New Swift ISO will be delayed


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • Swift’s new ISO 20022 will be instituted in 2022 rather than 2021 as originally planned
  • Move is not believed to be related to the coronavirus pandemic
  • “The work already undertaken by the community for ISO 20022, including data remediation, channel improvements and back-office processing is not wasted”, said a statement from Swift

A proposed migration date for a new ISO covering cross border payments looks set to be delayed by a year.

The ISO 20022, which was proposed by international financial network service provider Swift, was due to come into force in November of next year (2021).

The aim of the new system was to provide a data-focused payments infrastructure, and is expected to significantly enhance the international money transfer market.

However, it has now been announced that the implementation will be delayed until the end of the year 2022.

The reason given for the change in approach is that the financial institutions may not be able to deal with the decommissioning of the current infrastructure in time.

This is despite the fact that both the old and the new systems were designed to run in tandem for a year once the new one was out.

According to the industry press, there is some confusion over whether or not the associated or so-called auxiliary initiatives are also going to be put back.

A statement released by Swift did not refer to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and press coverage on the topic did not appear to suggest that this was an issue.

Instead, the statement focused on helping banks to move to the new system “at their own pace”.

“Acting on feedback from the community, SWIFT will enable ISO 20022 messages for cross-border payments and cash reporting businesses starting from the end of 2022, which extends the originally announced date by one year”, it said.

It would do this “so that banks can adopt at their own pace, and reduce the total industry costs of realising the benefits of ISO 2022 together with the new platform.”

“This modifies timings announced to the community in September 2018 in view of the new strategic direction”, it added.

It also emphasised that work carried out so far would not go to waste.

“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”, it said.

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

Finally, it promised that banks would be able to prioritise as a result.

“This means that financial institutions can maintain existing standards or migrate, and plan change at their own pace in line with their own innovation priorities”, it explained.

To stay ahead of the game when it comes to cross border payments industry news, head over to our magazine pages.

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