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Managing MT and MX releases

We continually work to keep our existing standards up to date, in order to bring standards in line with business changes and correct technical issues.

Standard MT Release 2023 - Business highlights

The annual MT Standards release ensures that the message types (MTs) exchanged by Swift users remain suitable for the business areas in which they are used, by enabling new business functionality and compliance with changing regulations.

Learn more about high level, business information related to the changes made to MT messages as part of Standards Release 2023 (SR 2023).

Important update to Category 7 User Handbook, MT 798 Message Implementation Guide and FAQ

Significant overhaul of Documentary Credits & Guarantees/Standby LCs took place in November 2018 and November 2021 respectively.

As part of the continuous improvement of our standards, further updates were made to Category 7 User Handbook (for example, addition of important guidelines, correction of examples etc. in Category 7 messages). Please note, there are no changes to the format, scope, or network validation rules. The new ‘Advance Information’ document can be found here. The ‘Category 7 Advance Information’ document contains information to be applied as of Standards Release (SR) November 2022.

In addition to the above changes, we have also published the updated MT 798 Message Implementation Guide for corporate-to-bank communication V 5.2.4, effective 1st of June 2022. The 'Track-change-on' version of the document can be found here.

A regular update has also been made to the FAQs for Category 7 and MT 798 messages.

SR 2021 UETR reuse validation postponed to 2022

Since SR 2018, a Unique End-to-end Transaction Reference (UETR) is mandated in the key MT payments messages (MT 103, 103 STP, 103 REMIT, 202, 202 COV, 205, and 205 COV) and optional in some other MT messages (MT 101, MT 190, MT 191, MT 192, MT 195, MT 196, MT 199, MT 292, MT 295, MT 296, MT 299, MT 992, MT 995, MT 996, MT 999) in field 121 of the FIN header block 3. It contains a Universally Unique Identifier compliant with IETF standard RFC4122 using version 4 of the generation algorithm. UETRs are designed to be globally unique without repetition over time. By mandating the UETR in MT payments, all transactions on FIN can be tracked along the Swift network.

However, Swift noticed that not all FIN members apply the correct practice of generating a new UETR per transaction. Duplicating UETRs makes tracking inaccurate and may lead to opening some transactions to institutions that did not participate to these transactions.

SR 2021 status
The planned measures to prevent UETR reuse in MT payment messages, originally scheduled for SR2021 on Sunday 21 November, are postponed for activation to 2022. Information on new activation dates will be communicated in 2022. Swift will continue to monitor traffic in the coming weeks and contact institutions with incorrect practices directly, to make them aware and to indicate corrective measures.

More info on the NAK with error code U15 linked to MT 103 and MT 101 is available in a knowledge base tip.

Free format options for fields 50 and 59 will not be removed in MT

During SR 2019 discussion, a change request submitted by the Payments Market Practice Group was accepted to no longer enforce format option F in MT party fields, but to enforce it when migrating to ISO 20022. ISO 20022 messages allow for more granular structure than the format option F in MT.

Screening the name and address of the ordering customer (payer) and beneficiary (payee) against sanctions lists is required to comply with AML and anti-terrorist financing regulations. Being able to distinguish the different parts of name and address in a structured way is required for handling banks to properly perform screening against sanctions lists issued by various authorities.

Structuring underlying customer data has far-reaching consequences for banks’ payment processing systems and requires a multiyear effort. Banks must therefore continue their efforts in gathering the necessary input to update their systems. 

Universal payment confirmations – mandate extended to pacs.008 in SR 2022

As of 22 November 2020, FIN customers in the Supervised Financial Institution (SUPE) and Payment System Participant (PSPA) user categories who receive MT 103 must provide a “Confirmation” on the outcome of a customer payment (MT 103) to the Tracker (TRCKCHZZ) when funds got credited to the account of the beneficiary customer, when the payment was rejected or when the payment was put on hold or transferred outside of Swift.

A confirmation is expected within maximum 2 business days following the payments’ value date. This will enable enhanced transparency, richer information, and superior user experience across the end-to-end payment processing chain and to the benefit of all financial institutions.

The Universal Confirmations score of every BIC (SUPE and PSPA) is visible to the entire community in both the Basic Tracker GUI and Observer Insights since 1 June 2021.

SR 2022: Universal payment confirmations will be extended on 20 November 2022 to all Swift ISO customer payments (pacs.008) received on SwiftNet services enabled with InterAct, as documented in the SwiftNet Service Description, section 9 - Universal Confirmations (confirmations of MT 103 is documented in the FIN Service Description, section 21 – Universal Confirmations).

Want to read more about payment confirmations?

Universal confirmations - all you need to know