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Sibos 2017 Toronto

Structured ordering and beneficiary customer data in payments

16 October 2017

As of 2020, SWIFT – the global financial messaging network – will only allow structured ordering and beneficiary data for payments. Unstructured addresses will no longer be possible. What is the industry to do?

On Saturday, 14 October 2017, in the run up to Sibos 2017 in Toronto, the SWIFT Payments Market Practice Group’s (PMPG) Annual Forum took place. 

The Annual Forum’s objectives
With the Annual Forum, the SWIFT PMPG sets out to educate the global payments community on industry and ecosystem trends. In addition, the SWIFT PMPG gathers feedback from payment community leaders on where the industry needs to focus next.


A fully packed agenda
Boris Brunner, Head Business Development & Operations, SIX Interbank Clearing, was a guest at this year’s Annual Forum. “The agenda was packed full with interesting topics. For SIX Interbank Clearing, the agenda item on structured client data was of the highest interest”, explained Boris Brunner right after the Annual Forum.

Structured ordering and beneficiary customer data in payments
As a panelist for the first topic at this year’s Annual Forum: Structured ordering and beneficiary customer data in payments, Boris Brunner made it clear that the changes taking place are an opportunity to improve quality and efficiency for compliance screening. “As of 2020, SWIFT will only allow structured ordering and beneficiary data for payments. This sounds like a small technical change; in fact, it will be a huge challenge for corporates, banks and financial market infrastructures in order to adapt their static data”, explained Boris Brunner.

Switzerland will be ready – for sure!
Boris Brunner represented the view of a financial market infrastructure (FMI). As Switzerland is currently leading an extensive harmonization program and is doing a fully-fledged end-to-end migration to ISO 20022 until 2018 (which makes it the first country in the world), structured client data will be taken into account and will be in place for domestic payments traffic. 

For cross-border payments, a dedicated taskforce under SIX Interbank Clearing’s lead has already analyzed the impact of the structured client data. They will come up with recommendations about Switzerland’s implementation and its roadmap in due course.

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