On 25 September 2019, the Bank of England (BoE) published an update on the UK payments industry’s move to ISO 20022 – a common language standard for world-wide payments data. As outlined in a joint response to its consultation on the adoption of ISO 20022 in November 2018, the BoE’s approach to the implementation of ISO 20022 in CHAPS consists of three phases: the preparatory phase (phase 1), the introductory phase (phase 2) and the enhanced phase (phase 3).

In light of recent market developments and feedback, the BoE is currently revisiting its approach to the introductory phase of the migration, specifically around the early adoption of “enhanced” data. Consequently, the BoE has published a document setting out two options for the implementation of this phase:

  • option 1: continue with its current approach, that is to introduce a separate, optional, closed user group for direct participants that wish to send enhanced data between one another; or
  • option 2: an alternative approach that would allow any direct participant to send enhanced data if they were ready to do so.

The BoE states that it will indicate at a later date its proposed method of validating enhanced data content under the selected option. These options include performing no data validation, rejecting non-compliant messages or accepting all messages and providing regular reports to direct participants on validity.

The deadline to submit feedback on the options is 16 October 2019. Following receipt of this feedback, the BoE expects to communicate its final decision on its approach alongside the publication of like-for-like schemas and guidance at the end of 2019.