Kickstarting your preparations for ISO 20022

Time to get ready for the new payments standard: a five-point plan

Kickstarting your preparations for ISO 20022

Ross Jones discusses the benefits of the globally recognised message standard ISO 20022 XML.

"Financial market infrastructures, such as CHAPS and TARGET2, as well as the global financial messaging system network SWIFT, have begun to migrate to ISO 20022 XML and this migration effort will continue throughout 2024 and 2025. As this takes place, corporates can begin to reap the advantages of improved interoperability, efficiencies, data structure and quality, as well as better forecasting and transparency across their payments. But to realise these benefits, your organisation needs to be on the front foot."

Ross Jones

Head of Payments Product Management, Barclays Corporate Banking

Five ways corporates can kickstart their preparations for ISO 20022


Evaluate the impact

ISO 20022 introduces significant changes to financial messaging. Work out how these changes will impact your current systems and processes, including your treasury management systems (TMS), payment platforms and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Are any planned system changes across the organisation taking account of the new standard? Are systems ‘ISO-native’ and if not, can they be tactically ready?


Understand the business benefits

By adopting early, your organisation could gain a competitive advantage. Richer and more structured data can enable more straight-through processing – reducing friction, accelerating payments through the eco-system, improving reconciliation and improving the overall payment experience for customers and suppliers.


Check your data

ISO 20022 is all about getting the right data in the right place – it introduces new data fields and structures. Check your existing data sources, such as your master vendor list, and map the fields to the new standard. Also, find out about the new purpose codes and legal entity identifiers (LEIs) as some sectors will need to adopt these ahead of others.


Test and train

Implementation will require thorough testing to ensure seamless integration with your financial partners and identify any issues. Establish a comprehensive testing plan that covers both internal and external systems. At the same time, train your organisation’s staff – they will be keen to learn about the new standards and their business benefits.


Make time to talk

Speak to your banking partners and other financial service providers to understand adoption timelines, migration plans and switch-off deadlines. But don’t stop there – talk to your systems providers to ensure that they are ahead with their own planning. And let your customers and suppliers know about the changes as well.

For more details about ISO 20022, including the migration timeline, check out a variety of resources on our dedicated ISO 20022 webpage.

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