Four things to do before the 2018 SWIFT Standards release

12 October 2018

The 2018 SWIFT Standards release is only a month away; with this year’s update allowing customers to access a host of new innovations in cross-border payments. Here are four things you should do ahead of the release.

The 2018 SWIFT Standards release is only a month away; with this year’s update allowing customers to access a host of new innovations in cross-border payments as part of our SWIFT gpi offering. The release also builds on our Customer Security Programme (CSP), helping our community to tackle and collectively respond to cyber threats and fraud with a set of rigorous payment controls.

All SWIFT users are required to install the 2018 Standards before the deadline of 18 November 2018. Here’s a rundown of what you should do before the release.

1. Upgrade your SWIFT interfaces

If your SWIFT interfaces have not been upgraded to 7.2 and then to 7.2.5 or 7.3, you won’t be able to install Standards 2018 which may impact your ability to access the SWIFT network. You also won’t be able to access the benefits of SWIFT gpi. That means customers using any of the following products should upgrade as a priority:

  • Alliance Access
  • Alliance Entry
  • Alliance Gateway
  • Alliance Web Platform Server-Embedded
  • Remote File Handler
  • Alliance Messaging Hub
  • SWIFTNet Link and SWIFT Web Access.

There are a number of resources available to help you through this process. Visit our release 7.2 support page for more information and read our Release 7.2 Migration Guide.

2. Prepare your back-office environment

A major feature of Standards 2018 is functionality to support SWIFT gpi, specifically the tracking of cross-border payments through the chain. To enable the end-to-end tracking of all cross-border payments on the SWIFT network, one of the requirements is that all payment initiators must be able to generate a unique end-to-end transaction reference (UETR).

Your back-office payment system will need to handle this new function before the 18 November deadline. Payments sent over the SWIFT network after the cut-off date which do not have a UETR will be returned to the initiator.

3. Ensure compliance against mandatory controls and re-attest

SWIFT’s Customer Security Programme (CSP), launched in 2016, is designed to assist customers in protecting and securing their local environments to prevent and detect fraud and fight against cyber-attacks.

All of the SWIFT community needs to comply with these mandatory controls by the end of 2018, but getting ahead now and re-attesting against the CSP controls will prepare you for the 2018 Standards Release.

Remember, even if you outsource a component of your infrastructure to a hub or service provider, you still need to re-attest your environment against the CSP controls before the end of 2018.

Find out more on our Customer Security Programme page.

4. Don’t leave it to the last minute

Non-compliance is not an option. Customers who miss the deadline risk having their payments returned, and their access to the SWIFT network compromised.

Don’t leave it to the last minute and risk business continuity issues. Give yourself time to test and migrate ahead of the deadline to allow for any potential hiccups.

If you have any questions about the changes you need to make, don’t hesitate to contact your SWIFT Account Manager.




SWIFT Standards

SWIFT Standards acts as the catalyst that brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to define standards, shape market practice and consider solutions to issues of mutual interest.


SWIFT gpi: Cross-border payments, transformed

Global banks are working together to make a dramatic change in cross-border payments.


Customer Security Programme (CSP)

Reinforcing the security of the global banking system.

SWIFT Insights

  • Discover the latest trends in financial services
  • Keep up with our news updates
  • Read thought-provoking industry reports
  • Explore global events and webinars
Read more