A new messaging standard for UK payments: ISO 20022

Using data to increase harmonisation, innovation and resilience

Payments data in the UK is changing

The UK payments industry is moving to ISO 20022, the emerging global standard for payments messaging. This standard creates a common language for payments data across the globe.

Better data in payments promises to deliver significant long-term benefits for the economy. To adapt to the new messaging standard and accompanying data requirements, your organisation might have to make process and technology changes.

Read our fact sheet on ISO 20022 for more background Opens in a new window and see how we are collaborating with Pay.UK on ISO 20022 payment messages Opens in a new window.

Our timelines and approach

The RTGS Renewal Programme has consulted with CHAPS Direct Participants, other central banks and members of the payments industry on its plans for ISO 20022 migration.

Following industry wide consultation and an impact assessment, the Programme is now able to confirm a revised approach to ISO 20022 migration:

  • (TS2): The Bank will migrate the CHAPS payments messages to ISO 20022 in 2022; however the implementation date will move from April to June. From June 2022, the Bank will require all CHAPS Direct Participants to send and receive like-for-like ISO 20022 payment messages (pacs.008, pacs.009 (/COV) and pacs.004) using the like-for-like schemas. ISO messaging will be on a like-for-like basis only at this point (enhanced data will not be permitted). Migration to ISO 20022 messaging in 2022 remains critical for ensuring that the Bank is able to introduce the new RTGS2 core ledger and settlement engine, and decommission the existing RTGS system in 2023.  
  • (TS2.1): From February 2023; on the basis that the SWIFT correspondent banking network will migrate to ISO 20022 (with enhanced data enabled) in November 2022, the Bank will require all CHAPS Direct Participants to receive enhanced ISO 20022 payment messages and at a minimum continue to send like-for-like messages, using the enhanced schemas. DPs will be able to send enhanced messages, but will not be mandated to do so. The like-for-like schemas and rules will be forward compatible with the enhanced schemas and the like-for-like schemas will be decommissioned at this point. 
  • (TS3): The Bank will then introduce the new RTGS2 core ledger and settlement engine in September 2023, around six months later than previously announced. At this point CHAPS Direct Participants must continue to be able to receive enhanced messages, as under TS2.1. There will be a further announcement confirming the approach to mandating the population of enhanced data. We do not currently expect to mandate enhanced data before 2024.

Detail on the Bank’s ISO 20022 approach can be found in ISO 20022 revised approach and final schemas.

Technical Resources for ISO 20022 CHAPS migration

Start to get your organisation ready for ISO 20022 CHAPS migration and find out more information on the CHAPS messages and MyStandards Readiness Portal by accessing our technical resources.

CHAPS ISO 20022 approach and final documentation 

On 28 October 2020, the Bank published the CHAPS & RTGS ISO 20022 migration: revised approach and final schemas document. This is the new baseline document that stakeholders, such as CHAPS Direct Participants and RTGS account holders, should refer to as part of ISO 20022 migration. 

In conjunction with this document, the final CHAPS ISO 20022 schemas Technical Guidance and Change Log are now available on MyStandards Opens in a new window. The Bank has incorporated feedback received from stakeholders following an Industry Review (July 2020) of the draft enhanced schemas.  

You must get your organisation ready for ISO 20022 CHAPS migration, find more information on the CHAPS messages and MyStandards Opens in a new window Readiness Portal by accessing our technical resources page.

Policy Statement: Implementing ISO 20022 Enhanced Data in CHAPS

On 3 December 2020, the Bank published the Policy Statement: Implementing ISO 20022 Enhanced Data in CHAPS. Providing further information regarding the introduction of Purpose Codes, LEIs, Remittance Data, Structured Addresses and the Extended Character Set in ISO 20022 messaging.


Benefits of ISO 20022



ISO 20022 can adapt more easily than current messaging standards. So it’s more responsive to changes in the economy, emerging technologies and innovation.


Over 70 countries have already adopted ISO 20022, so messages will be harmonised with payment systems around the world.

Compliance and regulation

Richer data will make it easier for businesses to detect fraud and help target financial crime.


ISO 20022 will be used across many payment systems. This improves resilience by allowing re-routing of messages which reduces the impact of outages on users.

Enriched data

More data can be carried. It enables more detailed and better structured reference information.

Competition and innovation

More flexibility means more competition and innovation in the financial sector. Better data may lead to product innovation.

Straight-through processing

Less need for banks to make manual interventions. Potentially fewer delays for the end customer.


Enriched data will improve analytics. More efficient data collection may improve the decision making.

Who we are engaging with and why

Financial institutions

Financial institutions are core users of the high value payment system.


Corporates use high value payments for buying supplies and paying tax.

Payment industry technology providers

ISO 20022 will need changes to be implemented in payment systems.

Trade bodies and industry groups

The members of many trade bodies and interest groups will be affected by the changes.

Solicitors and conveyancers

Solicitors and conveyancers use high value payments for property transactions.

How to contact us

For enquires of a technical nature, please see our Technical Resources or contact rtgsreadiness@bankofengland.co.uk.

For all general enquiries, speaker engagements and communication please contact rtgsengagement@bankofengland.co.uk.

This page was last updated 22 December 2020

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