SWIFT or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication provides a network to allow financial and non-financial institutions (e.g. corporates) to transfer financial transactions through a 'financial message'.
Currently SWIFT's network can support the following message standards:
SWIFT messages, developed by SWIFT Standards Laboratories Private Limited, consist of five blocks of data including three headers, message content, and a trailer. Message types are crucial to identifying content. All SWIFT messages include the literal "MT" (Message Type). This is followed by a 3-digit number that denotes the message category, group and type. Consider the following example, which is an order to buy or sell via a third party:
- Example MT304
The first digit (3) represents the category. A category denotes messages that relate to particular financial instruments or services such as Precious Metals (6), Treasury (3), or Travelers Cheques (8). The category denoted by 3 is Treasury Markets.
The second digit (0) represents a group of related parts in a transaction life cycle. The group indicated by 0 is a Financial Institution Transfer.
The third digit (4) is the type that denotes the specific message. There are several hundred message types across the categories. The type represented by 4 is a notification.
Overview of SWIFT MT Categories:
|MT1xx||Customer Payments and Cheques|
|MT2xx||Financial Institution Transfers|
|MT4xx||Collection and Cash Letters|
|MT6xx||Treasury Markets - Metals and Syndications|
|MT7xx||Documentary Credits and Guarantees|
|MT9xx||Cash Management and Customer Status|
ISO 15022 MT
Although ISO 15022 Message Types are different in their structure than the SWIFT MT, the naming convention remains the same. The following example will illustrate:
- Example. MT 307
As with SWIFT MTs, the first digit (3) denotes the category. As above, this denotes Treasury Markets.
As with SWIFT MTs, the second digit (0) represents a group of related parts in a transaction life cycle. The group indicated by 0 is a Financial Institution Transfer.
Finally, the third digit (7) denotes the specific message. In this case, similar to the MT 304, the 7 denotes ‘Notification’. The SWIFT MT 304 and the ISO 15022 MT 307 are equal but were created for different financial groups using different standards.
ISO 20022 MX
A new message type expressed in XML syntax, which is more flexible and easier to implement than the previous generation of message types (MT). These message types are developed in accordance with ISO 20022 standard.
Current syntax is as following: xxxx.nnn.aaa.bb — xxxx is an alphabetic code in four positions (fixed length) identifying the Business Process, — nnn is an alphanumeric code in three positions (fixed length) identifying the Message Functionality, — aaa is a numeric code in three positions (fixed length) identifying a particular flavour (variant) of Message Functionality, — bb is a numeric code in two positions (fixed length) identifying the version.
Consider the following example: TREA.001.001.02
- TREA refers to ‘Treasury’
- 001 refers to ‘NDF opening (notification)’
- 001 refers to the variant
- 02 refers to the version message format, in this case version 2 of ‘NDF opening’ type.
SWIFT Standards for MX Messages:
|pacs.xxx.xxx.xx||Payments Clearing and Settlement|
|tsmt.xxx.xxx.xx||Trade Services Management|