SWIFT MX – payment format of the future

The transformation of international payments is progressing in large steps. The pressure on financial institutions to meet the continuously increasing demand for information is enormous. The migration to the ISO 20022 format is the logical consequence. Payments systems in many countries are already implementing the standard. The changeover to ISO 20022 for cross-border payments and reporting (CBPR+) including a coexistence period with MT messages until November 2025, has long since begun.

ISO 20022 – the standard in international payments

Major market infrastructures are renewing their high-value payments systems and relying on ISO 20022 in doing so. SWIFT also replaces its existing MT messages with ISO-compliant payments and messages (SWIFT MX). However, in contrast to the Eurosystem, this is done gradually.

Tasks for all market participants: SWIFT MX

The working group Cross-Border Payments and Reporting Plus (CBPR+), which was founded specifically for this purpose, defines common guidelines for the use of ISO 20022 for cross-border payments. The work of the CBPR group is based on the Payments Market Practice Group (PMPG) guidelines High-Value System Plus (HVPS+), which serve as a common basis for the ISO 20022 specifications of the major operators. The latter include the US Federal Reserve, The Clearing House, The Bank of England, EBA CLEARING and the Eurosystem. 
This project has great international significance and affects all market participants. The payments infrastructure will be standardised, and the financial institutions will have the opportunity to holistically check and adapt all business processes. To facilitate the migration from MT to SWIFT MX and thus to ISO 20022, there will be a phase of coexistence.

Centralised conversion

In addition, a new, central payment transaction platform, Transaction Manager (TM), is being introduced. Financial institutions should be able to send or receive payments using it, regardless of the format or channel. It also provides a central copy of the transaction, the so-called golden copy. This allows financial institutions to switch to the new format at their own pace. Those who wish to send according to SWIFT MX already can do so. Recipients of such a payment must be able to accept a multi-format as a minimum requirement. In addition to the message according to SWIFT MX, it contains the embedded MT message, which has been converted by SWIFT according to predefined rules. This way, institutions can continue to work with an MT format if their internal systems are not yet ISO-ready.

SWIFT and ISO 20022 – many questions, little time

The migration is to be completed in November 2025. By the end of 2025 at the latest, all market participants must have switched their SWIFT connection to ISO 20022. The migration from MT to SWIFT MX affects the entire payments landscape of the financial institution. It is therefore important to look at the issue from an interdisciplinary, cross-system perspective. Even a first selection gives an impression of the abundance and depth of the questions to be clarified in this context:

  • Which systems are affected?
  • Which formats need to be changed?
  • Should a converter be used or should the format adjustment be carried out in one's own systems?
  • Can the current system cope with the new requirements?
  • Do alternative systems still need to be supported and, if so, which ones?
  • By when can these systems be migrated to the new formats?
  • How much time and money will the migration require?

With the products developed by PPI for international payments, financial institutions always stay up to date and find the right answers to difficult questions. TRAVIC-Payment Hub, for example, is based on the ISO 20022 format and is thus optimally prepared for the challenges of the new ISO landscape.

We support you both in the analysis of your payments infrastructure and in the migration from SWIFT MT to SWIFT MX. Together with you, we clarify which adjustments are to be made and work out a schedule tailored to your institution that ensures the smooth continuation of your payments. Get in touch with us – we look forward to it.

Can we assist you?

 Sabine Aigner PPI AG

Sabine Aigner



You might also be interested in

TRAVIC-Payment Hub

With TRAVIC-Payment Hub, PPI currently offers the most modern solution for core processing in Europe payments. Find out more about TRAVIC-Payment Hub here.

Learn more