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CBN Asks Banks to Improve Payments System Data


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The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all financial institutions in the country to start the necessary processes that will lead to the migration to the new International Organisation Standardisation 20022 by November 2022.

The CBN issued the directive in a circular titled ‘ISO20022 SWIFT UPDATED TIMELINES FOR MIGRATION’ which was signed by Director Banking Service Department of the CBN, Sam C. Okojere.

The ISO which is the new standard for exchanging electronic messages was shifted by one year from the initial 2021 date to 2022, by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

The new timeline set for the migration follows the apparent lack of preparedness of financial institutions to provide the much needed infrastructure.

The circular read: “The Central Bank of Nigeria hereby directs all Financial Institutions in Nigeria to activate the process leading to migration to ISO20022 Standard, on or before the deadline of November 2022.”

The CBN described the ISO20022 as an increasingly established global language for payments messaging, currently in use in cross-border payments in over 70 countries.

The ISO 20022 is expected to provide a common language and model for payments data that should improve the quality of data across the payment’s ecosystem.

The CBN in the circular said that all financial institutions in the country are expected to comply with the timeline provided by SWIFT.

According to the apex bank, the ISO20022 would be the de-facto standard for high-level payment systems in reserve currencies. The new messaging standard will also support 80 per cent of global volume and 87 pe rcent of value of transactions worldwide.

On the 2022 timeline set by SWIFT, the CBN said, “In 2020, there would be a building of awareness about the change through the various resources SWIFT makes available and assessing the impacts in collaboration with vendors.

“Throughout the year 2020 and 2021 would be to implement the defined solution for adopting the change, testing it internally and preparing for further testing on the real network.

“Throughout 2020 and 2022, there would be testing on the network with and without selected correspondents and preparing for go-live.”

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