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Making ISO 20022 work for you: have you already defined your ISO 20022 implementation strategy?

We at SWIFT would like to hear about your ISO 20022 plans, experiences and questions. Leading up to Sibos, we are publishing a series of weekly blogs on Finextra called "Making ISO 20022 work for you", each focusing on a specific ISO 20022 business case and implementation aspect. All blogs will end with an open-ended question. The purpose is not to start an online discussion, but rather to collect your feedback, some of which will be presented during our Standards Forum at Sibos in Singapore, held from 12 to 15 October 2015. The fourth blog in our series deals with implementation roadmaps for financial institutions. You will find a list of previous blogs in this series below. Thank you in advance for you participation.


As part of everyday business, financial institutions (FIs) are connected with numerous counterparties - other FIs, correspondent banks, service providers, corporate customers, as well as market infrastructures. For FIs which have a global footprint, the collective impact of multiple ISO 20022 initiatives, staged across multiple market infrastructures, needs to be evaluated. And, as I hinted at in my previous blogs in this series, in addition to these external drivers FIs may also have internal reasons to adopt ISO 20022, linked to either platform renewal, centralisation, the offering of differentiated services, regulatory requirements, or the optimisation of their internal data architecture.

FIs will typically go for one, or a combination of the following two ISO 20022 implementation approaches:

1. Tactical approach where the FI undertakes the integration with each counterparty separately.

2. Strategic approach where the financial institution adapts its infrastructure and application environment to integrate ISO 20022 and accommodate new ISO 20022-specific capabilities.

To make an informed decision on what is the best implementation approach, it is considered best practice for FIs to perform a full impact assessment and to create an enterprise architecture that is as ‘future-proof’ as possible. Such implementation roadmap is based on a business and technology impact assessment:

  • During the business impact assessment, FIs review their current ISO 20022 landscape from an external business perspective, and summarise dependencies, business flows and message types with external financial institutions, corporate customers, third-party service providers and market infrastructures.
  • During the technology assessment, FIs review the their current ISO 20022 landscape from an internal application perspective and summarise business flows, message types and interface specifications with all internal applications within the organisation, including the possible new functions that will be needed.

More detailed information about can be found in the information paper "Best practice for successful implementation of ISO 20022 for financial institutions".


How are you as a financial institution planning a future-proof ISO 20022 implementation roadmap?


Previous blogs in this series:

1 September 2015: Making ISO 20022 work for you: regulatory compliance

8 September 2015: Making ISO 20022 work for you: IT architecture

15 September 2015: Making ISO 20022 work for you: new services



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Paul Miserez

Paul Miserez

Standards Department


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04 Apr 2013


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Standards Forum

The Standards Forum is the place where business and standardisation meet. This group would like to facilitate and encourage dialogue around standardisation in the financial industry, and share views, insights and updates on how financial standards can contribute to reducing cost and increasing efficiency when tackling today's challenges such as automation, compliance, and regulation.

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