Financial Messaging

Financial Messaging has always been based on standards due to its highly business critical nature and the need for interoperability between systems. Now more than ever, standards evolve as technology evolves. XMLdation supports various financial messaging standards, which are listed below.

ISO 20022

ISO 20022 is the common vocabulary for the development of financial messages. It is the central international standard for financial messaging. We’ve dedicated a page to follow its development and our support for it.

XMLdation supports ISO 20022 in the following ways:

  • Using ISO 20022 as the message standard between banks and their corporate customers
  • Using ISO 20022 as the interbank message standard

SWIFT Standards

SWIFT provides the network that enables financial institutions worldwide to send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable environment. SWIFT has its own set of standards for financial messages.

Standard / InitiativeOwnerStakeholdersPurpose and use
MTSWIFTBanks and CorporatesMT is the original message standard developed by SWIFT for carrying information over the SWIFT network between financial institutions.
MXSWIFTBanks and CorporatesMX is a newer SWIFT message standard using an XML format based on ISO 20022. This is the standard SWIFT has chosen to migrate its MT messages to.
CBPR+ / MT-MX co-existenceSWIFTBanks and CorporatesCross-Border Payments and Reporting Plus (CBPR+) group is the SWIFT working group which defines the market practices and message mappings in migration from MT to MX.
gpiSWIFTBanks and CorporatesSWIFT global payments innovation (gpi) initiative ensures that customer credit transfers are processed faster, with greater transparency regarding fees, and with full end-to-end tracking. The SWIFT gpi has a specific rulebook, which must be followed by the banks who belong into the gpi closed user group.

Commonly-used international standards

The financial services industry uses a wealth of other standards governed by various bodies to send and receive financial messages.

Standard / InitiativeOwnerStakeholdersPurpose and use
ISO 8583ISOBanks, merchants and CorporatesISO 8583 is the international standard for financial transaction card (such as credit card) originated messaging. However, many real-time payment schemes (for credit transfers) still use this standard for interbank transactions.
EDI / X12 FINAccredited Standards Committee X12Banks and CorporatesEDI X12 messages and files are often used to submit data between corporates and banks.
EDIFACTUNBanks and CorporatesUnited Nations/Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport (UN/EDIFACT) is the international EDI standard developed under the United Nations. Not used often in payments, but in other areas in financial services integration to bank partners.
NextGenPSD2 Access to Account (XS2A) FrameworkBerlin GroupBanks, Fintechs, CorporatesThe NextGenPSD2 Framework offers a modern, open, harmonised and interoperable set of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) as the safest and most efficient way to provide data securely.
UK Open BankingUK Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE)Banks and CorporatesUK Open Banking is the PSD2 API implementation standard for United Kingdom. Open Banking specifies a single Access to Account API that must be implemented by all regulated banks.
AfinisNACHABanks and CorporatesAfinis Interoperability Standards works to advance API standardization and other financial services standards that enhance the efficiency and security of today’s modern financial industry.
PeppolOpenPEPPOLBanks and CorporatesPEPPOL (Pan European Public eProcurement On-Line) is a set of technical specifications that can be implemented in existing eProcurement solutions and eBusiness exchange services to make them interoperable between disparate systems across Europe. PEPPOL enables trading partners to exchange standards-based electronic documents over the PEPPOL network. These documents include e-Orders, e-Advance Shipping Notes, eInvoices, eCatalogues, Message Level Responses, etc. Peppol messaging is based on UBL.

National standards

Historically, many countries and jurisdictions have defined their own market practices for financial messaging. Some of these national standards will eventually be migrated to ISO 20022, but are and will remain widely in use in the industry.

Standard / InitiativeOwner and CountryStakeholdersPurpose
US ACH (NACHA)NACHA, United StatesBanks, The Clearinghouse EPNACH payments are one of the most popular methods for funds transfers in the United States. The standard for related financial messaging is governed by NACHA, the National Automated Clearing House Association. The actual processing and settlement is handle by The Clearinghouse and Federal Reserve. ACH payments can be any type of financial transactions for consumers, businesses, and federal, state, and local governments.
FedWireFederal Reserve System, United StatesBanks and Federal Reserve SystemFedwire (formerly known as the Federal Reserve Wire Network) is a real-time gross settlement funds transfer system operated by the United States Federal Reserve Banks that allows financial institutions to electronically transfer funds between its participants.
BAI 1, 2, 3ASC X9Banks and CorporatesBAI-file formats are cash management balance reporting specifications. They are widely in use especially in United States, even though there is a next generation reporting standard called the Balance Transaction Reporting Standard (BTRS).
BRTSASC X9Banks and CorporatesBRTS is a cash management balance reporting specification that was created to align with ISO 20022.
Bulk Interac e-TransferInterac Corp, CanadaBanks and CorporatesInterac is a Canadian interbank network that links financial institutions and other enterprises for the purpose of exchanging electronic financial transactions. Bulk Interac e-Transfer service allows a business to send funds to multiple recipients within one financial transaction.
Standard 005
(CPA 005 or AFT standard)
Payments Canada (CPA)Banks and Payments CanadaStandard 005 defines the file format for electronic funds transfers in Canada using the Automated Funds Transfer system managed by Payments Canada, the national clearinghouse organisation in Canada (formerly known as Canadian Payments Association).
ZelleZelle Inc, United StatesBanks and Corporates
BACSpay.UK, United KingdomBanks and pay.UKBacs payment schemes are the automated payment methods in United Kingdom: Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit. Bacs file format standard is managed by the Bacs organisation which belongs to pay.UK, the company set up to run run the payment schemes in United Kingdom.
CRESTCREST, United KingdomCREST, Banks and Bank of EnglandCREST is a central securities depository in United Kingdom. CREST message standard is a proprietary message standard containing messages for reconciliation and reporting of securities transactions.
Faster Payments (FPS)pay.UK, United KingdomBanksFaster Payments Service is a near-real time payment method in United Kingdom. FPS file format standard is managed by the FPS organisation which belongs to pay.UK, the company set up to run run the payment schemes in United Kingdom.
FinvoiceFinance FinlandBanks and CorporatesFinvoice is the electronic invoice message standard in Finland. Finvoice is governed by Finance Finland.

Other standards and proprietary data formats supported

Standard / InitiativeScheme owner and CountryStakeholdersPurpose and use
JSON / SwaggerN/ABanks and CorporatesJavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a standard data interchange file format, that uses human-readable text to store and transmit data objects consisting of attribute–value pairs and array data types (or any other serializable value). Commonly used in banking APIs.

Swagger allows to describe the structure of API(s) so that machines can read them. Swagger can be represented either in JSON or YAML format (it’s possible to convert from one to another).

iDocSAPBanks and CorporatesIDoc is a file format for business transaction data transfers created by SAP AG. Commonly used in banking for carrying financial messages, such as payment instructions, from a SAP ERP system used by a large corporation to bank’s channels.
CSVN/ABanks and CorporatesMany banks and corporates exchange data as proprietary comma-separate value messages in files.
Fixed-length message file formatN/ABanks and CorporatesMany banks and corporates exchange data as proprietary fixed length value messages in files.