ISO 20022: Information about migration for corporates

What switching to the new payment standard means and how you should prepare for it. 1

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The switch to XML-based formats will standardise financial messaging around the globe: with the start of SEPA in Europe, the migration is now proceeding on an international scale. The new ISO 20022 standard covers the entire payment processing chain, ensuring greater efficiency and security, particularly for international payments. You should initiate all the necessary steps for ISO 20022 migration now, because major adjustments must be completed by November 2025 at the latest, with the entire process completed by November 2026. We will gladly support you along the way.

Prerequisites for the ISO 20022 migration

As a new, comprehensive messaging standard, ISO 20022 has a major impact on processes and accounting systems: for instance, it will bring changes to electronic account statements and the way they are processed. Some prerequisites are needed for this purpose:

  • Software updates are required for all relevant systems (treasury management, electronic banking, accounting).
  • Interfaces between various systems will be readjusted.
  • SEPA must be updated to the latest version.
  • Master data should be reviewed, and if required, updated and supplemented with additional data.
  • The format of the payment transaction files must be adapted.

All these steps are important and require careful planning. Organisations that fail to migrate to ISO 20022 on time will potentially face significant restrictions.
You can find all the basic technical information about the migration here.

New formats for all account information

Account information, such as account statements or transaction overviews, will no longer be delivered in MT format (MT94X) as before, but in camt format (camt.05X).

Information and data will be provided in a fundamentally different structure than before, meaning that downstream processing will be adapted accordingly.

Would you like to find out more? We have compiled more detailed information in our handout about the new ISO 20022 formats for account information.

Payment methods: pain (“payment initiation”) messages and international transfers

Since SEPA transfers already use a XML format, only an update to the latest pain version is required. The biggest changes will affect international transfers, also involving a changeover to the "pain.001" message type. The latest pain version facilitates the use of structured address fields as well as more diverse and complex information in payment transactions. Our publication “Payment methods and payment transactions with ISO 20022” provides more detailed information.

Please note that the conversion of unstructured addresses in international payments to the new formats must be completed by November 2026 at the latest.

Please use our self-check to determine your need for action and derive the resulting measures.

Communications between the Bank and Client

The change of data formats will also result in changes in the communications between the Bank and the clients. New EBICS order types have been introduced, which are used for transfers. In addition, the transfer protocol will change from text format (PTK) to XML (pain.002). You can find all the information here.

Who is involved in ISO 20022 Migration?

To ensure your success in ISO 20022 migration, all involved parties need to cooperate:

  • All relevant departments within the company, such as Finance/Accounting, HR and IT
  • Your software vendors
  • Your payment transaction service providers
  • Your business partners
  • Third-party banks

Every party involved should be informed promptly and taken into account in your planning.

ISO 20022: transition benefits

The transition to ISO 20022 offers many benefits for your business. In the new standard, all information on transactions, account statements or fees is provided in electronic format. This means that you will receive more information about each payment order, along with more details concerning the post-processing of incoming payments. Transferring more detailed and structured information in financial messaging will enhance processing speed and efficiency, as well as reduce risks.

This is how we assist you in the ISO 20022 migration

We are your competent partner for all changes and new features.

  • We are happy to support your migration project upon request, as well as provide a format checker.
  • Sample files and information, such as files in camt format as well as data format specifications, will guide you through the transition.
  • We will provide you with the necessary buffering time during the migration, enabling you to use old and new formats in parallel during this phase.
  • Global Payment Plus is adjusted automatically by the bank.

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    The information listed applies to Commerzbank accounts in Germany