Building block 3: Defining common features of cross-border payment service levels

Agreed service levels cover a set of functions, procedures and arrangements to facilitate the execution of cross-border payments between different entities. These service levels can be defined through service level agreements (SLAs) or payment schemes. They establish consistency and certainty for all cross-border payment stakeholders based on a common binding framework (such as data standards, message formats and compliance processes).


The goal is to support the standardisation and harmonisation of cross-border payment processes among payment service providers who need to agree on payment service levels. This has the potential to alleviate cross-border payment frictions and advance the G20 targets for addressing the challenges of cross-border payments. For example, enforcement mechanisms based on both automated rules and institutional and contractual arrangements can foster automation and transparency in the processing of cross-border payments.


  • In 2021, the CPMI analysed different multilateral SLAs and payment schemes and identified a set of common features that could contribute to achieving the G20 targets (action 1).
  • In December 2021, the CPMI invited nominations from managers of service level agreements and payment schemes to join a group of experts discussing the common features of cross-border payment service levels (action 2).
  • Since March 2022, the CPMI Service Level Task Force has met regularly to take action 2 forward.