ISO 20022 harmonisation requirements for enhancing cross-border payments

CPMI Papers  | 
01 March 2023
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 |  68 pages

With most of the world's payment systems adopting the ISO 20022 messaging standard by 2025, the coming years will be crucial for converging on its harmonised use to fully leverage its full potential to make cross-border payments faster, cheaper and more transparent.

ISO 20022 is a global and open standard for exchanging financial information. It provides a common language that can be used in every kind of financial transaction, including cross-border payments. Moreover, ISO 20022 allows for richer and more structured data to be shared via standardised messages.

The Bank for International Settlements' Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) has worked with financial industry representatives to facilitate a harmonised adoption and use of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments. A joint task force (JTF) comprising technical experts from the CPMI and the Payments Market Practice Group (PMPG) was established in early 2022. The JTF has developed technical harmonisation requirements for the use of ISO 20022 messages in cross-border payments, which are presented in this consultative report. The proposed introduction date of the requirements would align with SWIFT's decision to remove the ability to send cross-border MT payment messages over its network in 2025.

For the Indian G20 Presidency the ISO 20022 harmonisation requirements are a key deliverable under the G20 cross-border payments programme. The CPMI invites comments on this consultative report. As next steps, this report will be revised in response to the consultation and the final report will be delivered to the Indian G20 Presidency by end-2023.

Comments should be sent to the CPMI secretariat ( by 10 May 2023 with "ISO 20022 harmonisation" in the subject line. All responses will be shared with the JTF and will inform the publication of the finalised harmonisation requirements by the CPMI later this year. Responses will also be published on the website of the CPMI. Commercial or other sensitive information should not be included in the submissions, or may be included, with redactions for publication clearly noted.

Update on 28 April: deadline has been extended to 31 May 2023