This year’s MyStandards User Group Meeting for Europe was characterised by the enthusiasm of the attendees and by the prolific feedback shared. This wrap-up report summarises the key highlights of the different sessions, as well as some feedback from the community on the MyStandards platform and its growing portfolio.
Tuesday 4 December - Open User Group
Fabien Depasse, Head of Standards Products, SWIFT, opened the two-day event by sharing insights on the state of the MyStandards community and on the future of the portfolio. MyStandards now counts more than 130 organisations publishing messaging specifications and close to 45K registered users on the platform (+45% compared to a year ago). Depasse highlighted the key successes in the different business areas:
- In the corporate-to-bank space, 80% of the Top 20 Score banks are actively using the platform to onboard corporates. In addition, there have been successful new initiatives, such as the “gpi for Corporates” pilot and the extension to the MT798 implementation package.
- In the Securities domain, more than 3,500 ISO 20022 Securities Usage Guidelines have been shared on the platform.
- And in the Market Infrastructures field, Deutsche Bundesbank announced they will adopt MyStandards and the Readiness Portal for their major T2/T2S consolidation project.
Depasse also presented the three key focus areas of development of the portfolio for the coming years:
- Enhance content publication;
- Facilitate content consumption and;
- Leverage SWIFT Translator capabilities, including its integration with MyStandards for non-SWIFT formats.
During the first session, Stéphane Boreux, MyStandards Product Manager, SWIFT, unveiled the new Readiness Portal user interface, which not only brings a much smoother user experience with its dashboard view, it also offers a much faster and responsive application. Boreux mentioned the next steps to complete the development of this track, which include the possibility to add sample messages, export test history and the test coverage view. Once completed, SWIFT will migrate all existing portals to the new interface together with the test history. Next, Boreux provided a demo of the future version of the Online Usage Guideline Editor (UGE), which is planned for release in early 2019. It will see the introduction of the Formal Rules including inline validation and flexible editing options, offering a more streamlined user experience when creating Formal Rules compared to the offline tool. Boreux ended the session by mentioning the series of enhancements that were implemented to the platform throughout 2018, such as an improved search, enhancements to Usage Guidelines attachments and group administration, as well as stricter validation for supplementary data.
Quentin Bortolin, Product Manager of SWIFT Translator, shared an overview of SWIFT Translator, which offers a unique solution for Financial Institutions to define, validate and translate messages from any message format type into another. Bortolin clarified how to use SWIFT Translator to define message formats and mapping rules, which you can then deploy as a flexible, standalone software in the production environment to perform message translation and validation on the fly. Built in as a lightweight stateless translation tool, exposing RESTful APIs, SWIFT Translator is perfectly suited to modern micro-services-based architectures. Finally, Bortolin emphasised the integration between SWIFT Translator and MyStandards as a fully combined solution to publish and share non-SWIFT formats online through MyStandards. These features are already available to users with a combined MyStandards and SWIFT Translator licence. The next step will be to extend existing Readiness Portal features to non-SWIFT formats such as, to name a few, online message validation (planned for Q2 2019) and online mapping capabilities (e.g. from pain.001 to pain.002 or from MT103 to pacs.008).
In the next session, Santiago Alcaraz Sanchez, Channels Product Manager, J.P. Morgan, described how MyStandards and the Readiness Portal have become an integral part of the J.P. Morgan implementation process, using it from the presales or pre-onboarding stage, during and after the implementation process. He went on to explain how the firm leverages MyStandards to provide a best-in-class client experience, ensure compliance adherence, and meet local market practice demands. He also described the immediate benefits of using the Readiness Portal to onboard clients for both the bank and their client: the number of email iterations significantly dropped; the client is able to receive instant feedback, has access to a self-service tool 24/7, and significantly reduces their setup time.
