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ISO 20022 in bytes for payments: A look ahead at 2023’s important milestones

ISO 20022 in bytes for payments: A look ahead at 2023’s important milestones

13 April 2023 | 7 min read

After years of intense preparation by the global financial community, the successful migration to ISO 20022 for cross-border payments and reporting (CBPR+) started on 20 March. Since then, we see a daily average of more than 500,000 CBPR+ messages exchanged, representing around 15 percent of the total cross-border payments traffic on the Swift network, and with a negative acknowledgement (NACK) ratio comparable to the FIN one. CBPR+ exchanges involve 1,000+ BICs on the sending side and 5,000+ BICs on the receiving side. One quarter of that received traffic is in ISO 20022 format without any intervention of the in-flow translation service.

The start of coexistence and new possibilities

This marks a significant milestone for the payments industry and the start of a coexistence period, which runs until November 2025. During this period, both MT and ISO 20022 messages will be supported and enable financial institutions to migrate to the new standard at their own pace.

Please finally note that the CBPR+ workgroup analysed the first few days of traffic and have made some important observations about where users can benefit from following the usage guidelines. These can be found in Knowledge Base article 5026002.

Domestic markets making the move

Real-time gross settlement systems (RTGSs) in several key domestic markets, like Australia (RITS), Canada (LYNX), Europe (EURO 1 and T2), and New Zealand (ESAS), also started their migration to ISO 20022 on 20 March, with others set to go live over the coming months and years. While the two European systems migrated in ‘big bang’ mode; Australia, Canada and New Zealand began with a coexistence period.

Swift products and services supported go-lives too

Customers were able to process and screen CBPR+ or RTGS ISO 20022 messages from the start of coexistence. Our value-added products and services, like the gpi Tracker, Swift’s Transaction Screening (TSS) and Payments Controls (PCS), successfully processed ISO 20022 messages from day one too.

Get ready for Transaction Manager

On 29 May 2023, the build-up of live payment transactions in Transaction Manager will begin. We aim to control and execute the gradual build-up of ISO 20022 traffic to Transaction Manager, starting initially with a low volume, as we ramp up to covering all ISO 20022 traffic in the future.

The build-up process will prioritise rich-data transactions to ensure that the value of Transaction Manager in preserving rich data, end-to-end, is achieved as early as possible. The three stages of the build-up are as follows:

  • Stage 1: pacs.008 and pacs.009 COV containing rich data
  • Stage 2: pacs.008, pacs.009 COV and pacs.009 CORE/ADV containing rich data
  • Stage 3: all eligible ISO 20022 messages

Further information about the build-up can be found in the Transaction Manager Service Description. Other recent Transaction Manager publications can be found at the bottom of this article, and include information you need to prepare for activation.

Milestones for CBPR+ in 2023

In November 2023, we’ll implement the next collection of CBPR+ usage guidelines. These cover cheques, direct debits, and some specific use cases. The specifications are currently available in MyStandards, and the Readiness Portal is available for you to start testing.

The further deployment plan, aligned with the Standards Release timeline, looks as follows:

  • Testing availability for vendors on the FINplus ITB Future service from 6 May 2023
  • The Translation Portal will be updated on 16 June 2023
  • Testing availability for customers on the FINplus Pilot Future service from 23 July 2023
  • General availability on the FINplus Live and Pilot Current services from 19 November 2023

Please visit Knowledge Base article 5025845 for more details.

RMA 2023 milestones

Last year’s Relationship Management Application (RMA) bootstrap focused on creating a synchronised starting point between FIN and FINplus for payment messages. This year there will again be a bootstrap exercise for some messages that are in scope for November 2023.

Authorisations will be bootstrapped for camt.107, camt.108, camt.109 and camt.058 messages, based on existing FIN authorisations for MT 110, MT 111, MT 112 and MT 292 respectively. The bootstrap is planned to be implemented in September 2023.

As in 2022, there will also be the option to bootstrap authorisations for camt.052, camt.053 and camt.054 messages, based on observed FIN Category 9 traffic. If interested, you will need to opt in through an e-order form that is planned for availability in May 2023. Implementation is planned for September 2023.

Finally, 2023 will also see the migration from local to central RMA management. Activation through the central RMA Portal is available for both the pilot and live environments. Please see the RMA Portal Getting Started Guide document for instructions and Knowledge Base article 5023348 for an overview of the RMA Evolution roadmap.

New ISO 20022 Payment Initiation Relay rulebook

In payment initiation relay flows, concentrator financial institutions – the Forwarding Agents – relay customer payment initiation messages to the Debtor Agents for in-country and international payment executions. This is to satisfy corporate demand for multibank cross-border payment operations.

Existing payment relay services are based on the MT 101 message. As part of the CBPR+ migration, banks have up to November 2025 to migrate that existing interbank MT 101 relay traffic to pain.001 on the FINplus service. This will also replace the existing FIN Service Level Agreements with the new ISO 20022 Payment Initiation Relay Rulebook, which was released on 17 March.

The rulebook defines the roles and responsibilities of the Debtor Agent and the Forwarding Agent allowing them to better establish a business relationship and serve their mutual corporate customers using the ISO 20022 data model.

We will provide a series of dedicated webinars in May to introduce this new rulebook and describe the accession and publication process, which is a key prerequisite to the actual migration of such relay flows.

ISO 20022 for Market Infrastructures

We continue to support various Market Infrastructures (MIs) and communities with the adoption of ISO 20022 in several ways:

For those that are yet to start the journey, the ISO Accelerator Pack is a cost-effective and efficient solution to facilitate faster implementation and harmonised adoption. For more information, consult the latest information sheet or contact your local Swift representative.

To help Market Infrastructures operators better prepare, plan and adopt ISO 20022 and HVPS+ usage guidelines, the MI Adoption Guide is available. It contains timelines, checklists, proposed steps and resources. An MI Participant Adoption Guide will be made available in Q2 2023 to support financial institutions participating in MIs adopting ISO 20022.

CBPR+ Documentation

  • We’ve just published updates to our Getting Started and Customer Adoption Guide documents, shifting the focus from initial readiness to coexistence topics.
  • We also expect extra Adoption Briefing videos and e-learning modules to be available on Swift Smart over Q2 2023. One recent module to highlight is the “Introduction to Inform Copy Service” one if you want to learn about the various copy features available for FINplus and other InterAct services.

Transaction Manager Documentation