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Why we're migrating

A global and open standard, ISO 20022 creates a common language for payments worldwide. And its higher quality data means better payments for all. ISO 20022 adoption is also the opportunity to improve customers’ experience with richer information to ease invoices reconciliation, reduce manual intervention to correct or investigate payments with structured data or support customers profiling with better data analysis on the nature of payments processing.

Native adoption of ISO 20022 will have vast implications across your payments value chain. If not done yet, it is time to plan your journey.

[Ebook] Supercharge your payments business with ISO 20022

Leading financial institutions share insights on the concrete benefits opened up by ISO 20022’s rich, structured data capabilities.

Industry decision to migrate

In 2018 the Swift community decided to adopt ISO 20022 for cross-border payments and reporting. With the new standard used in over 70 countries, and forecast to be used in 80% of clearing and settlement of high-value payments by 2025, financial institutions gave Swift the mandate to facilitate the move to this new language of payments.

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Swift ISO 20022 Migration Study, Summary of responses

Start of coexistence

March 2023 marked the start of the migration to ISO 20022 (MX). Since then, financial institutions can start sending MX messages, independently of their correspondent’s preferred channel (MT or MX) thanks to interoperability measures such as in-flow translation and Transaction Manager.

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CBPR+ Traffic Highlights - June 2024

Rich data usage

From November 2023, the PMPG encourages the community to start sending rich data elements for cross-border payments and leveraging the full potential of ISO 20022. Swift supports the PMPG guidance from this group of experts.

The introduction of transaction management capabilities in 2023 ensures that full transaction data is maintained centrally. Business validation and data integrity rules safeguard transactions end-to-end, ensuring that no data is lost, corrupted of overwritten during the entire transaction lifecycle.

If there is still a need to bilaterally pass data between agents of a transaction, the Market Practice for Data Integrity from the CBPR+ working group provides guidance on the roles and responsibilities for reporting missing or truncated information.

Read more

End of coexistence

At its March 2024 meeting, the Swift Board re-confirmed the community’s commitment to November 2025 as the end of the MT/ISO 20022 cross-border coexistence period, emphasising that priority should be given to payment instruction messages to ensure operational continuity and ongoing interoperability.

This is because the use of ISO 20022 cross-border payment instructions is necessary to enable end-to-end interoperability between financial institutions (FIs) and between FIs and Payments Market Infrastructures (PMIs). For compliance reasons, it is important to ensure that data – particularly related to payment parties – is not lost or truncated along the end-to-end processing chain. This cannot be guaranteed if a transaction that originates in ISO 20022 is converted to the less rich MT standard as part of its cross-border journey.

For more details, please refer to Knowledge Base article 6000054.

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