BankingSWIFT brings together ISO 20022 community

SWIFT brings together ISO 20022 community

SWIFT has joined forces with payment industry experts to come up with guidelines for the implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments.

SWIFT has assembled a Cross-Border Payments and Reporting Plus (CBPR+) group – the first working group of international payments experts – to create a common end-to-end implementation that will deliver increased efficiencies, support end-to-end STP, facilitate improved regulatory compliance, enhance the party identification process and enable new business opportunities.

Truly a global group, CBPR+ will include senior payments experts representing Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the Nordics, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additionally, it will have individuals from the International Securities Services Association.


The CBPR+ group will formulate global Market Practice and Implementation Guidelines for the common rollout and implementation of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments.

These guidelines will be pivotal for a successful migration of cross-border payments traffic to ISO 20022 beginning in November 2021. The guidelines will be published on the MyStandards platform, allowing easy access to all interested parties.

Recently, there have been numerous planned migrations to ISO 20022 by high-value and instant payments infrastructures. A standardised global approach will lower the implementation cost for the industry.

Frequent engagement and dialogue between SWIFT’s users will be inevitable for the migration. It will be a user-driven effort. SWIFT will invite the users to review and comment on the guidelines eventually.

Harry Newman, Head of Banking at SWIFT, said: “Our mission is to standardise business and operational interaction as much as possible, rendering a seamless service that banks can offer competitively to their clients. The benefits of the common rulebook within SWIFT gpi show how successful this approach is, and the work that this group is doing to create a common implementation of ISO 20022 continues the transformation of cross-border payments.”

Assistance with the transition

The start of cross-border migration in 2021 is aligned with the adoption of ISO 20022 by high-value payments systems in the Eurozone, which will be quickly followed by operators in the US and UK. A four-year coexistence period will allow all members of the SWIFT community to make the switch by the end of 2025. SWIFT will provide a service to translate between ISO 20022 and the MT messaging standard to assist the community with the transition.

SWIFT will also provide testing environments for institutions to ensure implementation conforms to the working group’s guidelines, and to test the translation facility.

Trish McSweeney, Director of Industry Relations at CIBC, commented: “It’s exciting to be involved in the renovation of the global payments system. It’s a long road we’ve embarked on, but we’re addressing a historic challenge from clients, regulators, and working to meet our own needs, especially for faster innovation and better data quality. There’s a lot do, and we have made a great start.”

Last month Societe Generale extended SWIFT GPI coverage. With this, nine new countries in Western Europe and Asia get payment standard, enabling corporate clients to track and manage cross-border payments more efficiently.

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