Standard MT Release 2021 - 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 2021 (SR 2021).
Standards MT Release 2018 and 2021 - 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 2021 (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 5.2.3 of 5 June 2020.
To ensure the community is aware of the upcoming changes in SR 2021 and MT 798, SWIFT Standards has organized:
SR 2021 UETR reuse validation
Since SR 2018, a Unique End-to-end Transaction Reference (UETR) is mandated in the key MT payments messages (MT 103, 103 STP, 103 REMIT, 202, 202 COV, 205, and 205 COV) and optional in some other MT messages (MT 101, MT 190, MT 191, MT 192, MT 195, MT 196, MT 199, MT 292, MT 295, MT 296, MT 299, MT 992, MT 995, MT 996, MT 999) in field 121 of the FIN header block 3. It contains a Universally Unique Identifier compliant with IETF standard RFC4122 using version 4 of the generation algorithm. UETRs are designed to be globally unique without repetition over time. By mandating the UETR in MT payments, all transactions on FIN can be tracked along the SWIFT network.
However, SWIFT noticed that not all FIN members apply the correct practice of generating a new UETR per transaction. Duplicating UETRs makes tracking inaccurate and may lead to opening some transactions to institutions that did not participate to these transactions.
SWIFT monitored traffic for several months and contacted institutions, that apply this incorrect practice, directly to make them aware and to indicate corrective measures.
On request of the community, SWIFT will even go further in SR 2021 to prevent UETR recycling. More info on the NAK with error code U15 linked to MT 103 and MT 101 is available in a knowledge base tip.
Free format options for fields 50 and 59 will not be removed in MT
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
As of 22 November 2020, FIN customers in the Supervised Financial Institution (SUPE) and Payment System Participant (PSPA) user categories who receive MT 103 must 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, when the payment was rejected or when the payment was put on hold or transferred outside of SWIFT.
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 has developped a range of manual and automated solutions to support customers in the implementation of mandatory ‘universal confirmations.' for MT 103.
Universal payment confirmations are rolled out since 22 November 2020 for all FIN users as documented in the FIN Service Description, section 21 – Universal Confirmations. The Universal Confirmations score of every BIC (SUPE and PSPA) is visible to the entire community in both the Basic Tracker GUI and Observer Insights since 1 June 2021.
More information and rulebook available via www.swift.com/confirm