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 and see how we are collaborating with Pay.UK on ISO 20022 payment messages.

Our timelines and approach

We are basing our renewed Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) service, including CHAPS payments, on ISO 20022 messaging. This will enable us to enhance the information carried with a payments message.

In July 2020, we communicated a change in our migration approach for CHAPS messages to Direct Participants. We will go-live with ISO 20022 in April 2022 as currently planned, but on a ‘like-for-like’ basis, to help Direct Participants manage the issues of truncation ahead of SWIFT’s adoption of ISO 20022 in late 2022.

We will then enable enhanced data to be sent and received during the first half of 2023. We are undertaking further analysis on whether this should occur before or after the planned cutover to the new core settlement engine in April 2023, and to understand any implications for our delivery plan. We will publish an update and supporting documentation in September 2020.

If you would like email updates about our RTGS Renewal programme, please contact: RTGSEngagement@bankofengland.co.uk.

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.

Industry Review of the CHAPS enhanced ISO 20022 messages

In July 2020 we published an Industry Review of the CHAPS enhanced ISO 20022 messages to seek detailed feedback on: 

  • the near-final enhanced ISO 20022 message schema, ahead of the publication of the final version in September 2020, and 
  • our work so far to progress the policy objectives that will be delivered via ISO 20022 messaging such as Legal Entity Identifiers and Purpose Codes. 

The deadline for comments has now closed, and we will be publishing the final CHAPS enhanced schemas in September 2020. This will be followed by an update on related policy objectives. 

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.

Globe with arrows


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.

Magnifying glass with data in background

Enriched data

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

Light bulb

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.

People around table


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

Phone with circles connected

Payment industry technology providers

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

Group of three people

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

Please contact rtgsengagement@bankofengland.co.uk with any questions.

This page was last updated 10 August 2020
Was this page useful?
Add your details...