FedNowSM ISO 20022 Working Group Update

The FedNow ISO 20022 Working Group, launched in July, has been collecting feedback from industry stakeholders to inform and refine FedNow ISO 20022 message specifications. To date, the working group has made considerable progress reviewing draft specifications to validate payment message data fields and confirm the messages contain necessary information to support financial institution processes. Release one specifications remain on track to publish in Q1 2021.

The working group is comprised of financial institutions of all sizes, including participants in the private sector instant payment service, processors, aggregators and software providers. Meetings have been held regularly over the past two months to perform a detailed review of the draft message specifications, validate the message flows and confirm individual message implementation guidelines for value and non-value messages. During each workshop, the FedNow team led a line-by-line review of the message elements within the draft specifications to ensure the messages enable the inclusion of information required by financial institutions to support downstream or integrated processes.

Currently, the FedNow team is evaluating suggestions provided by working group participants, such as the way time is represented in ISO 20022 messages (e.g., local time, Coordinated Universal Time, Eastern Standard Time), certain postal address elements and the inclusion of an expiration date in the request for payment message. The working group’s feedback not only helps ensure participants have the information needed to process transactions, but also helps mitigates barriers to interoperability with other instant payment systems.

The FedNow team looks forward to continuing discussions with the working group on topics such as the pacs.009 message, which will be used as the primary message in liquidity management tool transfers, and the use of reason codes across ISO 20022 messages. Participants will also discuss system messages and account reporting messages, which will enable communication with participants, and help participants manage their account balances and reconciliation processes.

After the workshops conclude, the FedNow team will review all proposed changes and modifications to the draft specifications in response to working group feedback. In the coming weeks, the FedNow team will also invite the larger FedNow Community to review draft specifications as they are further refined during Q4. If you are interested in providing feedback on the draft specifications once they become available, please contact SYSFedNowWorkGroup@chi.frb.org.

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