ISO 20022 is becoming an operational reality

As announced at Sibos 2016, the ISO 20022 Harmonisation framework is progressing well. Financial Market Infrastructures move to the next stage of harmonisation, while key payments and securities market practice groups support the initiative.


With the increasing interest in ISO 20022, more and more Financial Market Infrastructures (FMIs) are discussing or planning the implementation of the global messaging standard. In the light of the growing impact of these initiatives on Financial Institutions (FIs), the MI Summit - a group of 23 MIs in the Payments, Securities and Foreign Exchange space – and SWIFT started to discuss the harmonisation of ISO 20022 implementation and its usage back in 2014. In 2015, they published the ISO 20022 Harmonisation Charter which includes a set of four best practice principles to reduce the fragmentation in ISO 20022 implementations and related cost efficiencies in the industry:

  • Share information between FMIs about ISO 20022 usage;
  • Adhere to global market practice where it exists and contribute to new global market practice initiatives;
  • Introduce stricter message version control and release management process and timing, in line with the recently defined processes;
  • Publish up-to-date information about standards on MyStandards, including market practice compliance, messages and versions used and message release timeline.

Since then, the Harmonisation Charter has been endorsed by over 20 FMIs and is now formally supported by the Payments Market Practice Group and the Securities Market Group Group.

Earlier this year, the high value payment systems plus task force (HVPS+), a global market practice group of FMIs and banks, sponsored by the Payments Market Practice Group, was formed to address the evolving ISO 20022 standards requirements of HVPS providers.  HVPS+ is built on the existing HVPS market practice documented in MyStandards. The new HVPS+ implementation guidelines aim to ensure interoperability with FIN messages in the cross-border space and to deliver an additional set of ISO 20022 market practice guidelines for HVPS by taking into account the evolving needs of FMIs and their members, such as more structured, accurate and richer end-to-end data.

In September 2016, the MI Summit approved the new ISO 20022 version and release management best practice process to enable global FIs to maintain one message version (i.e. the last version) across multiple FMIs. The new process will be applied as of Standards Release 2018.

To inform Financial Institutions and Financial Market Infrastructures about the recent changes in the ISO 20022 Harmonisation Programme a number of webinars will be organised in November and December 2016. The webinars will cover the Charter principles, their impact on the industry and the role of MyStandards in the ISO 20022 Harmonisation framework.

Register now for one of the webinars:

Read more information on the ISO 20022 Harmonisation page or in the following documents: