ISO 20022 Programme

The ISO 20022 Programme will change the way you send cross-border payments and reporting instructions. Find out what this means for you.

Programme timeline

The transition to ISO 20022 will span a four-year period to allow all market participants to prepare and implement the new global standard.

By November 2021:

  • All financial institutions processing SWIFT MT Category 1, 2 and 9 series messages must be able to receive and process CBPR+ compliant ISO 20022 messages. 
  • Optionally, financial institutions with significant intermediary business, where required for compliance, should also be able to send CBPR+ compliant ISO 20022 messages based on received ISO 20022 payments.

Key milestones of adoption are:

  • December 2019: Phase 1 Payments & reporting usage guidelines are published
  • March 2020: Phase 1 Payments & Reporting translation rules are published and translation portal is live 
  • September 2020: Pilot messaging and translation services are live for customer testing
  • November 2021: CBPR+ compliant ISO 20022 messages are live

Key milestones of adoption


Coexistence measures to support adoption

The four-year transition period, starting in November 2021, is designed to provide sufficient time for market participants to ensure readiness and implement ISO 20022 before completion of the global transition by November 2025.

November 2021 will mark the beginning of CBPR+ compliant payment and cash reporting messages transitioning from MT to ISO 20022. During this period, SWIFT will provide optional translation capabilities to enable interoperability between ISO 20022 and MT users.

Sending ISO 20022 messages

Senders will be able to send payments and cash reporting messages in either standard – ISO 20022 or MT – using the protocol native to the standard – FIN for MT, or InterAct for ISO 20022. Senders choose when they wish to send ISO 20022 vs MT messages.

Receiving ISO 20022 messages

Receivers will receive the message in its format of origin as signed by the receiver.

Receivers who receive certain ISO 20022 messages (such as pacs.008) may opt to have an MT translation of that message, delivered in the same envelope as the original ISO 20022 message.

Messages will be received in the native protocol of that standard. MT messages will be received on FIN, while ISO 20022 messages will be received on InterAct.

If you use supported SWIFT messaging interfaces ,you will be able to process the new InterAct messages and ISO 20022 envelopes containing translated MT messages, as well as route and process MT messages as you do today.

From 2025 onwards, you will need to use ISO 20022 for all of your cross-border payment and reporting messages.


Translation services

SWIFT will implement a centralised translation service to convert ISO 20022 messages to MT, as specified by the CBPR+ market practice. This will ensure that, while you work towards your adoption of the new standard, you can still continue to process MT messages.

The translation capability will be available in two forms, according to the complexity of your needs.

Option 1 - Local or central API

Suitable for more sophisticated users with more complex internal orchestration needs.

Option 2 - In-flow translation

Primarily designed for smaller users, with an emphasis on ease of implementation for MT back-office users that receive ISO 20022. Users of in-flow translation will receive the message in its original format and, for ISO 20022 messages, may also receive a translation into MT, which can be routed for processing by an MT back-office system.

5 steps to adopt ISO 20022

  • Assess impact of ISO 20022 CBPR+ messages in your back office systems and business processes.
  • Plan and budget your adoption project.
  • Implement required interface changes, make necessary back-office system changes and change business processes. Subscribe to translation services where required.
  • Pilot the new messages, independently and with your counterparties.
  • Train your staff and go live.

Learn more about ISO 20022

Gain a greater understanding of ISO 20022.