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Table of contents

What is the ISO 20022 schema and how it can be used for mapping?

An XML schema sets out the permitted structure for an XML document (or message). It defines, among other things, which elements are allowed in a document, the order in which they should appear, which are mandatory and which are optional. XML schemas can be used by a computer to check whether a message conforms to its definition or not. The ISO 20022 methodology describes how to generate an XML schema from a logical message definition, for messages that will use the XML syntax. XML schemas are provided to formally define the structure of all ISO 20022 XML messages. One of the main advantages of ISO 20022 is the ease of mapping between standards, facilitated through technology and a set of rules so the translation solution can easily transform information from one message standard/syntax to another. 

What translation options are available for banks adopting ISO 20022?

Many internal back-office applications are impacted by the richer ISO 20022 format. Translation services covering CBPR+ to/from legacy formats can support a phased adoption plan, based on the readiness timelines of your internal application or vendor(s). To facilitate the three-year coexistence period, financial institutions can either rely on Swift’s central In-flow Translation service or a local translation service.  

The In-flow Translation service provides one-way translation from MX (message XML) to MT (Message Type) delivered through a multi-format message (MX with embedded MT translated according the CBPR+ translation rules).  

The term ‘in-flow’ refers to the fact that this processing happens at Swift during the message exchange, at the point after the message has been received by Swift and before it is made available for delivery to the receiver. The actual translation rules depend on the SwiftNet service (e.g., CBPR+) on which the message is delivered.

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Local translation is an alternative or additional option to the In-flow Translation service that customers can purchase or source from a third-party vendor. Local translation can respond to complex integration/mapping requirements, including enrichment, multi-directional translation or the need for format remediation services beyond November 2025. To address such requirements, we offer Swift Translator, a payable solution available as a standalone product or embedded in a Swift messaging interface (IPLA, AMH, SIL). Swift Translator enables validation, translation and enrichment from any standard or format into any other. Please note that Swift Translator can be used for business flows other than payments, including securities flows.

With the CBPR+ working group, Swift has created and published translation rules on MyStandards for selected messages from the Swift MT Category 1, 2 and 9 sets of messages. The MyStandards portal enables access to details of field-by-field translation logic to test your translation utilities against CBPR+ approved translation rules. This can be completed from MX to MT and MT to MX.

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.

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).

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