ISO 20022 Migration for Cross-Border Payments
SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), a leading settlement network for foreign remittances, has started to use a new data format, ISO 20022, as a global and open messaging standard for cross-border payments from March 2023.（The current MT format will coexist alongside the new format until November 2025, after which the new format will become mandatory.）
In addition to financial institutions, customers who make foreign remittances are expected to be affected. Below, you can find an overview of ISO 20022, Mizuho's response, and the impact on customers.
Link to Japanese language page
What is ISO 20022?
- ISO 20022 is a global standard for exchanging electronic information between financial institutions prepared by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 20022 uses XML*1 format for data transfer, which enables richer and more detailed information in international payment messages than has been possible until now.
*1：Extensible Markup Language
- The use of ISO 20022 is expected to speed up remittance transactions by unifying and standardizing the message format for cross-border payments and local payments, which have differed by country.
- In order to enhance anti-money laundering (AML), make operations more efficient by straight-through-processing (STP), and utilize relevant data in data businesses, SWIFT and local settlment systems in each country are accelerating adoption of ISO 20022. SWIFT announced that it will migrate international payment messages from the current MT format to ISO 20022 MX format between March 2023 and November 2025.
- In the ISO 20022 format, the maximum number of characters that can be used is significantly extended compared to the current MT format, so much more information can be contained in the messages. Also, you can easily identify each piece of information in the messages by specifying attributes.
- The figure below shows a comparison of "name & address" information in an international payment data message between the MT and MX formats. In the ISO 20022 format, it is possible to identify and display detailed information (city, town, postal code, etc.)
- Currently, three fields of telegraphic messages are subject to ISO 20022: (1) MT 100 s (customer transfers), (2) MT 200 s (interbank transfers), and (3) MT 900 s (account information, etc.).
Response at Mizuho Bank
- In Japan, Mizuho plans to start receiving ISO 20022 format messages for incoming and relay remittances in March 2023.
- When Mizuho receives international payment massages in the ISO 20022 format from overseas to Japan, we process the data by converting it to the current format.
Since the ISO 20022 format is expected to contain more information than the current format, it may not be possible to display all the information in incoming remittance statements on the "Host Computer/PC (Bulk Transmission)" and "Mizuho e-business site" systems.
- Mizuho is currently determining the timing to start accepting remittance requests in the new format from customers using various systems such as "Host Computer/PC (Bulk Transmission)", "Mizuho e-business site" and "Mizuho Global e-banking". Details will be announced once determined.
- A sample of the new format for foreign remittances in compliance with ISO 20022 has been issued by the Japanese Bankers Association. Customers considering upgrading their internal system for creating foreign remittance request data should refer to the following website.
Japanese Bankers Association: https://www.zenginkyo.or.jp/news/2022/n042701/