Treasury Management Internation Logo

Progress Made Towards Harmonisation of ISO 20022 for Real-Time Payments


A ground-breaking agreement on international cooperation towards ISO 20022 has been reached following a roundtable facilitated by the Payments Council. The progress has been marked by the publication today (Wednesday 17 June) of a new beginner’s guide to the emerging international ‘de facto’ standard for real-time payments.

Over 40 financial institutions, international clearing houses, payments associations, payment schemes and supply-side representatives from around the world met in London to coordinate plans relating to the use of ISO 20022 for real-time payments. The April meeting saw broad agreement that ISO 20022 was now the ‘de facto’ standard in this area.

Global interoperability of real-time payments systems will require harmonisation of standards and the roundtable reached consensus on the benefits of working together to understand what can be done collaboratively to ensure greatest chance of interoperability in the future.

Drawing on the conclusions of the meeting, the Payments Council has published a factsheet explaining ISO 20022 and the UK’s role in its implementation for the payments industry.

As the market has evolved, differing implementations of ISO 20022 for real-time payments have emerged and while the roundtable participants agreed these differences need to be embraced, it was decided the time is right to seek commonality and convergence.

Attendees agreed the next steps towards drafting the technical documentation much needed to advance harmonisation and set a determined target. A new set of messages does not need to be developed, but the aim is to deliver an initial variant of ISO 20022 messages for real-time payments delivered before the end of summer 2015.

Maurice Cleaves, Interim Chief Executive of the Payments Council, commented:

“Collaboration is often the key to success in the development of payment systems, so we are delighted to facilitate international dialogue to help with coordination on real-time payments. The UK payments industry has a long history of being committed to common industry standards, and this meeting marks another important milestone.

“The Payments Council team involved has made a major contribution to ISO 20022 and has been a driving force in the development of a more efficient and faster way of implementing message standards that will serve as the basis for long-term financial services solutions.”

Find out more with the Payment Council’s ISO 20022 factsheet >>

Most recent episodes

The Future of ESG in Treasury

In this podcast, Melissa Moi, Peter Jameson and Venkat ES from Bank of America join TMI’s Eleanor Hill to determine where the ESG journey is heading next. Our expert panel consider how changing regulation, technology solutions and metrics including ESG KPIs...


HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: Investing in the Future – from Diversity to Green Deposits

In the final instalment of HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight, Eleanor Hill (TMI) invites Nadine Lagarmitte and Suraj Kalati (HSBC) to consider how corporates’ attitudes to...


HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: The ESG Landscape – what every treasurer needs to know

In the third edition of HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight Podcast series, TMI’s Eleanor Hill invites Farnam Bidgoli (HSBC) to provide an in-depth overview of the current ESG...


The Path to Transformational Global Cash Visibility

Davina Bradley (CEVA Logistics) and Conor Deegan (CashAnalytics) join TMI’s Eleanor Hill to explore how treasurers can transform their cash visibility and forecasting within their business in a matter of weeks using a...


HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight: Embedding ESG in Trade and Supply Chains

In the second podcast from HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight series, TMI’s Eleanor Hill speaks to Surath Sengupta (HSBC) about embedding ESG into trade and supply chains....


Lost in Transaction: Overcoming Payments Pitfalls

From simple errors to duplicates, fraud and sanctions violations, there are a number of areas where payments can go wrong – especially in the real-time environment. In this podcast, TMI speaks to Andrew Ferrao...


HSBC's Sibos Spotlight: Central Bank Digital Currencies

The first edition of HSBC’s Sibos Spotlight series sees TMI’s Eleanor Hill joined by Mark Williamson and James Pomeroy (HSBC) to discuss the hot topic of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Our guests discuss...


Payments Vision 2025: The Inside Track

Wim Grosemans, Steven Lenaerts (BNP Paribas) and Wim Raymaekers (SWIFT) join TMI’s Eleanor Hill to outline their vision for the payments landscape in 2025. Our guests consider how recent developments such as instant...


Stepping Out from the Shadows

“Treasurers needs to step out of the shadows and into the sunshine in terms of their strategic contribution.” claims Zitah McMillan, Co-Founder and CEO, Predictive Black. In this podcast, hosted by TMI’s Eleanor Hill, our guest declares that the...


Why the ‘One Size Fits All’ Approach is Outdated - A Cash Segmentation Treasury Masterclass

With the ongoing low interest-rate environment and increasing regulatory change, it’s more important than ever for treasurers...