Regulation & Standards
Published  6 MIN READ

The SWIFT MT-MX Migration: Just the Emperor’s New Clothes?

In a recent series of articles in TMI, Mark Sutton, Senior Manager, Corporate Treasury Adviser, Zanders, outlined the challenges associated with a certain element of the new XML Version 9 payments message. Here, he examines the move from FIN-based (MT) SWIFT messages to ISO 20022 XML (MX) messages, outlining the critical considerations from a corporate treasury perspective.

SWIFT finally started the much-publicised MT to MX migration on 20 March 2023 after a 16-month delay.

The financial sector now has just over 30 months to complete this migration plan, which will focus on selected financial messages within the interbank space. This means SWIFT will be moving from the traditional MT (FIN)-based messages, initially in the cash management space, onto ISO 20022 XML messages (MX). This is possibly the most significant disruption to global cross border payments since SWIFT first introduced electronic messages back in 1977.

While this article considers the main benefits of this multi-billion-dollar change, it also aims to provide a reality check through a corporate treasury lens by considering the fine detail around the current baseline cross border payments and reporting plus (CBPR+) service proposition.