Skip to main content

ISO® 20022 and instant payments: The basics

Standards are such a big part of our world, it’s easy to forget they exist. Yet standards are the reason you can call or text anyone even if they have a different type of phone or carrier than you. It’s standards that ensure uniform specifications for everything from light bulbs and semiconductor chips to auto parts and ammunitions.

A need for a standard or common “language” in the financial industry is what led the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization to launch its ISO 20022 messaging standard in 2004. Today, financial services organizations in more than 70 countries use it.

ISO 20022 and instant payments

ISO 20022 messages are vital to instant payments and play an important role in the overall modernization of payment processes. They provide a structured and data-rich common language that is readily exchanged among corporates and banking systems. ISO 20022 messages also provide the opportunity for enhanced analytics, which can help organizations offer valuable new levels of payment services to their customers.

FedNowSM Service ISO 20022 message specifications

Broad industry adoption of the ISO 20022 messaging standard and the benefits it provides made it the logical choice for the FedNow Service, the Federal Reserve’s upcoming instant payments platform.

We recently published the ISO 20022 messaging specifications that define the message flows and formats the FedNow Service will use. Those responsible for their organization’s FedNow Service integration, companies preparing to build instant payment products leveraging the FedNow Service and payments processors that will help their clients connect to the FedNow platform should start to familiarize themselves with the FedNow ISO 20022 message specifications.

Read the full blog post for details on how to access the FedNow ISO 20022 message specifications and to learn more about ISO 20022.


“ISO” is a registered service mark of the International Organization for Standardization.