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Table of contents

What is in-flow translation

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

As part of the migration to ISO 20022 for cross-border payments and reporting (CBPR+), Swift provides the in-flow translation service to allow for the receipt of both the MT and ISO 20022 formats – a multi-format message.

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.

The difference with Transaction Manager and Swift Translator

What is the difference between the in-flow translation service, Transaction Manager, and local translations with Swift Translator?

During the coexistence period Swift provides support for interoperability between ISO 20022 MX and MT users through a messaging-based in-flow translation service and Transaction Manager.

The in-flow translation service is available on the FINplus service and creates an MT representation derived from the initial ISO 20022 message. The translation operation takes place during the message exchange at Swift and is based on the translation rules defined by the CBPR+ workgroup.

Transaction Manager maintains full transaction data centrally at Swift and ensures that for in-scope data elements no data is lost, corrupted, or over-written during the transaction life cycle through the application of business validations and data integrity rules. By safeguarding in-scope payment details along the transaction chain, Transaction Manager aims to improve end-to-end business transaction integrity and transparency.

Swift Translator is a messaging format translation solution which enables customers to define, validate, and translate messages from and to any messaging format. As the Swift Translator solution is network and interface-independent, it can be deployed and integrated in a flexible manner.

What messages are in scope

What are the messages in scope of the in-flow translation service?

The scope of messages covered by the in-flow translation service is documented in the In-flow Translation Service Overview available on the Knowledge Centre.

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

In-flow translation after coexistence

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 CBPR+ coexistence period. 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.

In November 2025, cross-border payments and reporting traffic shall have migrated to the ISO 20022 format and Categories 1, 2 and 9 of MT messages will be retired. 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 solution should be considered.

The cost of in-flow translation

What is the cost of the in-flow translation service?

Since the start of the coexistence period, the in-flow translation service has been provided free of charge. Swift plans to start charging for the service, but no date is decided yet. Swift will communicate about timing and practical details in 2024.

Opting out of in-flow translation

Can I opt out of the in-flow translation service when my back office is ISO 20022 native?

You can disable (and re-enable) in-flow translation per FINplus service (that is, Pilot Current, Pilot Future or Live) and for the different eligible CBPR+ messages. For example, you can decide to disable translation for reporting messages only, or FINplus Pilot Future only.

Remember, in-flow translation is enabled by default. The standard provisioning lead times apply for changing such configuration.  

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The constraints of MX to MT mapping

What are the constraints of MX to MT mapping?

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

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).



Industry approach of risk of data truncation

How is the industry approaching the risk of data truncation during the coexistence period?

To support banks’ implementation and limit the risk of data truncation due to market infrastructures or intermediaries operating with the legacy format, a CBPR+ Data Integrity Market Practice Guidance was published to explain how banks can identify truncation and exchange truncated or missing data where required through a bilateral Request For Information (RFI) process.

Read more

Accessing truncated or missing data

How can we access the rich data when the data truncation indicator “+” is provided by the in-flow translation service?

For ISO 20022 messages originated with rich content (e.g., Structure Address, Remittance…), the in-flow translation service replaces the last character of truncated fields in the MT by a + symbol for easy identification. Unauthorised characters in MT are replaced by a (.) symbol.

To support banks’ implementation of the Data Integrity Market Practice Guidance and enable a consistent approach to access additional rich data that might not be transported in legacy format payments, Swift has developed a “Rich Data Access” feature as an enhancement of its Case Management solution and has made it universally available to all relevant Swift users that may require access to rich ISO 20022 data.

CBPR+ Data Integrity market practice

Rich Data Access feature overview

In-flow translation to MT 940/950

Why is the in-flow translation of camt.053 limited to MT 940 and excluding translation to MT 950?

Camt.053 is in scope of the in-flow translation service. Nothing in the camt.053 allows for distinguishing whether the message must be translated to one or the other MT. Since the MT 950 is mostly used by Market Infrastructures, the CBPR+ working group decided to only translate the MT 940.