What is ISO 20022 and What Does it Mean for Your Credit Union?

April 7, 2021

In October of 2020, we announced our implementation in production of the ISO 20022 standard, an open standard that allows us to be an integration leader in Canada.

As Celero works to develop our digital ecosystem, it is integral that our integration platform, Celero Xchange™, supports global standards to allow us and our customers to partner with world-class fintech providers and integrate them with Canadian credit unions.

But what exactly is ISO 20022 and why does it matter for credit unions? We explore that below to define not only what it is, but what it will mean for the industry in the long term.

Understanding ISO 20022

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides proprietary, industrial and commercial standards for industries around the world. Founded in 1946, ISO’s mission is to provide international standards to solve global challenges.

ISO 20022 is a data model and messaging standard that supports:

  • Payments
  • Securities
  • Funds
  • Foreign exchange trading
  • Credit card sectors

The 20022 standard provides the opportunity for payments to be enabled by rich data, unlocking capabilities that would be much more difficult to implement without this common data model, including real-time payments, cross-border use cases, improved settlement processing and increased compliance quality. This international standard is available to anyone and relies on global support and feedback from the industry. Adopting a global standard such as ISO 20022 is key to remaining a digital leader in the payments industry.


Why did Celero Select ISO 20022?

As Celero Xchange is a standards-agnostic platform, we strive to set ourselves apart in the global standards discussion and select standards that will be most beneficial to our integration platform and the credit unions we support. One of the key components that intrigued us about ISO 20022 was the data-rich nature of the standard. We understand that data-driven decisions are essential for credit unions to help them improve member experience.

The growing trend of open banking continues to be a hot topic within the Canadian financial industry. With all eyes on the U.K. implementation, Canadians are excited about the changes open banking would bring to our industry. The U.K. and others around the world are currently using the ISO 20022 standard, and there is a high level of global support and dedication. This was also a major factor in our decision to adopt the standard.

Although this standard has been adopted around the globe by many multinational organizations, Celero Xchange’s adoption makes Celero an early adopter in the Canadian market. Through being an early adopter, Celero Xchange is positioned to support Canadian credit unions with the changes of open banking.

Two  colleages discussing ideas using a tablet and computer

What Does This Standard Mean for Canadian Credit Unions?

The ISO 20022 standard is an integral element of Celero digital ecosystem and its support to credit unions. Payments Canada has also selected the ISO 20022 standard to enable its payments modernization initiatives, and is the underpinning of new capabilities in the near term such as Interac Instant. As the standard is international and being adopted by multinational organizations, Canadian credit unions now have access to this global conversation. Overall, the adoption of this standard helps Canadian credit unions to further fit into the global economy.

As credit unions continue to develop their data collection and analyze it in new ways, we are quickly learning that data-driven decisions are essential to the future of financial institutions. The ISO 20022 standard provides credit unions with a much deeper understanding of member transactions and payments data. This is this data that credit unions can directly use to improve members experience and reach their organizational goals. In addition to receiving a better understanding of transaction data, credit unions can take advantage of ISO 20022’s ability to support a stronger data strategy in the future.

Although Canada has yet to adopt open banking, it is no secret that it will play an important role in the future of the global industry. With Celero Xchange’s adoption of the ISO 20022 standard, we are able to provide credit unions with a global standard and are well prepared for the future of open banking.


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What is ISO 20022 and What Does it Mean for Your Credit Union?