Next, Christian Wagner, COO CIB Technology and Operations, Deutsche Bank Securities Services, shared with the audience the key drivers, benefits and challenges for extending the use of MyStandards to Deutsche Bank Securities Services. The objective is to publish the Settlement & Reconciliation as well as the Corporate Action messages for all of their major markets. Offering a central repository across all markets that is available 24/7, and including facilities for clients to validate their messages against SWIFT and Deutsche Bank standards were some of the key reasons behind the MyStandards adoption for Securities Services.
During the following session, Alan Sutton, Senior Global Manager e-Channels, HSBC, joined Quentin Bortolin on stage for an open conversation on how SWIFT Translator could help the community in proposing a validation and translation solution for users who do not use standardised formats (proprietary or bespoke formats). Sutton highlighted the benefits and cited the example in the cash management space where multinational clients may take over new entities that use outdated systems and legacy formats that need to be mapped to the multinational standard. An easy to deploy and maintain translation solution would be beneficial for these clients in the transition phase towards a single format. He also stressed the fact that no advanced coding skillset is required as the Translator Designer interface makes it easy to map between the source and target formats.
When it comes to the onboarding of corporate customers by banks, Sutton underlined that testing legacy of proprietary formats is usually performed in an archaic way, using test files exchanged over email, which is a costly activity. Having the possibility to publish these formats in MyStandards, and offer validation capabilities through the Readiness Portal, could bring significant benefits to the banks and their corporate clients.
The last session of the day, hosted by Fabien Depasse, addressed one of today’s hottest industry topics. With the increased usage of APIs in the financial industry, the need for standardisation, documentation, sharing and testing of specifications represents a big challenge for the industry. Depasse explained the three dimensions where SWIFT will help the industry with this new challenge. First, by providing a governance methodology for API standards development and maintenance. While there are many commonalities between APIs and messaging standards, two main points stand out: API standards will need to be defined in a more agile and rapid way, which will in turn require a clear view of the backward compatibility between different versions of API specifications. Second, by offering developers a body of content that will enable interoperability across markets and channels both for bespoke APIs and industry standard APIs (e.g. payment initiation or PayLater API). Finally, by developing the right tools to help API developers speak the “banking” language. There is no doubt that, similar to messaging, APIs in the financial industry will face an important standardisation challenge.
SWIFT is already playing an active role in solving those challenges for the community through its involvement with several industry initiatives such as NPP-AU, PayLater and PSD2 with the Berlin Group and STET.
Wednesday 5 December - Closed User Group
The second day started with an update on the ISO 20022 migration programme. Tanja Haase, programme manager ISO 20022 migration, SWIFT, explained that the scope of the migration from MT to ISO 20022 will include all users of payments and reporting messages (MT categories 1, 2 and 9). The migration will start in November 2021, followed by a four-year coexistence period. Haase reminded the audience that concerning the usage of ISO 20022 for many-to-many Securities traffic the migration of the MT category 5 (Securities) will be on an opt-in basis. No end date has been set for MT category 5; and there is no plan to migrate the MT categories 3, 6, and 7 (FX, Treasury, Trade Finance). Haase stated that as part of the migration programme, SWIFT will provide a central translation service based on the rules formulated by the newly established Cross-Border Payments and Reporting Plus CBPR+ working group.
During the next session, Juan-Pablo Petrosino, MyStandards Portfolio Product Manager, SWIFT, gave an overview of the portfolio roadmap in each of the three focus areas of development. In the Publication stream, the development of the Online Usage Guideline Editor (UGE) remains the priority – an effort that will span the entire year of 2019 and into 2020. The ambition is to make, by the end of 2019, the Online UGE the main tool for editing usage guidelines, except for less frequent or sophisticated operations (such as batch operations). By mid-2020, the aim is for the Online UGE to fully replace the offline tool.
In the Consumption track, the priority remains on completing the new Readiness Portal user interface and managing the portal’s migration early Q2 2019.
In the third stream, ‘Leveraging SWIFT Translator capabilities’, in addition to the option to publish and share non-SWIFT formats, which is now available, the objective is to allow users to validate non-SWIFT formats in the Readiness Portal by end of Q2 2019. Subsequently, we will offer a new feature that enables users to upload and validate their SWIFT Translator mappings on MyStandards by the end of 2019.
