SWIFT Defers ISO 20022 Start Date for Cross-border Payments

ISO 20022 messages for cross-border payments and cash reporting businesses will start from end 2022 instead of November 2021 as originally planned.

The SWIFT Board has decided to extend the original timeline for implementation of its new messaging standard ISO 20022 by one year, in response to industry feedback.

Under the original timeline, announced in September 2018, ISO 20022 messages for cross-border payments and cash reporting businesses were meant to start from November 2021.

The one-year extension will allow banks to adopt the new messaging standard at their own pace, while also reducing the total industry costs of to realise the benefits of ISO 20022 together with upgrades to the SWIFT platform.

The upgrades will include new capabilities to maintain complete data and state information for transactions centrally, relieving institutions in a payment processing chain of the obligation to pass on complete data and eliminating the problem that intermediaries may ‘break the chain’.

“The work already undertaken by the community for ISO 20022, including data remediation, channel improvements and back-office processing is not wasted and will play a critical role in enabling future innovation by banks,” SWIFT said in a statement.

The end-date to enable full ISO 20022 for cross-border payments remains as originally planned, where the coexistence period for current SWIFT MT messages and a new API-based exchange will last until November 2025.

The changes also do not affect SWIFT’s support for ISO 20022 migration initiatives for market infrastructures, including for TARGET2/ESMIG, EURO1, Bank of England’s new RTGS, and others.

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