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SWIFT community to embark on migration to ISO 20022 for payments traffic

SWIFT community to embark on migration to ISO 20022 for payments traffic

25 September 2018 | 2 min read

Following a large scale industry consultation SWIFT Board recommends a migration of payments traffic to ISO 20022 starting November 2021

SWIFT community considers implications of ISO 20022 migration

In September 2017, prompted by the emergence of ISO 20022 as a global standard for market infrastructures, SWIFT launched a study into the use of ISO 20022 for cross-border business on the SWIFT network.

The study began with a consultation, which sought industry feedback on the drivers for a migration to ISO 20022, and on a number of high level proposals designed to address the practical challenges of such a migration.

Detailed feedback was received from over 100 respondents, including 44 country level responses, individual feedback from financial institutions and key market infrastructure operators, which represent the majority of SWIFT’s top users. The community feedback, together with recommendations on how to proceed, was presented to the SWIFT Board on 19th September.

Stephen Gilderdale, Chief Platform Officer, SWIFT

Board approves move to ISO 20022 for payments and cash messaging

Based on the input from the consultation, the Board approved that SWIFT facilitate an industry migration of cross-border payments and cash. The start date is aligned with the adoption plans of High Value Payments Systems in the Eurozone, currently scheduled for November 2021. The US and UK payments market infrastructures are expected to adopt ISO 20022 in a similar timeframe.
This migration will include all users of payments and cash management messages (MT categories 1, 2, and 9).

MT and ISO 20022 will coexist for a period of 4 years and SWIFT will provide a shared service to translate between ISO 20022 and MT standards, enabling interoperability for the community.
The Board also recommended that SWIFT provide an ISO 20022 capability for cross-border securities flows for institutions to use on an opt-in basis, but does not propose to set an end date for the use of ISO 15022 (MT category 5 messages)

For treasury/FX and trade finance, responses to the consultation indicated little appetite to stop using MT messages at this time, and no plans to migrate to ISO 20022 have been made.

The conversation continues

A SWIFT board Information Paper (IR) with further details of the migration strategy will be provided to the community in December 2018.

In the meantime, join us the Standards Forum at Sibos in Sydney to discuss the practical implications of ISO 20022 migration with key market players and standards experts.