Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

This page provides an overview of frequently asked questions and answers on MyStandards. This list of FAQs is meant to be a living resource and the first reference if you have a question on MyStandards. In case you don’t find your answer here, please feel free to contact us at mystandards@swift.com.

Quick Links

Capabilities and Scope Practical Questions Business Framework
Top Five Questions Common User Issues Commercial, licensing, pricing and ordering aspects
What content is available on MyStandards? System Requirements Legal Framework
Features and scope of MyStandards    
Readiness Portal    

 

1. Top Five Questions

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Question

Answer

1.01

What is MyStandards?

MyStandards is a collaborative Web application used to manage standards definitions and industry usage in a more efficient way (cost savings, risk reduction, quality improvement, and collaboration).

It provides standards-related content in a centralised place and offers a set of powerful features to make the most out of that content for standards management and implementation:

  • Analytical features, which help developers and analysts compare specifications and guidelines and assess the impact of standards releases
  • Documentation features with which you can reduce ambiguity and create fit-for purpose business or technical (machine-readable) references.
  • Distribution features, which allow organisations to manage fully access to their content and their community of users.
  • Maintenance features, which provides an easy way to manage your publications and maintain them when they need to change.

1.02

What are the key benefits of MyStandards?

MyStandards’ benefits can be looked at from the following perspectives:

From a standards’ consumer perspective, MyStandards offers a powerful combination of centralised standards information and product features:

  • One shop stop for standards-related information: users will save considerable time in gathering and understanding all standards-related information, as the information is centralised and consistently defined across the industry.
  • Streamlined analysis of Standards Release Impact with integrated analytical features like impact analysis.
  • Simplified management of industry diversity with advanced comparison features.
  • Easier deployment with machine readable formats.

From a standards’ publisher perspective (organisations running a service and market practice groups), MyStandards provides end-to-end usage guideline management:

  • Improved customer communication around your guidelines (state of the art formalisation, fit for purpose documentation chains, effective distribution and community management).
  • Simplified management and maintenance of your guidelines (analytical framework, migration tools, …)
  • Bridges the gap between customer documentation and your implementation by starting from a single source and creating different perspectives.
1.03 What is the Readiness Portal?

The MyStandards Readiness Portal is a web application that simplifies customer onboarding and migration by providing self-service standards testing capabilities. Using the Readiness Portal, financial institutions and market infrastructures are able to create customer-facing portals offering:

  • Validation of message instances against their usage guidelines
  • Full integration with their documentation on MyStandards
  • Direct link to their support organisation
  • Sample messages to implement their guidelines
  • Shared view of progress

The Readiness Portal therefore significantly reduces:

  • The effort required by the integration teams, providing a self-service solution for customers to validate their messages
  • The elapsed time to provide a test environment for a customer, providing an easy-to-setup web solution fully driven by the MyStandards usage guideline
  • The risk of an onboarding project, providing the tools to monitor the customer progress and help them along the way

1.04

How can I license MyStandards?

As an individual, you can access the service free of charge on www.swift.com/mystandards using your existing swift.com credentials or registering specifically. You just need to accept the Terms of Use online.

As an organisation (financial institution, market infrastructure or corporate), you can register at the Basic level or subscribe to the Premium license level by submitting an order. Please contact your account manager for details.

Market practice groups should contact us at mystandards@swift.com.

Vendors and partners can license the MyStandards Base Libraries (see section 1.05) and can also contact us for partnership opportunities at mystandards@swift.com.

More information on the licensing model can be found on the Licensing page, and, if further follow-up is required, mystandards@swift.com can be contacted.

1.05

How do MyStandards and the Base Libraries relate to each other?

  • MyStandards Base Libraries (previously known as the 'Standards Developer Kit' or just 'SDK') are pre-packaged libraries of all the MT and MX standards in XML Schema and spreadsheet form. This is ideal for speeding up standards implementation projects. It can typically be acquired at the level of a single project. It is also available to vendors.
  • MyStandards is the enterprise one-stop shop for simplifying standards management. Besides powerful definition, collaboration and analysis features, it also makes it possible to create machine-readable definitions (i.e. XML schemas) not only for the base standards (like the Base Libraries) but also for all shared usage guidelines. Premium users of MyStandards will also get access to the Base Libraries. Existing SDK customers can credit their current license to the purchase of MyStandards.

