ISO 20022: How Banks are Leveraging the Standard

9 November 2020
By Neil Vernon, Chief Technology Officer

Gresham Technologies hosted an ISO 20022 webinar on November 17th featuring Peter Hoogervorst, Managing Director Transaction Banking Products Asia at Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, and Convenor of the ISO 20022 Standards Evaluation Group for Payments. Click here to access the webinar on demand

As we approach the end of what has been a challenging and unpredictable year, banks may feel that they could be forgiven for having let ISO 20022 slip down their agendas. However, like it or not, the new standard is coming and banks who don’t take at least some preparation measures will find themselves facing significant problems. But whilst ISO 20022 presents some practical challenges for banks, it also offers potential solutions and opportunities if the industry embraces it.

How does the new ISO 20022 message benefit banks?

The standard message: Existing MT standard messages have been heavily customized over the years and banks have drifted further and further from the published standard. So much so that dedicated, bank specific parsers are required. ISO20022 brings us back to a world of standards, lowering cost of message consumption and publication.

The rich message: Payments and statement messages are much richer, no longer limited by ageing standards and message size limits set two decades ago.

The reconcilable message: The old-style messages became bank and market specific creating challenges for reconciliation utilities that had to implement very complex reconciliation rules to make sense of the data. The ISO20022 messages are not bank or market specific, carry far more information and are easily reconcilable.

The certain message: Another feature of the old-style messages and the tendency for them to be customized and abused is that they became ambiguous. Different interpretations of the same message were made by different market participants.

The innovative message: Data is a key building block for all innovation. The rich data in the ISO20022 messages is a starting point for further innovation.

The turbulence and uncertainty of the current environment may mean that in the immediate future, banks are looking for fast, effective ways to send and receive messages in the new format where required, as opposed to an all singing, all dancing implementation project. This is why we are providing our customers with out of the box message transformation and standards libraries which enable them to translate between new and old formats as necessary. However, it is vital as an industry that we don’t lose sight of the future that ISO 20022 can offer – data certainty, clarity, and richness, for a digital world. With all the emphasis on data driven decision making, the last thing that banks should want is to literally throw away information which can drive innovation and improvement, both for themselves and their customers.

Whether you are looking for a fast, efficient solution to translate between ISO 20022 and existing standards, or a full ISO 20022 implementation, Gresham Technologies is here to help. Click here to register for our ISO 20022 webinar on November 17th or below to contact our team.

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