Leveraging international standards to unify emerging financial technologies

SWIFT announce the release of a new discussion paper on the use of the financial messaging standard ISO 20022 for unifying FinTech. New technologies have been proliferating in the last decade and are already transforming conventional banking systems as FinTechs and banks are working together to co-create the financial landscape of tomorrow. However FinTech innovation comes in different shapes and sizes and without the adoption of common standards, the use of divergent technologies could lead to inefficient and ineffective fragmentation.

SWIFT, the Registration Authority for ISO 20022, is working closely with the industry globally to standardise messaging and best practices. This new discussion paper captured the opinions on the use of the standard in the context of established technologies such as RTGS and CSD systems, as well as new technological innovations such as contactless and mobile protocols, DLT and APIs.

ISO 20022 offers a number of benefits for FinTech innovation, the discussion paper states:

An open and collaborative standard, ISO 20022 can be used by any organisation and messages designed in a collaborative way
ISO 20022 provides the means to achieve uniform and unambiguous interpretation of the data exchanged among users, regardless of the technology used
The standard has a rich and proven data model and its repository contains reusable concepts and data components
ISO 20022 facilitates global interoperability
Lisa O’Connor, Head of Standard, APAC, SWIFT said: “ISO 20022 as a standard is built to evolve with the pace of new technological developments, and there is great potential to reuse the standard for FinTech innovations. As market infrastructures and financial institutions are looking at FinTech innovation to improve their processes, we look forward to working with the industry to facilitate interoperability of these emerging technologies”.

SWIFT is a global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. We provide our community with a platform for messaging, standards for communicating and we offer products and services to facilitate access and integration; identification, analysis and financial crime compliance. Our messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories, enabling them to communicate securely and exchange standardised financial messages in a reliable way. As their trusted provider, we facilitate global and local financial flows, support trade and commerce all around the world; we relentlessly pursue operational excellence and continually seek ways to lower costs, reduce risks and eliminate operational inefficiencies. Headquartered in Belgium, SWIFT’s international governance and oversight reinforces the neutral, global character of its cooperative structure. SWIFT’s global office network ensures an active presence in all the major financial centres.

For more information, visit www.swift.com

Xavier Duval