A group of industry bodies (including clearing houses, banks and payments associations) organised by the UK Payments Council met recently to look at delivering the harmonisation of market practices to achieve global interoperability of real-time payments systems within the framework of the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

A target of producing an initial variant of ISO 20022 usage guidelines for real-time payments before the summer has been set.

What this means for you?

ISO 20022 is the international standard that defines the ISO platform for the development of financial message standards. The development of a common standard which is focused on interoperability (that is, effectively the efficient exchange of information) will be of interest to financial institutions which want to streamline their communication infrastructure through the adoption of a uniform language for financial communications. Proposals are at an early stage but could bring efficiency savings on a wide scale if agreement can be reached.