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Making ISO 20022 work for you: deployment harmonisation

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 last blog in our series deals with ISO 20022 deployment harmonisation. You will find a list of previous blogs in this series below. Thank you in advance for you participation.


ISO 20022 is emerging as the preferred choice of messaging standard for many financial market infrastructures (FMIs) around the world, both at international and domestic level. ISO 20022 is more than just a set of messages; it is also a methodology that allows for harmonisation of previously non-interoperable formats, which drives operational efficiency and reduces risk and cost.

That is why, when implementing message standards, FMIs seek to harmonise these with global, regional or other market practice rules. In addition, they must consider deployment aspects, such as version and release management, standards deployment, system architecture. As implementations among FMIs are on the rise, variability in the ways in which ISO 20022 is deployed defies the very prospect of interoperability, and therefore its business case. It seems imperative to address the challenges at hand through co-ordinated action at industry level.

The good news is that many (emerging) examples demonstrate the industry’s increasing need of harmonising the deployment of ISO 20022. Here are some to illustrate my point:

  • Just recently, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued its "final report on MiFID II and MiFIR Technical Standards", recommending XML and ISO 20022 for regulatory data reporting (see Annex 1).
  • Market practice is being harmonised within several groups. The Payments Market Practice Group (PMPG) sponsored the development of implementation guidelines for high-value payments systems and the ISO 20022 for Real Time Payments Group (RTPG) was created to set global market practice for real-time payments. On the securities side, the Securities Market Practice Group (SMPG) recently posted a nice video introducing their work and challenges ahead. The Common Global Implementation (CGI) initiative is harmonising the use of ISO 20022 in the corporate-to-bank space.
  • Earlier this year, a number of FMIs discussed how ISO 20022 harmonisation could be fostered and deployment be co-ordinated across the industry. A joint charter confirming this will be shared at the Sibos Standards Forum in Singapore.

Initiatives such as the above show that financial institutions dealing with different FMIs can benefit from global harmonisation through open dialogue and increased transparency. When properly co-ordinated at industry level, they will contribute to a harmonised roll-out of ISO 20022. In turn, the financial system as a whole will grow stronger due to increased efficiencies. Look out for more debate at Sibos!


Do you have any ideas about how to harmonise the deployment of ISO 20022?


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

22 September 2015: Making ISO 20022 work for you:

have you already defined your ISO 20022 implementation strategy?





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Paul Miserez

Paul Miserez

Standards Department


Member since

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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