Standards releases

Gain a clear picture of upcoming releases and manage the impact on your business using our dedicated tools.

Release highlights

Standard MT Release 2020 - Business highlights

The annual MT Standards release ensures that the message types (MTs) exchanged by SWIFT users remain suitable for the business areas in which they are used, by enabling new business functionality and compliance with changing regulations.


Learn more about high level, business information related to the changes made to MT messages as part of Standards Release 2020 (SR 2020).


Standards MT Release 2018 and 2020: prepare for major changes related to Category 7 messages

A significant upgrade to Documentary Credits messages was performed in November 2018 as part of the continuous improvement of our standards.

Another upgrade, to the Guarantees/Standby LCs message,  is now planned for November 2020 (was deferred from 2019).


In addition to the above changes, we have also published the new MT 798 Trade Guidelines for corporate-to-bank communication V 5.2.1 of 26 November 2019.

To ensure the community is aware of the upcoming changes in SR 2020 and MT 798, SWIFT Standards has organized:

  • Webinar sessions in the course of June 2018. The collateral used, slides, FAQ document and recording of the webinars are available here.
  • Webinar sessions in the course of November 2019

Free format options for fields 50 and 59 will not be removed in MT in SR 2020

During SR 2019 discussion, a change request submitted by the Payments Market Practice Group was accepted to no longer enforce format option F in MT party fields, but to enforce it when migrating to ISO 20022. ISO 20022 messages allow for more granular structure than the format option F in MT.

Screening the name and address of the ordering customer (payer) and beneficiary (payee) against sanctions lists is required to comply with AML and anti-terrorist financing regulations. Being able to distinguish the different parts of name and address in a structured way is required for handling banks to properly perform screening against sanctions lists issued by various authorities. 


Structuring underlying customer data has far-reaching consequences for banks’ payment processing systems and requires a multiyear effort. Banks must therefore continue their efforts in gathering the necessary input to update their systems.


Universal payment confirmations by SR 2020

In MT Standards Release 2020, it will be mandatory to provide a “Confirmation” on the outcome of a customer payment (MT 103) to the Tracker (TRCKCHZZ) when funds got credited to the account of the beneficiary customer or when the payment was rejected.

A confirmation is expected within maximum 2 business days following the payments’ value date. This will enable enhanced transparency, richer information, and superior user experience across the end-to-end payment processing chain and to the benefit of all financial institutions.


SWIFT is developing a range of manual and automated solutions to support customers in the implementation of mandatory ‘universal confirmations.' for MT 103.

More information and rulebook available via


Want to read more about payment confirmations?

Universal confirmations - all you need to know