ISO 20022 is the New Language of Payments! The Standards Forum Launche...

ISO 20022 is the New Language of Payments! The Standards Forum Launched the 'ISO 20022 Adoption mApp' Featuring Information on More than 60 ISO 20022 Initiatives Globally

25 October 13

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As a key stakeholder in ISO 20022 and a long-term advocate of the standard’s ability to transform automation in the financial industry, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) has worked to raise awareness of the purpose and potential of ISO 20022 for some time. In September 2013, SWIFT launched the free of charge ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ (see link below to download the application). This new mobile app provides an easy-to-use global overview of initiatives adopting ISO 20022 as their messaging standard for financial business transactions. The ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ collates information otherwise only available across multiple global websites. This tool will facilitate adoption and foster dialogue, and will therefore prove a valuable resource for stakeholders already implementing the standard, as well as those considering the adoption of ISO 20022. The first edition is an app for an iOS tablet. New information is updated automatically in the mApp when accessed online, and a PDF with adoption information can be downloaded for each ISO 20022 initiative featured.

The ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ was developed by the Standards Forum. The Forum is organised by SWIFT Standards with the support of financial institutions, leading standardisers, market practice groups, standards organisations and vendors. The Forum offers a meeting place for all interested in or impacted by standards, where everyone can share their opinions about issues and topics that will or can be debated at Standards Forum events (see link below).

In July 2009, the Newsletter commented in an article, headlined ‘The Silent Revolution’: “ISO 20022 provides a unique tool to create the standards that respond to the needs of suppliers and customers acting in today’s financial universe. (...) As such, ISO 20022 creates the data highways enabling communication between players across all financial markets.” ISO 20022 is not only a suite of message standards but a procedure proposed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop message standards for all domains of the financial industry. ISO 20022 is a standard to develop standards, so to speak. The most innovative characteristic of ISO 20022 is its modelling methodology which decouples the business rules from the physical message formats. The models evolve with the business, while the formats evolve with the technology to benefit from the latest innovations. This results in the highest possible degree of automation, ease of implementation, openness and cost-efficiency. The ISO 20022 approach, therefore, offers a more efficient and faster way of developing and implementing message standards that serve as the basis for long term financial services solutions.

Today, the revolution is silent no more. The ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ includes more than 60 adoption initiatives globally, covering a range of business segments such as payments including cards, securities, trade finance and treasury. More initiatives will be added on a continuous basis.

The Credit Transfer () and Direct Debit (SDD) Schemes and adjacent implementation guidelines developed by the European Payments Council in close dialogue with the customer community are based on the ISO 20022 messages standards. With the launch of the Scheme in 2008, European banks were the first in the world to deploy the ISO 20022 message standards for mass payment transactions. The roll-out of the Single Euro Payments Area (), therefore, represents one of the initiatives that pioneered broad-scale adoption of ISO 20022. The European Union (EU) legislator recognised that technical standardisation based on the use of international standards facilitates the integration of the EU payments market. In February 2012, the EU legislator; i.e. the European Parliament and the Council of the EU representing EU Member States, adopted the ‘Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 establishing technical and business requirements for credit transfers and direct debits in euro’ (see link below) (the Regulation). This legislative act defines 1 February 2014 as the deadline in the euro area for compliance with the core provisions of this Regulation. Effectively, this means that as of this date, existing national euro credit transfer and direct debit schemes will be replaced by and SDD. The Regulation details, among other things, the use of the ISO 20022 message standards by payment service providers and payment service users. For more information, refer to the Newsletter article, entitled: ‘Early Movers Confirm: ISO 20022 Message Standards Generate Tangible Benefits’ (see link below).

The implementation of the ISO 20022 message standards within the context is also described by the new ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’.

How to use the ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’

To view the different ISO 20022 initiatives featured within the new mobile adoption application, users can either zoom into a specific region or country or filter for a specific group of initiatives. The information on the various initiatives provided with the ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ identifies, among other things:

  • What are the drivers behind the adoption initiative?
  • What is the project status (i.e. is the project under discussion, in the planning or testing phase or already live)?
  • What is the approach to migration (i.e. ‘big bang’ or phased roll-out)?
  • What are the ISO 20022 message sets and versions adopted?
  • Are there implementation guidelines and, if so, where can these be found?

The app is designed to encourage new initiatives to showcase their ISO 20022 adoption project with this tool. Any party interested in having their ISO 20022 adoption initiative featured within the application is invited to email to receive instructions on how to feed the ‘ISO 20022 Adoption mApp’ with relevant information.

Chantal Van Es for the Standards Forum.

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