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Find out how you can harness ISO 20022 to reduce false positive alerts, generate quantifiable efficiency gains, improve SLAs, and reduce costs.

The situation today

On any given day, around 2-5% of all payments result in enquiries, with operations teams spending an average of 3-4 minutes on each payment instruction investigation.

As well as being costly, managing investigations and exceptions takes more than its fair share of time and resources. What’s more, enquiries from sending institutions are on the rise as financial institutions lack the payment details needed to address ever-growing regulatory and screening requirements.

Specific challenges include:

  • MT formats are not able to contain all the data needed to process payments, resulting in more exceptions and investigations to handle.
  • Resolving exceptions and investigations is also more difficult when using MT formats because the data is not structured and takes longer to interpret.
  • A lack of automated processes for investigations can also lead to delays in exception handling due to the absence of industry standards.

Despite these roadblocks, financial institutions increasingly need to provide competitive levels of customer service by providing fast and efficient resolutions – which places additional pressure on payment operations teams.

The opportunity with ISO 20022

ISO 20022 messages provide higher quality payment information and incorporate advanced validation mechanisms. As such, the new category of messages for enquiries and investigations, which is currently planned for 2024, is expected to help achieve operational efficiencies.

By harnessing these opportunities, you can streamline the exception and investigations process, reducing the time it takes to resolve investigations and improving SLAs such as Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR). In particular, you can: 

  • Reduce enquiries – With the granular identification of parties and structured remittance information, fewer enquiries may be needed to gather missing information or minimise duplicates. According to one global bank, once ISO 20022 is fully adopted, up to 84% of messages could be automatically sorted by investigation types. This would significantly decrease the time spent prioritising and resolving investigations.
  • Eliminate unnecessary investigations – Message validations can be used to identify and flag duplicate or erroneous messages automatically, reducing the number of unnecessary investigations.
  • Reduce resolution times – With structured requests and a common set of usage guidelines, financial institutions can accelerate exceptions and investigations handling for the most common exceptions.
  • Resolve discrepancies – The ISO 20022 enquiry message can also help resolve pre-reconciliation discrepancies, such as status mismatch resolution and repairs.
  • Reduce costs – By streamlining the exception and investigations processes, you can reduce the cost of handling enquiries and servicing investigations.

Bottom line
Increase operational efficiency, reduce costs, and improve SLAs.

The structured data available under ISO 20022 will allow for rules to be put in place to automatically sort and prioritise messages by investigation type, which will improve processing times and customer experience. It will also be easier to analyse the richer investigation data in order to identify the reasons for the failures so that they can be addressed and improved in the future.
Balwinder (Balli) Saini Director, Payments and Receivables (ISO 20022 Product), Citi

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.