategy to convert our proprietary Chips format specifications to ISO 20022, we would like to use this new global market practice as a baseline,” said The Clearing House Chips Product Manager Bob Pepitone in another statement. “This will allow our members to use the same formats and process with TCH [The Clearing House] and other HVP [High-Value Payments] communities, while incorporating the unique characteristics of the Chips messaging formats.”

“This approach will definitely help to enable interoperability for all payments market infrastructures globally,” Pepitone added.

The European Central Bank, Bank of England, Hong Kong Interbank Clearing Limited, Wells Fargo and a slew of other financial players are also part of the task force, nicknamed HVPS+, according to reports.