After the final session, the audience split into three subgroups to discuss and brainstorm the key priorities of each stream.
Enhancing content publication
The message for this stream was loud and clear. Priority should be given to making the life of the content publisher as easy as possible. The feedback was therefore that continuing to actively develop the Online UGE is the right thing to do, as it will significantly improve the user experience when it comes to managing content within the application. Attendees expressed their desire to add the possibility to edit and create annotations and change types after the Formal Rules release (planned for early 2019), then followed by the possibility to create and manage UG/Collections directly online.
Other themes that were addressed included improving the user onboarding and the community management process, and enhancing audit logs and reporting functions. That said, the community clearly expressed that priority should be given to the Online UGE before addressing other enhancements.
Facilitating content consumption
During this breakout session, we discussed the evolution of the Readiness Portal, i.e. improvements that should be brought to the usage guidelines documentation and to the general navigation on the platform. The possibility to handle sample messages in the Readiness Portal more efficiently emerged as a clear priority. Next came the request to improve the documentation around usage guidelines (such as a better display between formal and business rules, more compact PDFs, smoother navigation when reading a UG online, etc.). To further facilitate content consumption, attendees raised the importance of enhancing the search capabilities (top-level search for instance) on the platform and the general homepage.
Leveraging SWIFT Translator capabilities
In this session, we discussed the next milestones for SWIFT Translator and exchanged views on their prioritisation. The following features were listed as the key priorities for the upcoming months:
- The ability to test non-SWIFT formats in the SWIFT Readiness Portal
- The ability to upload mappings in the Readiness Portal, inject a test message and get the response per such mapping (a.k.a. the “Responder”)
- The documentation of non-SWIFT formats in MyStandards (Excel/PDF exports)
This is a particularly ambitious objective, as the first two deliverables require major development on the part of MyStandards.
We also took note of the fact that libraries development will help leverage SWIFT Translator to its full potential. The creation of predefined non- SWIFT message format libraries (PAYMUL, CFONB, BACS, and many more) will ease their definition, as well as the creation of predefined mapping libraries from MT to ISO 20022 (and vice versa) in MyStandards. This will be a key facilitator for our community to manage the next steps of the ISO 20022 migration.
The User Group Meeting closed after two exciting days of collaboration with more than 35 attendees representing 20+ financial institutions. The feedback collected was clear and confirms the overall direction we are already taking for the coming years, while encouraging us to continue improving the user experience for a best-in-class service, such as:
- Finalising the Online UGE to ultimately replace the offline version and enable content publishers to manage all the content online more efficiently.
- On the data consumption side, besides completing the work on the Readiness Portal, the handling of the sample files, and improving the readability of the Usage Guidelines and related documentation are the key elements to consider next.
- Extending the reach of the platform to non-SWIFT formats by leveraging SWIFT Translator capabilities has been confirmed as a key priority for the community. With the clear objective of being able to use MyStandards across all formats and channels to document, publish, share and eventually validate message specifications online through the Readiness Portal.
- Another key request was the ability to upload in MyStandards mappings and provide online responses/translation capabilities for testing and knowledge sharing purposes via the Readiness Portal. This feature will open up a new range of possibilities for Market Infrastructures and banks alike. On the one hand, Market Infrastructures could provide their participants with the ability to visualise online how an input message (e.g. proprietary or an MT103) is translated or mapped into its corresponding ISO 20022 message (e.g. pacs.008). On the other hand, it could provide banks’ clients a pain.002 in response to a pain.001 request or an MT567 in response to an MT565.
- Finally, we will help our community in the upcoming era of APIs, where the need for standardisation, documentation, sharing and testing will be very similar to those in place in the messaging paradigm. While APIs are certainly different than messages, there are many similarities where MyStandards could help the industry in overcoming this challenge.
Thank you all for making this User Group Meeting a success!