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Better payment flows with ISO 20022, the global standard

ISO 20022 is a global standard that has been introduced to improve payment communication within the financial sector. The aim is to make payments faster, smoother and more secure – both locally and internationally. We recommend that our customers change over to ISO 20022 as soon as possible.

In addition to better payment flows, ISO 20022 offers many benefits for companies, including:

  • More structured and detailed payment and reporting data. It enables accurate, harmonised and automated reconciliation, as well as improved solutions for cash management and forecasting.
  • Streamlined management of payment irregularities – like returns and rejections – irrespective of payment type. This includes better ability to combat fraud and money-laundering.
  •  Support for international and common best practices in payment initiation and reporting processes.
  • Adaptation to international best practices in the payment processes for Swedish companies. The switch to ISO 20022 follows the path that SEPA, UK – and soon international payments market infrastructures – have paved, to harmonise international trade's cash flows.
  • Internationally uniform corporate cash management, regardless of which banks are used. ISO 20022 reuses several other ISO standards and thereby harmonises plenty of data, such as currency codes, IBAN bank accounts, country codes.
  • Instant payments and moving from batch-based to event-driven treasury processes.
  • A boost for innovations in cash management, like request-to-pay, payment tracking and Open Banking.

This is ISO 20022

In somewhat simplified terms, ISO 20022 is a file format that makes it possible to send large amounts of data in a more structured form. It is also a new, globally shared “language” for payments that will make international, regional and local payments faster, safer and more cost-efficient. The format is currently in use in more than 70 countries, but it will take some time before it is adopted worldwide.

  • In Europe ISO 20022 is already being used for European SEPA payments (since 2008).
  • More local and international clearing systems have also set their plans to replace the current SWIFT MT standard with ISO 20022 by the end of 2025.
  • According to the International Organization for Standardization, in the next few years ISO 20022 will be used for 80 per cent of transactions worldwide. 

For decades, banks around the world have been using the SWIFT MT format to exchange electronic messages, such as international payments and queries. But SWIFT MT cannot meet today's requirement for data volume and structured data. This is where ISO 20022 comes into the picture.

ISO 20022 from our perspective 

The future of payments is complex, and ISO 20022 is needed to meet the demands being made by bank customers, authorities and the banking sector itself for payments in real time, 24/7 availability and Open Banking. At the same time, the format switch entails a major change, and introducing the payment structure of the future will require a joint effort.

To move forward with the new standard, we are working the following and other measures

  • Supporting our customers in migrating to ISO 20022
  • Collaborating with various ERP vendors to ensure that their systems can handle the format and that their customers can migrate to ISO 20022
  • Investing in and integrating new technology to future-proof our own payment platform
  • Adopting the timelines that the central banks in the various markets have set and introducing new solutions for real time payments
  • Developing support for safe and secure payments. More structured transaction data also makes it easier to identify irregularities, which benefits the fight against money laundering and fraud.

Prepare for ISO 20022 format

What does this changeover to a new standard mean for corporates, ERP providers and service agencies?


The changeover to ISO 20022 is ongoing worldwide and is advancing on different timelines from country to country. We recommend that our customers change over to ISO 20022 as soon as possible. There are various ways to carry out the change in format. 

  • Contact your ERP vendor or service agency and migrate to ISO 20022 through them.
  • Reach out to your SEB contact if your company wants its own, direct integration channel with the bank.

ERP providers and service agencies

All companies that use file communication or that help other companies with file communication will be impacted by the adoption of ISO 20022. We offer complete integration solutions and collaborate with many different service providers surrounding the change in format. Via the links below you can read more about which integration alternatives are available for you as an ERP vendor or service agency.

Changes for ERP vendors and service agencies

About File Integration Service Providers

Frequently asked questions: Corporations

Credit transfers, corporate customers via the bank’s online service

ISO 20022 standard will be used as the standard payment and reporting format, and will gradually replace existing formats. This also means that the same type of format can be used for all payments regardless of whether they are Swedish or international transactions.

Banks are obligated to specify a name in connection with a transfer, and thus the recipient’s name is required.

For customers that today have paper-based reports for payment details, file-based reporting in the ISO 20022 format will be required.


The ISO 20022 format supports money orders, and we will continue to offer this service until further notice. However, the planning for the new, updated payment infrastructure does not include money orders. In the future you will either have to obtain account information from the payee or contact a bank that offers money orders.

Yes, but they cannot be sent alone for a future date or alone without a debit invoice. They need to be sent together with an invoice that has a CINV or OCR reference (SCOR). The total net amount must be greater than zero