ISO 20022 XML transition

ISO 20022 XML transition

The use of different financial messaging standards creates problems in automating payments from end to end. ISO 20022 is solving this challenge through a globally accepted standard that improves payment efficiency while reducing risk.

High-value payment systems in more than 70 countries already use the ISO 20022 MX format. By 2025, MX will be the global standard for financial messaging, replacing propriety formats used by payment systems such as SWIFT, CHIPS, and Fedwire Funds.

We are a key player in shaping the financial industry’s transition to ISO 20022. By leveraging this global standard, we will provide our customers with an optimal payment experience based on their needs.

Understanding the ISO 20022 transition

What is ISO 20022?

ISO 20022 is a strategic industry initiative to replace proprietary message formats with a standard format and definition of data elements. This can improve payment processing efficiency and interoperability among payment systems around the world. 

What makes ISO 20022 special is its use of Extensible Markup Language (XML), which provides a common language for systems and people to exchange information about financial business. ISO 20022 uses common message components that are reusable in other message formats, enabling payment systems to customize data elements to meet their unique needs.


Why is it important?

Data-rich payment messages are more likely to post automatically, potentially reducing manual touchpoints for faster reconciliation, increased straight-through processing, and reduced risk of fraud. Potential benefits include the following:

  • Increased payment efficiency and automation. Payments move seamlessly through domestic and cross-border payment systems.
  • Reduced costs and potential risk. The standard format enables automated file posting, reducing the potential for manual entry and intervention.
  • Enhanced customer experience. Data-rich payments provide consistent, detailed transaction information. MX messages can contain up to 10,000 KB of transaction information, compared with 100 KB for messages today.
  • Improved compliance. The common language reduces the potential for false positives during sanctions screening.

When is the transition happening?

Financial infrastructures worldwide must adopt ISO 20022 payments by 2025. Payment systems are moving to the standard on different schedules, beginning in March 2023.

Payment system
Transition date
SWIFT, Europe Target 2
Starting March 2023. SWIFT MT and ISO 20022 MX messages will coexist until 2025. Originators can send most payment messages in either format.
June 2023. All payment messages must now use the ISO 20022 MX format.
April 2024. All payment messages must use the CHIPS ISO format starting in April 2024.
Fedwire Funds
March 2025. All payment messages must use the Fed ISO format starting in March 2025.

SWIFT MT message transition

SWIFT MT messages can no longer keep up with financial industry and business requirements. ISO 20022 MX messages will replace SWIFT MT messages starting in 2023. Some of the message types in the initial transition include the following:

Message type SWIFT MT ISO 20022 MX
Payment initiation MT 101 series pain.001
Payment clearing and settlement MT 103, 200, 202, 202 COV, and 203 series pacs.008, pacs.009, and pacs.009 COV
Cash management MT 900/910 series camt.054
Cash management MT 940/950 series camt.053

What we are doing to prepare

We are a founding member of SWIFT’s Payments Market Practice Group (PMPG). We’re also an active participant in key working groups that are shaping the transition, including HVPS+, CBPR+, IP+, and various technical user groups. We’re participating in the pilot testing program for SWIFT Transaction Manager and have started community testing with other banks.

To help ensure we’re well-prepared to support our customers, we plan to transition from MT to MX messages in phases.

Message type
Transition plan

Payment messages customers send to us

Customers can continue to send most payment messages to us in either MT or MX format.

Exception: We can only accept Request for Transfer messages in MT format (MT101) for now. Customers should be able to send them in the MX pain.001 format starting in June 2024.

Payment messages we send to other financial institutions through SWIFT

  • By April 2024 or earlier, we will begin to send payment messages in MX format if we receive them in MX format.
  • All outgoing payments through SWIFT will fully transition to MX in 2025. 

Statement and advice messages we send to customers

  • We’ll continue to support statement and advice messages in MT format until November 2025.
  • By June 2024 or earlier, customers may choose to receive statement and advice messages in MX format through SWIFT FIN+.
  • If customers currently receive cash management messages in MX format through FileAct transmission, they will continue to receive them in MX format.

We encourage customers to start planning now so they’re ready when the payment systems they use complete their transition to the MX format.

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