 

2. What content is available in MyStandards?

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Question

Answer

2.01

What content is available in MyStandards?

MyStandards contains Base Standards (provided by SWIFT and ISO 20022 submitters) and Usage Guidelines. There are currently over 8000 shared guidelines published by over 85 organisations (Premium members and Market Practice Groups).

2.02

What are 'Base Standards'?

Base Standards are all the message definitions currently published in the SWIFT User Handbook (MT and MX Standards) as well as the message definitions published by the ISO 20022 Registration Authority. Other definitions might also be published through MyStandards if they comply with the ISO 20022 standard methodology.

2.03

What is a MyStandards "Usage Guideline"?

Within organisations it is also sometimes referred to as 'implementation guideline’, 'formatting rule', 'recommendation', 'functional specification' or 'template'.

A Usage Guideline is a user-created subset of a Base Standard which should be used within a particular scenario or context. A key criterion is that it must remain valid against the Base Standard.

Usage Guidelines are typically defined by organisations which need to specify in more detail how the Base Standards are used by them at a regional, local, bilateral and even internal level.

Note: Usage Guidelines are also used to document ISO 20022 extensions.

2.04

What are some typical examples of restrictions in a Usage Guideline?

Some of the most frequent restrictions are:

  • Force the presence of an optional component (or conversely prevent its usage)
  • In the case of different format options, force the usage of one (for example use a formal identifier like the BIC and not a free-format text).
  • Restrict a code list to certain codes only
  • Further constraint a format like limiting a field length to 16 characters instead of 35.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Please refer to the Usage Guideline Editors Best Practice Document for the full list of allowed restrictions.

2.05

What usage guidelines are and will be available in MyStandards?

SWIFT is working closely with leading Market Practice Groups, standards organisations and specification publishers to bring content in.

There are currently over 8000 shared usage guidelines in MyStandards from over 85 publishers. EPC (SEPA guidelines), T2S, DTCC, JASDEC and SMPG are a few of these publishers.

Browse through the available content (public or shared with communities) from the Usage Guidelines section of MyStandards. You can also find publication plans of specific members in the news sections of their Home Page.

2.06

Will other industry standards (FpML, FIX...) and proprietary standards be part of MyStandards?

At the moment, MyStandards supports the MT and ISO20022 formats. Based on customer feedback, there is a clear appetite for support of other formats.

There are on-going discussions with other industry standards but no clear roadmap has been defined yet. For proprietary formats, we will consider supporting the ones with the most critical mass on a case-by-case basis.

 

3. Features and scope of MyStandards

 

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Question

Answer

3.01

What are the components of MyStandards?

  • MyStandards web application (www.swift.com/mystandards), used for online browsing, publishing, sharing and analysis.
  • Off-line Usage Guideline Editor, used for data entry. It captures Usage Guidelines in a structured and formal way.

3.02

What is the Usage Guideline Editor?

  • An off-line tool used to create and maintain Usage Guidelines.
  • It is used to capture Usage Guidelines as formally and consistently as possible. This will ensure easier consumption and simplify the analysis tasks across the industry.
  • It makes it easy to capture and apply different types of restrictions (see section 2.04 for some examples).
  • It offers a harmonised user interface to create both MT and ISO 20022-based Usage Guidelines.

3.03

Who should use the Usage Guideline Editor?

The Usage Guideline Editor is targeted at business analysts or standards experts who must capture and maintain Usage Guidelines.

3.04

Is the Usage Guideline Editor free of charge?

The Usage Guideline Editor is part of the (payable) Premium license.

3.05

What are the main features of MyStandards?

