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International experts support ISO 20022 migration

International experts support ISO 20022 migration

4 April 2019 | 5 min read

- Swift convenes working group of international standards experts - Group to formulate guidelines for the implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments - Effort to ensure harmonised rollout of ISO 20022 across the world

Brussels, 4 April 2019 - Payment industry experts have joined forces with Swift to step up the drive to move cross-border transactions to the ISO 20022 standard.

In light of multiple planned migrations to ISO 20022 by high-value and instant payments infrastructures, the Swift community has agreed to create a common end-to-end implementation that will deliver increased efficiencies, support end-to-end STP, facilitate improved regulatory compliance, enhance the party identification process and enable new business opportunities.

Swift convened the first Cross-Border Payments and Reporting Plus (CBPR+) group – a working group of international payments experts that will formulate global Market Practice and Implementation Guidelines for the common rollout and implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments.

The guidelines drafted by the group will lay the cornerstone for a successful migration of cross-border payments traffic to ISO 20022 beginning in November 2021. A standardised global approach will lower the implementation cost for the industry as a whole.

The start of cross-border migration in 2021 is aligned with adoption of ISO 20022 by high-value payments systems in the Eurozone, which will be quickly followed by operators in the US and UK. A four-year coexistence period will allow all members of the Swift community to make the switch by the end of 2025. Swift will provide a service to translate between ISO 20022 and the MT messaging standard to assist the community with the transition.

Swift will also provide testing environments for institutions to ensure implementation conforms to the working group’s guidelines, and to test the translation facility.

Trish McSweeney, Director of Industry Relations at CIBC, said: “It’s exciting to be involved in the renovation of the global payments system. It’s a long road we’ve embarked on, but we’re addressing a historic challenge from clients, regulators, and working to meet our own needs, especially for faster innovation and better data quality. There’s a lot do, and we have made a great start.”

Paula Roels, Head of Market Infrastructures and Industry Initiatives at Deutsche Bank, said: “As the migration to ISO 20022 is a community-driven initiative, the work of this group is critical to success with a project of this magnitude. From the consideration of pain-points in the market through to challenging market practice to ensure interoperability, the group plays a vital role in identifying any potential drawbacks to timely migration as well as establishing global usage guidelines catering for all market stakeholders and the future needs of our clients.”

Harry Newman, Head of Banking at Swift, said: “Our mission is to standardise business and operational interaction as much as possible, rendering a seamless service that banks can offer competitively to their clients. The benefits of the common rulebook within Swift GPI show how successful this approach is, and the work that this group is doing to create a common implementation of ISO 20022 continues the transformation of cross-border payments.”

The migration to ISO 20022 is a community-driven effort that will require regular engagement from and dialogue between Swift’s users. Swift will invite the community to review and comment on the guidelines as they mature. The guidelines will be published on the MyStandards platform, allowing easy access to all interested parties.

The participants in the working group include senior payments experts representing Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the Nordics, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as the International Securities Services Association.

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Swift is a global member owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging and standards for communicating, and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration, identification, analysis and regulatory compliance. 

Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories. While Swift does not hold funds or manage accounts on behalf of customers, we enable our global community of users to communicate securely, exchanging standardised financial messages in a reliable way, thereby supporting global and local financial flows, as well as trade and commerce all around the world. 

As their trusted provider, we relentlessly pursue operational excellence; we support our community in addressing cyber threats; and we continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Our products and services support our community’s access and integration, business intelligence, reference data and financial crime compliance needs. Swift also brings the financial community together – at global, regional and local levels – to shape market practice, define standards and debate issues of mutual interest or concern. Swift’s strategic five year plan, Swift2020, challenges Swift to continue investing in the security, reliability and growth of its core messaging platform, while making additional investments in existing services and delivering new and innovative solutions.

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