ISO 20022 Migration:
Richer Data, Faster Payments Automation

Financial institutions are adopting the ISO 20022 standard, entering an era of common messaging language and smoother, more rapid data integration. Is your organization ready?

The global movement towards ISO 20022

Regions that are migrating to ISO 20022

Target & EBA Clearing (Europe) 

Fully fledged migration to ISO 20022 as of March 2023

SWIFT CBPR+ (Global)

Co-existence of MT with ISO 20022 until end of 2025 for all Financial Institutions using payment messages

North America

Canada RTGS went live with coexistence between MT and MX in alignment with Swift CBPR+ (identical timeline)The Clearing House postponed its migration to April 2024, while Fedwire is preparing for a March 2025 migration.

FedNow, a new Instant payment service from the Federal Reserve, went life with ISO 20022 messages in July of 2023

Bank of England (UK)

Both CHAPS and RTGS migrated in June 2023 to “enhanced ISO 20022 messaging”


Thailand RTGS fully migrated as of Aug 2022

Malaysia RTGS has a coexistence period of MT/MX until 2024

Singapore RTGS: in Like-for-Like until further notice

Australian RTGS went live in March 2023

Bank of Israel (Israel)

Plans the go-live in November 2023

Benefits for banks migrating to ISO 20022

Why migrating to ISO 20022 just makes sense

More structured and enriched data in ISO 20022 messages will ensure a better and faster end-to-end management of payments, thanks to upfront checks, lower friction throughout the process, and more effective reconciliation afterwards.

Improved processing time and accuracy

ISO 20022 has a number of structured fields such as “Address” which hold information in a specific way according to certain rules. This enables a bank system to improve and accelerate validation by looking for that information specifically in that field. ISO 20022 also holds more information on intermediaries in a structured way, enabling a bank to understand the full lifecycle of that payment and where it has been processed thus far.

Reduced risk and maintenance cost

Multiple legacy systems within a bank’s infrastructure are likely using multiple legacy formats, particularly when those systems cross borders, leading to high risk and cost. The migration to ISO 20022 is an opportunity to standardize the internal format and reduce the risk and cost overhead.

More efficient sanctions checking

Bank sanctions screening systems scan every field in a message format to identify the country information and validate against sanction rules. That information can be sourced from the “Country” field reducing the amount of processing needed by the sanctions system and accelerating processing time (think of the famous Scuba diving example).

Better customer experience

The standardisation and increased structure of ISO 20022 allows for organisations to better leverage the use of information in a message. Examples include learning about your customers behaviour profile to adapt your product offering per customer.

No truncation = maximum benefit

Existing bank systems are programmed to accept the limited amount of information available in current message formats. ISO 20022 supports much greater information. In order to minimise the change needed to systems it is tempting to truncate the ISO 20022 message fields. This could result in the loss of important information.

Challenges for banks migrating to ISO 20022

Revamping the messaging component of your payments engine isn’t easy. But it could be!

Understanding the complexity of ISO 20022 as a payments standard

ISO 20022 introduces 750 new business components, and more than 1900 new message definitions. Understanding the rich, structured data and the business rules is of utmost importance when preparing to migrate to ISO 20022.

Need for a migration strategy and execution plan

National regulators have set different deadlines for ISO 20022 adoption, meaning that banks operating across borders need to carefully plan their migration strategy with a detailed implementation plan.

Understanding the migration risks and preparing mitigation strategies

Banks should consider the risks associated with a change as transformational as ISO 20022, and create associated mitigation strategies.From a regulatory compliance perspective, managing and storing new, additional transaction information while retaining old data also poses challenges. The change to this new format means a variety of downstream impacts; for example, complexities in reporting, additional costs of analytics and data storage.

How IntellectEU can help

As a long-serving partner for Swift integration and an expert in payment industry innovation, IntellectEU is uniquely positioned to assist with your ISO 20022 migration initiative.

Map your current payments landscape

Identify all the parties you’re sending / receiving messages to / from and understand when they are planning to migrate to ISO 20022

Impact assessment

Which systems will be impacted by the migration? How will existing flows, applications and operations need to be changed in order to accommodate the migration to ISO 20022?

Define the implementation roadmap

Based on the above two, define the roadmap towards implementing ISO 20022 and the plan regarding support of legacy formats

Identify risks and define risk mitigation strategies

Take inventory of the possible risks associated with this transformational change, and create associated mitigation strategies

Speak with our payment and digital transformation experts for help adopting this standard and enhancing your organization’s readiness for the new normal in the payments industry.

Talk to our experts today!

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