MyStandards is a combination of rich content (Base Standards and Usage Guidelines) and a set of powerful features to:

  • Browse and search content in a common structured way
  • Analyse, compare and assess release information
  • Capture and maintain usage guidelines in a formal, consistent way
  • Collaborate, share, comment and control using a single platform
  • Create and publish documentation without manual intervention
  • Generate processable output (schema’s) for efficient implementation.

3.06

Can customers generate XML Schemas for work published by Market Practice groups?

Yes. Users of the Premium service can generate XML Schemas for Base Standards and Usage Guidelines published by Market Practice groups or any other publisher.

3.07

Can customers validate messages against Usage Guidelines?

Premium members can use the downloadable XML Schemas internally to run tests and validate message instances.

The Readiness Portal allows service providers to create onboarding portals for their customers to simplify onboarding and maintenance process (see section 4 for more info regarding the Readiness Portal).

3.08

Is there a notification mechanism when there are changes?

The platform can be configured by users in order to receive email notifications when a certain user-selected event occurs. This will allow users to be informed promptly by the system, users can also make an informed decision of whether more attention is required without needing to log on.

3.09

Is SWIFT abandoning standardisation by launching MyStandards?

Not at all. The reality today is that there are a lot of differences in how standards are implemented across the industry. If you want to harmonise, the first step is to understand these differences. Then you can identify which ones make business sense and which ones do not. MyStandards offers a platform to identify harmonisation gaps and opportunities.

MyStandards also provides a formal framework and solution to manage different standards implementations.

In addition, it aims to replace mostly labour-intensive, inefficient, high-risk, and immature processes and technology. It fosters easy understanding, analysis and implementation of Base Standards and Usage Guidelines.

3.10

Will MyStandards replace the SWIFT UHB?

The SWIFT User Handbook (UHB) consists of multiple books, including those on MT and MX Base Standards. This will remain the case for the foreseeable future. MyStandards uses the same data source used to create the UHB Base Standards books, but adds even more value by providing a tool set to manage (use, store, document, share, analyse, implement) all standards related information.

3.11

Is it a source controlled / multi-user environment?

The MyStandards web-platform is a source controlled, centrally managed and multi-user website which is hosted on the swift.com infrastructure.

The Usage Guideline Editor is fully standalone for a single user, although multiple users can install the tool locally. The repository of local data used by the tool can be included in a customer's existing source control system.

3.12

What are the big next steps? Is there a published product roadmap?

We will continue to improve the usability and performance of the application over time. The requirements that will take priority are the ones linked to the core value proposition of the service (simplifying standards and Usage Guidelines management).

The latest roadmap information is available on https://mystandards.swift.com/roadmap.

3.13

Does the platform provide activity overviews?

Yes, the solution provides users an insight into how the platform is being used by consumers of the published Usage Guidelines. Through an aggregate overview page - a dashboard - metrics are provided on two main fronts:

1) Static metrics on published content
2) Dynamic metrics on real usage

We also added a Business Intelligence (BI) report to the Readiness Portal, providing you with an overview of the portal usage over time.

 

4. Readiness Portal

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Question

Answer

4.01

Who can access the Readiness Portal?

Any individual user on the MyStandards platform can access a Readiness Portal published by one of its counterparty. The only required information to register on the platform is a valid email address.

4.02

What is the effort required to create a Readiness Portal?

The effort required to create a portal based on existing guidelines in MyStandards is very low (typically around 5 minutes). The only additional information needed is the scope - which guidelines do you want to validate in this portal -, the name of the portal and a contact email for this portal. Once this is specified, you can easily share this portal with a list of individual email addresses.

4.03 Can I offer separate portals for my customers?

Yes, the Readiness Portal enables you to offer a tailor-made portal for each customer, containing only the relevant specifications for this customer. This allows you to follow-up the progress of each onboarding separately. If all your customers need to validate messages against the same usage guidelines, it is very easy to create identical portals from a template. It is also possible to define a common portal and share it with all your customers. 

