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ISO 20022 Standards – An Opportunity to Change

by Brian Wedge, Global Product Manager, JPMorgan Treasury Services

It’s hard for most people to get excited about a standard - especially when it rejoices in the title of ISO 20022 - but this new standard for financial messaging is quietly gaining acceptance, and does have the potential to bring significant efficiency gains to all of the stakeholders involved in our payments ‘ecosystem’.

Messaging standards developed under ISO 20022 have been published and are indeed in use today.

Many of us in the payments business have recognised for some time that our current standards have severe limitations and have failed to keep up with changes which our industry has seen in the past 10 to 20 years. In addition, many of them are country-specific and not well-suited to the volume of cross-border activity we see today and which will only increase further in the future. With this in mind, a dedicated group of standards-enthusiasts have been hard at work - mostly on a voluntary basis - to create a set of standards appropriate for (at least the first decade of) the 21st century.

Whilst ISO 20022 is a broad family of standards covering the financial services industry, here we will only consider the subset which relates to making and reporting payments.