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Table of contents

The benefits of ISO 20022

What are the benefits of ISO 20022 and how does it differ from MT?

When exchanging financial information, including via MT messages, specialists in different domains or countries have developed their own jargon and can use different words to refer to the same concept. The ISO 20022 standard can help to overcome barriers linked to the use of these different syntaxes and semantics. It is a global, open standard that describes a modelling methodology to capture – in a syntax-independent way – financial business areas, business transactions and associated message flows.

The ISO 20022 methodology starts with the definition of the business model which is a central dictionary of commonly agreed business items used in financial communications. The second layer builds on the first by defining logical messages using the previously defined business concepts. Within these, individual elements, such as ‘InterbankSettlementAmount’ and ‘InterbankSettlementDate’ can be reused. Finally, the syntax (physical representation) of the logical message will be specified.

Thanks to its structured and richer data elements, ISO 20022 enables counterparties, intermediaries, and beneficiaries to increase automation in transaction processing, reducing costly manual interventions, and improving visibility on cash flows and cash positions, for example, in payment transactions. It provides banks with better insight into the business purpose of a financial transaction, enabling the provision of improved value-added services.

Businesses, as payment users, can gain more insight from their payments data into the behaviours and choices of their customers, as more complete and accurate party data leads to more effective and efficient screening, compliance, and anti-money laundering (AML) processes. Lastly, payments scenarios such as ‘Payment on Behalf of’ (POBO) can be fully supported, avoiding complex workarounds.

For further insights on opportunities ISO 20022 offers, make sure to read our ‘ISO 20022 for dummies’ and ‘Supercharge your payments business with ISO 20022’ ebooks.

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Are all business domains migrating

How does ISO 20022 organise financial message definitions?

ISO 20022 is a standards development methodology used by multiple business domains. These include payments clearing and settlement, payment initiation, cash management, securities settlement, asset servicing, account management and reference data.

In 2018, the Swift community decided to adopt  ISO 20022 for cross-border payments and reporting. March 2023 marked the start of the migration with a coexistence period with MT messages until November 2025.

Payment market infrastructures, including major reserve currencies such as EUR, USD, GBP, SGD, and AUD, are also adopting ISO 20022. Swift encourages and supports the adoption of ISO 20022 by instant and real-time gross settlement systems to align with the richer format of cross-border payments.

We are also helping to enable other market initiatives, including the SRDII and CSDR European regulatory requirements, to complement ISO 15022-based messages in securities. Other business domains will continue to use existing standards (FIN/MTs), including corporate to bank, securities, trade finance, Forex, and market infrastructures.

What is CBPR+

Cross-border payments and reporting plus (CBPR+) is a workgroup of payments experts whose mission is to create global ISO 20022 Market Practice and Implementation Guidelines to ensure a common roll-out and implementation of ISO 20022 by banks.
CBPR+ usage guidelines define how ISO 20022 messages are to be used for cross-border payments and cash reporting on the Swift network and are to be validated.

The usage guidelines are publicly available on MyStandards and include downloadable XML Schema, PDF and Excel specifications. The MT <> CBPR+ translation rules and logic are available on the CBPR+ translation portal.

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What is HVPS+

High-Value Payments Plus (HVPS+) is a workgroup of payments experts whose mission is to create guidelines on the usage of ISO 20022 for high value payments systems, to be used by domestic communities as a basis in the development of their own, specific market practice.

The HVPS+ usage guidelines are publicly available on MyStandards, and cover payment, clearing and settlement (pacs) and cash management (camt) messages. To ensure consistent usage and interoperability, ISO 20022 guidelines for HVPS+ and CBPR+ are fully aligned, allowing for minor business differences, such as settlement method.

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Phase out of Category 1/2/9 messages

When will MT messages for cross-border payments and reporting be phased out?

In November 2025, cross-border payments and reporting traffic shall have migrated to the ISO 20022 format and Categories 1, 2 and 9 of MT messages will be retired. That will mark the end of the coexistence period.

MT 199, MT 299, and MT 999 messages used in the payments business domain will also be decommissioned in November 2025. Such traffic will need to migrate to the appropriate ISO 20022 equivalent.

Standards Releases during coexistence

Will there be any standard release for MT and MX from now until the end of coexistence?

For payments and cash management messages, the focus of standard releases until the end of coexistence is on the implementation of new CBPR+ messages as per the roadmap defined by the workgroup.

The Payment Standards Maintenance Group will be discouraged from approving any changes during the MT/MX coexistence period unless they are deemed critical or required for regulatory reasons.

You can check for updates and announcements of maintenance releases through the annual standards release process.

New CBPR+ messages during coexistence

What new messages will be implemented for CBPR+ by the end of coexistence?

  • SR 2023 covers cheques, direct debits, and a few other use cases (cancellation, margin collection).
  • SR 2024 covers charges.

Please always consult MyStandards for the latest scope and usage guidelines of CBPR+ messages.

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Learning about CBPR+ business flows

Where can I find more information on the business flows in which to use the new CBPR+ messages?

The CBPR+ User Handbook published on MyStandards explains how the CBPR+ messages can be used. It captures the changes in payment flows between counterparties, new terminology and concepts, and other details important to customer’s payment operations.

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Phase-out of other messages

Will Swift phase out other messages than the CBPR+ ones at the end of coexistence?

Categories 1, 2 and 9 of MT messages will be retired for cross-border payments and reporting. In other terms:

  • Message exchanges in the Swift for Corporates (SCORE) service will continue as they are for the foreseeable future.
  • Closed User Groups operated by non-Swift entities will continue as they are for the foreseeable future.

Other categories of MT messages (e.g. MT 3xx, 5xx) won’t be impacted and can therefore still be used after the end of coexistence.