Newly benchmarked standards on SWIFT have caused many financial institutions to enhance their wire funds transfer controls.

Alan Cheung (Director), Risk & Regulatory Advisory Services for Accume Partners offer key highlights from the recent SWIFT CSP Program.


Many institutions are adopting the changes with SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) Standards MT (Message Type) Release in 2020 related to payment data management. This means removing free-format message options for fields 50 and 59 from the MT 103 and related messages to ensure that payer and beneficiary data is systematically captured and exchanged in a structured format.

As a first line of defense, banks and financial institutions must adapt and comply with screening detailed information (i.e., full name, address) when ordering customers and beneficiaries on wire fund transfers. To comply with the increasing regulations by 2020, businesses are mandated to screen against regulatory published lists of sanctioned entities on upcoming changes with SWIFT Standard MT that enables customers to clearly define which counterparties are allowed to transact. In addition, the new SWIFT structured formats will further increase security in countering against cyber threats that have been negatively impacting banks and financial institutions for the last several years.