For most people, ISO 15022 means securities messages, but this is only part of the story. The first edition of ISO 15022 does indeed address the new FIN messages recently adopted by the securities industry, but the second edition has a broader scope and applies to all financial messages.
To eliminate this confusion, SWIFT proposed a change of name to ISO. "We were concerned that the financial industry did not recognise that the second edition targets all financial services messaging", comments Jean-Marie Eloy, Standards Senior Manager, SWIFT.
The new name, UNIFI (UNIversal Financial Industry message scheme), and new number, ISO 20022, will emphasise that this is a new standard better than 'ISO 15022, second edition'. This new standard proposes a business modelling methodology and XML syntax for use for all financial messages, promoting a common standardisation approach for the industry. Use of the UNIFI name and new 20022 number will aid recognition by all in the financial industry and so help gain the consensus that this standard deserves.
There is a further benefit to creating a new and separate standard. In ISO, a new edition of a standard usually replaces the previous one. The first edition of ISO 15022 will continue to be kept active for as long as it is required by the securities industry. By introducing UNIFI, it will make clear to the securities industry that the two standards will co-exist. SWIFT has committed to be the ISO Registration Authority for the two standards as long as necessary. This will be a relief to many, given the recent efforts in migrating from ISO 7775 to ISO 15022.
"We're delighted that ISO has responded positively to our proposal to change the name of this standard, as we believe that this clarity will make life much easier for the community," adds Eloy. The new name and number has been submitted to the approval of the ISO countries and is expected to come into use in mid-April.