What is ISO 20022 Standard?

The ISO 20022 Standard defines a methodology for the development of financial message standards. It relies on UML (Unified Modeling Language) models representing financial business processes and  transactions in a neutral notation. These business transaction models can be converted into physical messages in the desired syntax, like XML (eXtensible Mark-up Language). 

The standard is fully described in the document "ISO 20022 Financial Services - UNIversal Financial Industry message scheme".   It includes five parts:

  • ISO 20022-1: Overall methodology and format specifications for inputs to and outputs from the ISO 20022 Repository
  • ISO 20022-2: Roles and responsibilities of the registration bodies
  • ISO/TS 20022-3: Technical Specification - ISO 20022 modelling guidelines
  • ISO/TS 20022-4: Technical Specification - ISO 20022 XML design rules
  • ISO/TS 20022-5: Technical Specification - ISO 20022 reverse engineering
Thus, the ISO 20022 standard provides the financial industry with a common platform for the development of messages in a standardized XML syntax, using a modelling methodology based on UML to capture in a syntax-independent way financial business areas, business transactions and associated message flows. It also provides a set of XML design rules to convert the messages described in UML into XML schemas.
All business items and definitions used by Financial Institutions in their business transactions, the resulting models and derived messages are stored in a central Financial Repository maintained by ISO. This diagram depicts the main ISO 20022 repository components and their relationships:

The official ISO 20022 website is www.ISO20022.org.