ISO 20022

Stand­ard­isa­tion of pay­ment in­form­a­tion

ISO 20022 is an in­ter­na­tion­al and open standard for fin­an­cial un­der­tak­ings to ex­change data on such things as pay­ment in­struc­tions and ac­count in­form­a­tion.

What is ISO 20022?

The standard directly impacts the presentation of data and actions, such as payment queries and bank account statements. As of November 2025, SWIFT will cease to support older data exchange standards the banks use and institutions all around the world are currently working to adapt their payment systems and other systems.

Richer data
Much improved support for special characters and symbols, such in Icelandic and Chinese. The data remains unchanged throughout, from payor to recipient.
Simpler reporting
It will become easier to collate and maintain details about business counterparties. This applies to both the banks and their customers.
Increased traceability
Both payors and recipients benefit from a significant increase in maximum digit numbers.
Increased efficiency
There are more fields than previously, allowing for the definition of on whose behalf the payment is sent and for the inclusion of multiple banks in the chain.
Work rationalisation
A higher straight-through processing (STP) ratio significantly reduces manual work for the banks. This also accelerates automatic account reconciliation for both customers and the banks.
Simpler processes
API services also make it easier to send and retrieve data. This also applies to companies who communicate directly with SWIFT, especially if both parties comply with ISO 20022.
Harmonised presentation
It is easier to check the veracity of entered and received data, i.e. verify its structure, check whether entered addresses are sufficient, etc.
Banking service of the future
The standard supports not yet launched payment solutions from domestic banks, such as R2P (e. request-to-pay), scheduled salary payments, payment location system (SWIFT GPI), etc.

Types of messages in the SWIFT system

To date, the SWIFT system has supported so-called MT messages which are based on the FIN protocol. As of November 2022, the system will also support MX messages based on the ISO 20022 standard. The ISO standard will apply to international payments and bank accounts.

Questions and answers

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