ISO 20022 Implemented Successfully

July 2018 – The successful introduction of ISO 20022 for corporate users marked an important milestone in the harmonization of payment traffic. By the end of June around 80% of corporate users were submitting their payments on the basis of the new technology standard. As a survey of banks conducted by SIX Interbank Clearing AG showed, 80% of transaction volume had also been migrated. In recent months there has been a rapid and continuous increase in the number of users making the changeover – a message also underscored by a representative survey of companies, administrative bodies, and associations conducted by gfs.bern in April 2018 on behalf of the financial industry, which indicated that 90% of the organizations polled had already launched a project. The Swiss financial industry anticipates that with the help of their banks, all corporate users will have changed their accounting software over to ISO 20022 by the end of the year. ISO 20022 will close gaps in the information flow; in other words, it will be possible to transmit payment information digitally all the way from the party initiating payment to the recipient’s accounting software, making the entire payment transfer system more economically efficient. Not only that, but ISO 20022 serves as the basis for the QR-bill. The QR-bill will further accelerate the digital transformation of payment traffic and create an important bridge with paper-based payments, which are still widespread among the public and will have to be supported.



Information and Advice Key to Success

According to the survey by gfs.bern, the successful changeover is due to a large extent to the performance benefits of ISO 20022 and the work done by banks and software companies to provide information. In recent months they have actively supported their clients with information and advice. Around 70% of the organizations affected received guidance from an external partner, with 90% receiving information from their bank and saying they were fairly or even very satisfied with this support. Given these high figures, the assistance and information provided by banks and software providers can be seen as a key success factor in an infrastructure project of this scale.

Performance Benefits Hit the Mark

In the last few months ISO 20022 has established itself as an important basis for optimizing key financial processes. Sixty percent of organizations see benefits in connection with the standardization of payment traffic. This figure increases to well over 70% the more frequently and regularly they make payments and the further along the changeover process they are. The most frequently cited benefits included less susceptibility to error thanks to the use of IBAN, the digitization of business processes, and more straightforward domestic and cross-border payments. This suggests that ISO 20022 is proving its worth in practice.


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