International banks and standards bodies have agreed on a core XML-based payment kernel for corporate-to-bank payment initiation and status messages.
The kernel consists of a set of key financial data components required for a payment message in any currency. The payment kernel can be processed by any bank irrespective of location and can be issued by any corporation irrespective of business line.
The publication of the proposed standard follows the signing of an MoU in November last year by industry bodies IFX, OAGi, Swift and Twist on the creation of a single international standard. The group, operating under the banner of the 'IST Harmonisation Team', utilised the latest Unifi-compliant ISO 20022 messaging standard as the foundation for the development work.
In March 2004, the kernel was endorsed by a 'global business validation group', including banking community representatives. The group says banks, corporates and vendors can now start using the standard to streamline payment applications and take advantage of the STP benefits. The RosettaNet supply chain consortium is already implementing the messages.
The initial focus on payments initiation and status messages is now giving way to work on bank-to-corporate advices and statements.
Jean-Marie Eloy, senior manager, Swift Standards, says: "We are delighted to have demonstrated that working together is possible and to prove that Unifi offers a successful route to facilitating standards harmonisation."