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Table of contents

What is in-flow translation and why is it important?

As part of the migration of cross-border payments towards ISO 20022 MX, SWIFT will provide the In-flow Translation service during the three-year coexistence period that starts in November 2022. ‘In-flow translation’ means that the translation happens during the processing of the message at SWIFT. 

This allows for the receipt of both FIN MT and ISO 20022 MX, also referred to as multi-format. This approach aims to facilitate the integration in the receiver's application environment in cases where not all applications can (yet) support the ISO 20022 MX format.

What is the difference between the In-flow Translation service, Transaction Manager and local translations with SWIFT Translator?

The In-flow Translation service allows for the receipt of both FIN MT and ISO 20022 MX, also referred to as multi-format. This approach aims to facilitate the integration in the receiver's application environment in cases where not all applications can (yet) support the ISO 20022 MX format. In-flow translation refers to the translation done centrally at SWIFT. The outcome of such translation is a multi-format message delivered to the receiver. Note that In-flow translation is a point-to-point service, designed to operate from MX to MT format, not the other way around. 

The In-flow Translation service will continue to include the MT translation as part of multi-format MX messages that are delivered through Transaction Manager as ISO 20022 MX.

Transaction Manager will introduce end-to-end transaction manangement features on top of SWIFT's messaging services. It introduces a system of records by maintening a transaction copy and applies business rules accross messages related to the same transaction using the same UETR. It mediates between users of different protocols and formats to protect the end-to-end integrity of transaction data – even when intermediaries that still rely on MT are part of an ISO 20022 originated transaction. 

SWIFT Translator is a light footprint solution for validation and mapping to and from any SWIFT and non-SWIFT format. You can fond more information here

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What messages are in scope of the In-flow Translation service and when are they live?

The messages listed in the table below are in scope of the In-flow Translation service. In-flow translation is gradually made available on FINplus services as per below schedule:
- Pilot future: November 2021
- Pilot current: August 2022
- Live: August 2022 (on an opt-in basis), November 2022 for all FINplus users.

 
 

Note
All translation rules from ISO 20022 to MT approved by the CBPR+ working group are available and published on MyStandards.

FAQs
FAQs

When can I start testing the In-flow Translation service?

The In-Flow Translation service has been available for testing on the FINplus pilot future service since 15 November 2021. It becomes available on the FINplus pilot current and live (opt-in) services on 21 August 2022. For testing in-flow translation, customers need to upgrade their messaging interface and configure their connectivity to the FINplus services.

The In-flow Translation service will remain available for testing during the coexistence period, which begins in November 2022. SWIFT will accept test and training (T&T) BICs in messages for all FINplus test traffic. Please note that, in the latter part of the coexistence period, at a date to be defined in line with adoption levels of ISO 20022, T&T BICs will no longer be able to access FINplus.

How can I access the In-flow Translation service for testing and live environments?

The key readiness steps for testing In-flow Translation service are:

  • Subscribe to FINplus. 
    As of 22 January 2022, all BICs eligible for CBPR+ messaging are automatically provisioned to the FINplus pilot future service <swift.finplus!pf>.
    On 20 November 2022, CBPR+ messages will be activated on FINplus Live <swift.finplus> for all eligible participants. No subscription step is required. This marks the start of the coexistence period for CBPR+, when all participants need to be able to receive messages over FINplus.
  • Upgrade your messaging interface to support the delivery of multi-format messages. (MX with embedded translated MT). For SWIFT products, version 7.6 of Alliance Access and 4.2 of AMH are the minimum releases required, with both available since July 2021. If you are using a third- party interface provider, please do check with them on the version required.
  • Configure your SWIFTNet emission and reception profiles with your Distinguished Names (DNs) to send and receive traffic on FINplus. The default DN for test traffic, which is derived from your registered BIC11, is as follows: ou=<live branch or “xxx”>,o=<live bic8>,o=swift

Please note, while the RMA Service is a mandatory prerequisite for message exchanges in the live environment, it's optional for the T&T phase. In 2022, readiness efforts focus on getting RMA for FIN and FINplus synchronised. To that end, SWIFT automatically created FINplus payment authorisations based on corresponding active FIN authorisations to provide a synchronised starting point for all participants. This set of authorisations needs to be imported into the participant's local RMA interface. Synchronisation is then preserved through the implementation of consistency checks for authorisations across the FIN and FINplus services.

For more information on readiness steps, please see the Customer Adoption Guide hosted in the ISO 20022 hub on SWIFT.com (login required).

Where can I find the translation rules used by the In-flow Translation service (i.e. myStandards CBPR+ rules)?

The In-flow Translation service is based on the translation rules defined by the CBPR+ Working Group. These rules are published on MyStandards.