4.04 What is validated by the Readiness Portal?

The Readiness Portal will validate message instances against:

  • MT or ISO20022 base message formats
  • most of SWIFT network validated rules (MT) and ISO20022 cross-element rules
  • restrictions on individual fields specified by your usage guideline on MyStandards, such as the length, format, multiplicity of a field
  • formal cross-elements rules defined in your usage guideline on MyStandards

In addition, the Readiness Portal will check that BICs, countries and currencies in the message instance not only have the right format but are also registered and existing BICs, currencies and countries. Checksums will be checked on IBAN, at the IBAN, not BBAN, level.

4.05 How can I monitor my customer's progress?

As a portal publisher, you have the ability to review every message validated by your customers on the Readiness Portal. Moreover, using the Evidences, customers can formally submit messages for your review. The Readiness Portal will provide you with a coverage analysis, highlighting which fields in the message have been tested by the customer. A convenient dashboard and report allow you to monitor the activity of your published portals.

 

5. System Requirements

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Question

Answer

5.01

What are the system requirements to run the Usage Guideline Editor?

This tool must be installed on a local system with the following minimum specifications:

  • Min OS: Windows 7
  • Min CPU: 1.5GHz
  • Min RAM: 1GB (+ 1GB for OS)
  • Min HD: 200MB
  • Min Screen Resolution: 1024x768

The UGE itself is based on Java and is self-contained; it is not dependent on any other software installed on the system to run.

Each installation is fully standalone for a single user, although multiple users within an organisation can install the tool on their own local system. The UGE does not need an active internet connection to function.

5.02

What are the system requirements to access the MyStandards web-platform?

This is a website (www.swift.com/mystandards) to be accessed over the Internet through a modern browser. The versions supported are Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11 and Chrome 40 and later.

 

To access the website a user must first create a MyStandards user account. It is enough to just have an email address (an associated BIC is not required) to create the account.

 

6. Commercial, licensing, pricing and ordering aspects

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Question

Answer

6.01

How much does MyStandards cost?

MyStandards has two available license levels. The Basic license is free of charge. The Premium license, which gives you access to all of the advanced features, is payable as a yearly subscription. For further pricing info, please contact your account manager.

Market Practice groups may opt for a Distribution license to allow any user to download their Usage Guidelines as an XML Schema.

6.02

Why is MyStandards a yearly subscription (instead of one time charge + maintenance)?

MyStandards is a hosted solution providing continuous value over time. The pricing model is aligned to the principles of cloud computing. MyStandards will also continue to evolve to make sure that the price levels remain very competitive over time compared to the value of the service.

Besides getting an unrestricted access to all features across your organisation, your premium subscription also includes:

  • Up-to-date content and community management: Never worry about finding the latest versions, they will always be there as part of your subscription. This applies not only to SWIFT-published content but also to other content publishers (market practice groups in particular) as we are facilitating collaboration across the industry. We are spending significant resources working with content publishers (and market practice groups in particular) to increase quality, availability and consistency of usage guidelines.
  • Continuous development: MyStandards continues to evolve quite significantly and will have between two and four significant releases per year in the coming years. From the launch in June 2012, we have already shipped four significant releases and the product roadmap is full of valuable enhancements. The releases also come with Premium Education sessions to help you get the most out of them.
  • A participative platform evolution: From the beginning, MyStandards has been built collaboratively with customers. We are absolutely committed on continuing on that approach and are working on setting up user’s groups for premium customers where you can directly influence the directions of the product to maximise your value.

6.03

Can I buy MyStandards if I am not a SWIFT customer?

Market infrastructures, financial institutions and corporates can buy MyStandards even if they are not SWIFT customers. Software vendors and partners should contact us for potential collaboration possibilities if they are interested in a Premium license.

6.04

Is there an implementation, integration or other cost related to using MyStandards?

The initial data entry involves a one-off investment to enter each Usage Guideline. Once the guidelines have been captured, maintenance of existing guidelines will require little effort.

As a way to off-set any internal resourcing cost, SWIFT can also offer assistance in the form of payable services to support the customer in their project goals. For more details, please refer to the Services tab as part of the Product Section within the MyStandards application.

6.05 How much does the Readiness Portal cost?

Accessing a portal shared with you by one of your counterparties is free of charge. In order to create and publish a Readiness Portal based on your own specifications to one of your customer or counterparty, you need a Readiness Portal licence. For further pricing info, please contact your account manager.

