Standards releases

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Release highlights

Standard MT Release 2019 - 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.


Click here to learn more about high level, business information related to the changes made to MT messages as part of Standards Release 2019 (SR 2019).


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).

The latest documentation for the Category 7 Guarantees/Standby LCs messages can be found on the MT Release 2019 timeline here.


In addition to the above changes, we have also published the new MT 798 Trade Guidelines for corporate-to-bank communication V5.1.1 (18 May 2018).

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.


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.