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Payments future is ISO 20022, even for real-time payments

A group of international clearing houses, banks, vendors, payments associations and other parties have proposed setting up an activity to look at how to deliver this under the aegis of the International Standards Organisation – and set an ambitious target of collating an initial variant of ISO 20022 usage guidelines for real-time payments before the summer.

The meeting

Global interoperability of real-time payments systems will require harmonisation of market practices and standards. At a meeting organised by the UK Payments Council earlier this month, a group of global organisations discussed the issues as they see them, agreeing to work together to identify areas where decisions made at this stage of design and implementation could make interoperability easier to achieve.

Although the normal concerns about local v. global standards, etc. were raised, all agreed that collaboration was essential and pertinent as many jurisdictions are implementing, or actively thinking about real-time systems.

The ISO 20022 messaging standard was identified by all as the most appropriate technical standard for real-time payments, and all agreed that it is unlikely that another would supersede the standard.

The way forward

All agreed that there was a need:

  • for wider involvement in the discussions, including credit card schemes and corporate’s
  • to focus on harmonisation of the real-time payment messages with first step to take an inventory of what being done domestically and then look at the commonality in the different systems.

CTMfile take: Corporates and their associations - ACT in UK, the EACT and the AFP - need to get involved. If they don’t, they could regret it. As we showed on 26 April 2015, Global Adoption of Real-Time Retail Payments Systems is ramping up, AND irreversible decisions are being made world-wide.

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