ISO 20022 on-boarding, registration & testing


Payments Canada has developed the following six-phases for participant financial institutions’ adoption of ISO 20022. These phases are designed to ensure a smooth transition to the ISO 20022 Payments Standard and provide continued support throughout the process.

1. Information Gathering:

Payments Canada will provide education or training to anyone seeking to gather additional information or knowledge about ISO 20022 in Canada (contact ISO20022@payments.ca). ACSS direct and indirect clearers seeking to participate in the ISO 20022 AFT exchange can also work with Payments Canada to determine if their ISO messages are formatted correctly using the MyStandards Readiness Portal. In the case of indirect clearers, Payments Canada will also encourage them to discuss their ISO 20022 plans with their Clearing Agent. 

2. Registration:

The first formal step of the on-boarding process where the direct or indirect Clearer formally acknowledges their intention to start exchanging ISO 20022 AFT messages. Registration must occur at least 180 days prior to their intended implementation date. Upon receipt of the notification, Payments Canada will provide the registrant the ISO 20022 On-Boarding package, which includes materials to support them throughout the on-boarding process including an On-Boarding Checklist of events and activities that need to be considered during the implementation process. 

3. Formal Message Testing:

Each registered participant financial institution must complete formal message testing of the ISO 20022 AFT messages within the MyStandards Readiness Portal. Payments Canada will provide a Message Testing Guide which will outline all of the messages and fields that must be successfully tested within the portal. Registrants will be required to submit evidence that they have successfully completed testing to Payments Canada. At this point, testing partners, where provided, will be notified.

4. Testing (required for ACSS direct clearers only):

Inter-Financial Institution Testing is the final step before implementation of ISO messages. Payments Canada will provide a test document listing all the types of testing to be performed. Each registrant will confirm they have successfully exchanged ISO messages. 

5. Implementation

When registrants exchange ISO AFT messages with one or more other participant. Implementation for indirect clearers will be coordinated with their clearing agent.

6. Ongoing support and monitoring:

After go-live, Payments Canada will continue to support registrants who are actively involved in exchanging ISO AFT messages.