• Payments
    • Make & Receive Payments

Get to know the new language of payments

  • Article

Join us on HSBC’s ISO journey and discover the benefits it will bring to corporate and institutional customers.

Payments are the beating heart of HSBC. We process 4.5 billion of them a year – that’s 142 every second – in more than 130 currencies. So it’s crucial our processes are as efficient as possible, making it easier for our customers to transact with us.

A new global ‘language’ of high value domestic and international payments for banks was launched in 2023. Called ISO 20022, it upgrades and modernises the structure and content of payment messages used by all banks and market infrastructures globally.

Our ISO journey

For HSBC, ISO 20022 adoption delivers comprehensive, structured, and increased data fields, which in turn will enhance payments journeys for our customers.

Progress in 2023 ensured our robust infrastructure could receive and forward ISO 20022 messages from other banks via Target 2 for Euro, CHAPS for UK, and SWIFT for Cross Border (CBPR+).

Since that delivery in March 2023, our customers have made 28 million payments worth USD 60 trillion using ISO’s new ‘MX’ messaging – that’s one in five of all international payments made with HSBC.

What’s changing?

ISO will allow much richer information to travel with each payment, facilitating automated and timely processing, and making transactions more efficient for our customers.

Mark Evans | Global Head of Cross-Border and Cross-Currency Payments

Having greater clarity on each party in a payment chain with the new ISO structure will begin to reduce friction and support more straight-through processing, faster crediting of funds, and easier reconciliation. The new standard will also make compliance screening more efficient.

Over time, the new ISO standard will support more advanced payment data analytics and increase interoperability across payment schemes.

Key milestones

The successful migration of US CHIPS and Hong Kong CHATS – the largest high-value payments systems in the world - in April 2024, were key milestones. HSBC invested significant resources to ensure seamless delivery, including industry testing with key stakeholders.

HSBC is one of the top five USD CHIPS clearers, and in Hong Kong HSBC is the top HKD clearer and the settlement bank for the local USD RTGS (USD CHATS).

The complete programme

HSBC will be delivering a series of high value major payment scheme migrations to achieve full ISO 20022 compliance by November 2025, when the existing payment format will be discontinued. There’s already growing demand from our customers for the new rich data messages, to serve their business needs.

“We’re changing the way we’ve transacted for more than 50 years,” says Mark Evans. “But ISO 20022 is so much more than just an investment in new technology. It is an investment in the future of the payments business at the heart of everything we do.”

HSBC's ISO 20022 journey

Discover the timeline and benefits. Download your Readiness Handbook.

Need help?

For more information, please contact your HSBC representative.