India’s International Seminar on Adoption of ISO 20022 for NG-RTGS


For the next two days, the biggest names in the Indian Payment Industry and distinguished guests from abroad will be in Reserve Bank of India’s College of Agricultural Banking (CAB) in Pune, attending International Seminar on ‘Adoption of ISO 20022 Messaging Standards for RTGS’.

In India the switch over to ‘ISO 20022 Messaging Standards for RTGS’, is expected to happen by December 2013.

A galaxy of eminent Payment Experts will be putting across their view points. The eminent speakers and panelists have been drawn from the European Central Bank, ISO 20022 Forum, Deutsche Bundesbank, Central Bank of Brazil and South African Reserve Bank.

It is an acknowledged fact that Standards make things simpler. Standards help machines to quickly communicate with each other, reduce risk, and reduce cost. The best example of Standards in the Digital Era is the ‘Microsoft Office’.

Yes, alternates have to be present to reduce dependence on one Product/Standard. Over a period of time, the alternates co-exist with the recognized Standards.

ISO is the International Organization for Standardization. It has a membership of 161 national standards bodies (NSBs) from countries large and small, industrialized, developing and in transition, in all regions of the world.

ISO 20022 was developed and is maintained by ISO/TC 68, the ISO technical committee responsible for standardization in the field of banking, securities and other financial services.

A very brief update of the present status of ISO 20022.

The ISO 20022 standard began in the early 2000s just after the Y2K period, to facilitate the development of coordinated financial messages using newer technologies like the extensible markup language (XML). The year 2005 saw the adoption of the first ISO 20022 message.

ISO 20022 is not only payments but also the future Standards for eInvoicing and eBam. This will make it more financially viable for corporates to invest in ISO 20022 IT infrastructure.

ISO 20022 is not only for low value transactions, but also for high value transactions. RTGS in India is for high value transactions only. Japan’s high value and low value payment platforms are already on ISO 200222 standards. Russia too is building its new domestic debit card scheme around ISO 200222 standards. China and Brazil too have joined the ISO 20022 bandwagon. In the initial period, they would be adopting only certain ISO 200222 messages.

And still they come – the Canadian Payments Association is proposing an adoption timetable for ISO 20022 to begin in 2016 and be completed by 2020. Similarly most submissions to the Reserve Bank of Australia‘s payment system review support the adoption of ISO 20022 with the only real area of divergence being in the standard adoption strategy.


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