For additional information on the processing rules: 
1) Network Validation Rules 

2) CBPR+ market practices 

3) For the In-flow Translation service (MX->MT only) There is one excel document per message pair and per direction. In the excel document, the source message elements are listed and the translation rules applied to the elements are defined. If the rule is too complex or uses a translation function that can be reused in other message translation pairs, then the 'excel rules' may refer to a function with a name starting with MX_To_MT which is described in the word document.

Will in-flow translation for CBPR+ be provided after November 2025?

SWIFT is providing central translation via the In-flow Translation service to ensure interoperability during the three-year coexistence period (November 2022 – November 2025). This enables banks to adopt ISO 20022 at their own pace while early adopters (and their customers) can fully benefit from richer and more structured data.

The MT category 1, 2, and 9 messages supporting cross-border payments and reporting flows will be retired in November 2025. There is currently no plan for SWIFT to provide the In-flow Translation service beyond November 2025. If at that point, your business requires an extension of translation services to accommodate a longer coexistence of legacy systems, an on-premise translation service could be considered.

If my back office is ISO 20022 native, can I opt-out of the In-flow Translation service?

The In-flow Translation service has been available for testing in the FINplus pilot future service environment since 15 November 2021. By default, all messages will be delivered as multi-format (MX with embedded translated MT). The interface will ‘unwrap’ the message and be able to pass it on in the preferred format according to your message partner’s setting. As an example, MT messages can be routed to legacy payment applications and MX to screening or archiving applications.

From 21 August 2022, the In-flow Translation service will be made available for live traffic, enabling testing with agreed counterparties. The FINplus live service will be offered on an opt-in basis, requiring bilateral agreement, including via the use of the RMA service. During this phase, the multi-format (MX with embedded translated MT) will be the default delivery mechanism.

By default, for all FINplus services, you are receiving multi-format messages (i.e. MX+MT format).If your back-office is ISO 20022 and that you don't wish to receive the translation anymore, you have the following options:

In-flow translation is activated by default for all new or existing participants on the various FINplus services and covers all eligible messages. Participants can request deactivation of in-flow translation for part or all of their BIC8s in each FINplus service through this e-order form.

SWIFT plans to provide a configuration screen offering more granularity (based on BICs, request types and currencies) in the deactivation of in-flow translation at a later stage.

Where can I find more technical information on the In-flow Translation service?

SWIFT will continue to update the ISO 20022 hub and the knowledge centre on SWIFT.com with relevant technical and operational updates. More information about the In-flow Translation service can be found in the Knowledge Centre.

What is the pricing for the In-flow Translation Service?

The In-flow Translation service will be free of charge during 2022 and 2023. A pricing review will be undertaken in 2023 to define the pricing model for the remaining two years of coexistence, ending in November 2025.

What are the translation results provided by the In-flow Translation service?

The main constraint when translating MX to MT is either data truncation, with data being lost in the translation process as it’s stored in too short a location to hold its entire length, or loss of data because the MX elements have no corresponding fields in the MT message

The In-flow Translation service provides translation results and indicators to identify where data are truncated due to size limitation (e.g. structured remittance information) or not translated due to lack of field equivalence in MT (e.g. ultimate debtor/creditor).

Translation results can be distinguished under following five categories:

TROK

Success where the full ISO 20022 message is translated

TRAK

Almost success where the resulting MT is fully translated but not all elements of the ISO 20022 message end up in the translated MT

TRNR

Truncation or character replacement occurred in non-reference fields

TRFR

Truncation or character replacement occurred in reference fields present in the MT

TRNK

Failure to translate

Where can I find In-flow Translation service message samples? 

In-flow Translation service message samples can be downloaded in the 'Samples Library' here. There is a single downloadable ZIP file of Sample Messages.

Note: The sample message will not work “as is” in the Readiness Portal or in the FINplus pilot future environment. 

In order to test in the FINplus pilot future environment with other bank(s) or to conduct loop back testing with self, it's essential that users replace the DUMMY BIC in the samples provided with their own BICs in the Application Header and Document section as a ‘Sender’ of messages. The samples don’t include request header and cryptography/signatures added by the messaging interface. 

Which Alliance Access/Entry release is required for the In-flow Translation service?

Alliance Access/Entry release 7.6.50 or higher is required for the In-flow Translation service. 
For more details, please click here.

Which AMH release is required for the In-flow Translation service?

Customers willing to extract embedded MT information from the multi-format MX messages at the level of AMH are required to install version 4.2 or higher. Customers passing through the full multi-format MX message to back-office applications or who only interested in the plain MX message can choose to be on version 4.1.6 or higher.

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