ISO 20022

Leveraging the ISO 20022 opportunity

Navigating ISO 20022 to realise the benefits

The ISO 20022 Universal financial industry message scheme is a standard that signals a major opportunity for banks to improve payment processes and reassess business models.

The scheme is not a new concept; it was first published in 2004 with the aim of becoming the global standard for payments messaging. However, it is only with rising globalisation and the increasing need for interoperability of payment flows that the standards have gained momentum – pushed further by the wide global adoption of instant payments.

ISO 20022 provides richer information flows, higher levels of straight-through processing and a more efficient compliance process. The results will be far greater customer satisfaction, improved digital fulfilment of compliance requirements, and faster, more flexible implementation or deployment of new data driven services or regulatory requirements.

Harnessing the power of ISO 20022

Leveraging the ISO 20022 opportunity requires a significant and complex migration, affecting not just core payments processing but many other banking systems and departments such as accounting, AML and reporting applications.

For banks to migrate successfully to ISO 20022 they will need to:

  • Assess the overall business implications beyond payment transactions
  • Review their payments architecture to ensure they can support the increased data volumes and faster processing time
  • Identify the approach they need to take for implementation such as leveraging translation services to map between messaging formats used by existing legacy applications and ISO 20022 XML messages supported by the market infrastructures.

Minimising the impact of migration

Icon Solutions has a track-record of successful global ISO 20022 designs for Tier-1 banks, with RT1 and SEPA (Instant/Bulk) integrations being the most recent examples. We enable clients to navigate the ISO 20022 migration journey with minimum disruption.

We provide an ISO 20022 Impact Assessment Report which will review the impact of end-to-end ISO 20022 implementation on your:

  • Business processes to provide an overview of the magnitude of changes needed, the opportunities for monetisation, and the improvements to straight-through processing (STP) rates
  • Payments architecture to identify where the gaps are in supporting ISO 20022 and to provide a target architecture
  • Migration strategy to consider the various migration options, for example taking a big bang or a ‘pilot and test’ approach and to provide recommendations

Our recommendations aim to shield our customers from the migration complexities and risk and enable them to leverage our library of customisable assets to support each phase of the migration journey - from Strategy, Architecture, Implementation to Optimisation.


With data being described as the ‘new oil’, how can financial institutions utilise this data effectively in order to stay competitive?

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