ISO 20022: Why after almost 2 decades it’s more important than ever

ISO 20022 is a globally accepted messaging standardization approach (methodology, process, repository) to be used by all financial standards initiatives as a common platform for the development of messages. It was introduced in 2005 by the International Organization for Standardization to help financial institutions streamline their communication infrastructure by using the same language for all financial communications.

Today, ISO 20022 is used by payment systems in over 70 countries.  It is estimated to be the de facto standard for high-value payment systems of all reserve currencies, supporting 80% of global volumes and 87% of value of all global transitions in the coming years. This common language is now an emerging global and open standard for payments data and is the expected future standard of fintech innovation and competition. ISO 20022 utilizes richer, higher quality data than other standards, driving improved payment outcomes that can easily adapt and are not controlled by a single interest. According to SWIFT, the benefits of ISO 20022 specifically include:

  • Better data – ISO 20022 enables richer, better structured, and more granular data for payments messages
  • Higher quality payments – higher quality data means more transparency and more remittance information for customers, which means better customer service


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