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ISO 20022: A delay is not a vacation

‘It’s just kicking the can down the road’ is a phrase my parents often used when it came to a delayed exam date. While I would kick off my shoes, relax and watch some TV they would remind me that ‘this is not a reason for a holiday’ and encourage me to keep on studying. Being better prepared and taking the postponement as an opportunity rather than a time for recreation was what they strongly believed in.

Swift has given the industry a similar respite to the type I enjoyed at times in my teens when an ill teacher meant an exam was postponed. In this instance, however, Swift delayed the ISO 20022 MT to MX migration period for all users to 20 March 2023.

An opportune time to relax?

Over the past months we have worked with multiple clients to meet the looming November 2022 deadline and through our collaborative efforts we were on track.

However, since the announcement to postpone it our clients have relayed how things have significantly slowed down. This is not necessarily because of their internal efforts, but because of a slowdown of feedback from testing with corresponding banks. It seems the industry, like a laidback teenager, has got a bit distracted and considered this four month extension as a ‘break’.

Swift was originally expected to roll out full support for ISO 20022 in November 2022. It’s now promised there won’t be any further delay. Swift has stressed that there is “strong momentum across the industry to implement and gain value from ISO 20022 rich data, so the revised start date of 20 March 2023 will be definitive”. Just like my parents, they’ve encouraged the industry to keep on preparing.

A call to action

Here at Andile we’re calling on our clients (in fact, the entire industry) not to be complacent. As it’s November and the sun is shining there’s a temptation to get wrapped up by the end of year festivities. Who now, after all, wants to talk about ISO compliance instead of the end of year party or that beach vacation to Cape Town?

But we all know what this kind of complacency results in. It ends up in a mad, frenetic dash to the finish line – or in my case desperately studying into the early morning hours. It will mean that all the rest gained over the summer break and festive period will be quickly replaced by the stress of meeting deadlines.

Wouldn’t it be better to spread the ‘pain’ and ensure that your return to the office is not met with dread at the thought of ‘all that hard work’ that’s needed in the run up to the March deadline?

Kicking this can down the road will result in a bottleneck of corresponding bank testing in Q1 2023. So don’t see this postponement as a a vacation. See it as an opportunity to catch up and give yourself a well-deserved, easy ‘return to work’ gift. If you’re unsure about how to keep up the momentum, speak to Andile today to see how we can help you to ensure you make the March 2023 date.