B2B Payments

Bank Of England Pulls Payment Schemes Onto Same Page With ISO 20022

The Bank of England is streamlining the U.K.'s payments messaging operations through the planned adoption of the ISO 20022 messaging standard, the bank announced Wednesday (June 6).

In collaboration with the recently-established New Payments System Operator (NPSO) and the Payment System Regulator (PSR), the Bank of England has commenced a six-week consultation on the adoption of ISO 20022 across payment schemes in the country, including CHAPS, Faster Payments and BACS.

The NPSO, which operates Faster Payments and BACS, is working with the central bank to develop a "Common U.K. Credit Message" (CCM), a messaging standard across all three payment schemes. Together, those schemes account for more than 8 billion payments a year, the Bank of England said.

The CCM was developed to align with payment systems across borders that have adopted the ISO 20022 messaging standard.

The Bank of England noted that this change coincides with the launch of the real-time gross settlement (RTGS) infrastructure under CHAPS, as well as the New Payments Architecture under BACS and Faster Payments.

Bank of England Executive Director Andrew Hauser said in a statement, "The coordinated adoption of a single standard across U.K. payment systems should bring many benefits for payment providers, and for the businesses and households they serve. Risk will be reduced by allowing payments to be rerouted more effectively between systems, and by standardizing and improving data, supporting detection of fraud and financial crime. Payments will flow more easily across international borders."

The Bank of England noted that, as the nation adopts the ISO 20022 standard, payment providers and system users will have to make changes  its consultation will explore those changes, as well as how the implementation process will occur and what additional payment data will be required with the ISO 20022 messaging standard.

The central bank added that it does not expect to migrate the CHAPS scheme to ISO 20022 until 2021 at the earliest.

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