6.05

Will market practice groups be able to use MyStandards for free?

If you are a market practice group interested in using MyStandards, please contact us at MyStandards@swift.com to receive further information on the license available to you

To qualify for an MPG licence, SWIFT will evaluate, at its discretion, if the group meets the following criteria:

  • The main purpose of the group is to define harmonised and aligned practice/use of base standards and to promote such guidelines to the broader financial community.
  • The group is not for profit.
  • The group has neither the ability nor the intent to deploy a service into the market that is based on the published content.
  • The group does not itself implement the market practices that it has defined.
  • The group agrees to use MyStandards as a primary source of publication of content in the community.

Groups who do not meet the above criteria may apply for a Premium group level license.

Market Practice groups may opt for a (payable) distribution license to allow any user to download their Usage Guidelines as an XML Schemas.

 

7. Legal Framework

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Question

Answer

7.01

Where can I find the MyStandards Terms of Use?

Individual users accessing the platform for the first time will be presented with the Terms of Use as a pop-up screen. The Terms of Use can always be accessed afterwards in the platform as well. They are also included as an appendix to the Service Description.

7.02

When users publish information, is it public (available to everyone) or private?

By default, everything which is published on MyStandards is kept private to your organisation. You can then decide if you want to open it either to everyone (Public content) or to specific communities (Restricted content) through the sharing mechanism.

7.03

What is meant by "authorised users"?

This is used in the context of sharing content on the platform. An authorised user is a user to which the content publisher has provided access rights.

7.04

What intellectual property rights (IPR) will apply?

Content providers retain the full intellectual property of their specifications, but SWIFT has the right to:

  • Provide authorised users (as defined by the content providers themselves), with additional products and services.
  • Use this content anonymously and statistically for driving benchmarking and industry harmonisation.

In short, SWIFT will never share specifications with non-authorised users.

The full IPR is available in the Terms of Use.

7.05

How does SWIFT protect user information and security?

MyStandards is a secure web application, which leverages the swift.com architecture, including the user profiles and login mechanism.

Users decide which content they want to share with which counterparts (full privacy settings).

It is important to note that the MyStandards platform is totally separate from the SWIFT network.

7.06 Why are there Legal Notices present in the documentation outputs?

Legal notices are affixed on all documentation generated from MyStandards to identify whom it belongs to and for which purpose(s) it can be used.

Such a notice is a protection for SWIFT and for the MyStandards User. It should not be removed or amended.

If there are any comments on the language itself we will be happy to consider them in a next version or to provide more information.

In addition, Premium users can define a specific legal notice for its own group.

 

8. Common User Issues

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Question

Answer

8.01

How can a user create an account, log in, and find their organisation?

Instructions on how to create an account, log in and find group(s) are available in this PDF.

8.02

How can a user resolve log in issues? 

The first line of support to contact is support@swift.com. If the sent email requesting support is rejected, only then should mystandards@swift.com be contacted to resolve the issue.

The reason is that MyStandards actually leverages the security infrastructure of swift.com which manages the user accounts. As a result, any log in and password problems have to be investigated centrally.

8.03 How can a user get help for a business related query?

MyStandards support team focusses on platform related enquiries, for example, a question about a feature or a strange behaviour or missing content. We are not equipped to be able to help with business related enquiries, like those related to ISO processes or the MT-MX migration under ISO20022.

To progress these types of questions, the user can contact support@swift.com (see 7.02 above in case of email rejection) or their SWIFT account manager.

8.04 How can a new user best get started?

The 'Getting Started' section is the best place to discover and browse the various MyStandards capabilities. There is PDF documentation available but also short 30min videos.

8.05 Why can a user not see the Community 'request access' button?

The 'request access' button is not shown if the user is already part of the Community.

As publisher you can pro-actively see if the user is already part of the community (in the 'My Group -> Publishing -> Communities' tab) and the user can see for themself in the 'Me -> Community Membership' tab which communities they are in.