SWIFT says the migration from Message Type (MT) 100 to MT 103 was completed as planned on 15 November. The two messages have operated in parallel over the past three years but now the MT 103 version only will be accepted on the SWIFT network.
"The MT 103 migration is a significant accomplishment for the community," says, Nicola Boothby, MT 103 programme manager. "Everyone managed to get the job done successfully and on time - demonstrating how effective the industry can be when working together toward a shared goal".
Responding to customer requirements to improve credit transfer messages and increase transparency in cross-border payments, SWIFT introduced MT 103 to replace its most widely used message, MT 100, which had reached its technical capacity. The new MT 103 fields require precise completion, which SWIFT claims enable stricter validation, improving automation and STP rates, and reducing message repair costs.
"Moving to MT 103 means that on a worldwide basis, Deutsche Bank will be able to achieve much higher rates of STP with its correspondents," says Ulrich Richter, vice president, Deutsche Bank, Global Banking Division and Global SWIFT Management. "This will have a very positive impact on all aspects of our payments operations. For the last 18 months we have been working with our branch network worldwide to achieve smooth migration to MT 103. SWIFT has supported us well throughout the process."
SWIFT says the European banking industry is currently promoting the MT 103 as the solution to cost pressures introduced by the EU Regulation 2560/2001 on Cross Border Payments in Euro. In parallel, MT 103 meets regulatory requirements worldwide by addressing FATF anti-money laundering recommendations and national regulatory reporting requirements, as well as increasing transparency for compliance with the EC Directive 97/5/EC on Credit Transfers.
"Banks are already seeing the rewards of the STP benefits of MT 103, including the reduction of message costs. With EU legislation set to evolve further, banks need to take full advantage of the STP opportunities," says Boothby.
7,200 customer transfer sending banks were involved in the migration from MT 100 to MT 103 which meant adapting back office applications and systems, as well as end customer information campaigns and staff training.