NACHA Releases White Paper: “Introduction to ISO 20022 for U.S. Financial Institutions”

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Paper explores the ISO 20022 landscape while combatting myths about the global standard as it relates to payments

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The purpose of this white paper is to provide clarity regarding the promises, strategies, myths and roadblocks for ISO 20022 and payments.

NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association® announced today that it has released a white paper, “Introduction to ISO 20022 for U.S. Financial Institutions,” to shed light on the standard’s practices and opportunities in the U.S. and global payments landscape, and to dispel myths surrounding what use of this standard can and cannot support.

ISO 20022 is the standard for financial service messaging used to describe business processes, such as payments, developed by the International Organization for Standardization, an international standards-setting body. As a leader in bringing a broad set of industry participants together to agree on payment-related rules and standards, NACHA has taken a key role in providing dialogue, education and analysis about ISO 20022 so ACH Network users may understand the standard and its implications for the payments industry.

“The purpose of this white paper is to provide clarity regarding the promises, strategies, myths and roadblocks for ISO 20022 and payments,” said George Throckmorton, Managing Director of Network Development for NACHA. “Issuing the paper is part of NACHA’s ongoing efforts to meet the needs of the present by providing industry tools and solutions to assist with ISO 20022 ACH integration while preparing for the future by continuing to monitor, explore and engage with market participants around the possibility of ISO 20022 ACH conversion.”

The emerging status of ISO 20022 as a perceived international payments standard, coupled with early adopter actions in major global markets, is driving a frenzied dialogue among financial institutions, businesses and related providers. In this setting, there is a lot of confusion about what it is and what it means for the ACH Network.

“Having worked on ISO 20022 conversion for the U.S. wire system as well as consulted extensively on ISO 20022 in the ACH Network, I have witnessed firsthand the misconceptions about the message standard. This paper serves as a resource to educate the industry and support its adoption,” says Nasreen Quibria, managing director of Q Insights and author of the paper.

The white paper offers best practice guidance for interim steps to integrate the current ACH formats with the ISO 20022 message standard, as well as illustrates the benefits and challenges of converting current ACH formats to ISO 20022 messages for U.S. Network transactions.

To download a copy of the white paper, visit the ISO 20022 Resource Center on NACHA’s website at https://www.nacha.org/ISOresources. The Resource Center features programs, ACH integration tools and educational resources to better inform the U.S. payments industry about the message standard. It also provides the option to submit an ISO 20022-related question to NACHA experts.    

NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association
Since 1974, NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association has served as trustee of the ACH Network, managing the development, administration and rules for the payment network that universally connects all 12,000 financial institutions in the U.S. The Network, which moves money and information directly from one bank account to another, supports more than 90 percent of the total value of all electronic payments in the U.S. Through its collaborative, self-governing model, education, and inclusive engagement of ACH Network participants, NACHA facilitates the expansion and diversification of electronic payments, supporting Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH transactions, including ACH credit and debit payments, recurring and one-time payments; government, consumer and business transactions; international payments, and payments plus payment-related information. Through NACHA’s expertise and leadership, the ACH Network is now one of the largest, safest, and most reliable systems in the world, creating value and enabling innovation for all participants. Visit nacha.org for more information.

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Kendra Beasley
NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association
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