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Understanding the structure of an ISO 20022 XML file

Understanding the structure of an ISO 20022 XML file

The Iziago Payments module allows you to enter international payments for the whole world using the international ISO 20022 XML standard.
But what exactly is an ISO 20022 XML file? And what is its structure??

ISO 20022: an international standard

ISO 20022 is a standard used by banks for the exchange of banking data: payments and collections, account statements, account openings and closings, etc.
To find out more about ISO 20022, see our article on the subject.

ISO 20022 files respect a common and structured syntax based on the XML computer language.


What is XML in a few words?

XML, for eXtensible Markup Language, is a computer language used to structure and prioritise a set of data using tags to facilitate the exchange of information on the Internet. The markup defines the structure, visual appearance and meaning of all the data contained in the file in order to provide true international harmonization of payment processes.

The scalability of the tagging allows for all local specificities and new regulations to be taken into account. The XML messages contain for example the following information:

  • Details of the tax treatment of a transaction
  • Enrichment of transaction labels
  • Information on intermediaries in the payment chain, etc.

What is the structure of an ISO 20022 XML file?

The ISO 20022 XML file is composed of three segments:

  • The Group Header segment contains information on the data set contained in the message (message or remittance reference, date and time of creation, grouping type, number of transactions, sender identification, etc.)
  • The Payment Information segment contains information on the debit part: requested execution date, originator name, originator account details, etc.
  • The Credit Transfer Transaction Information segment contains information on the credit part of the transaction: reference, amount, currency, beneficiary name, beneficiary account details, regulatory declaration, reasons for payment, etc.

With this detailed information in a standardized message, users can immediately see which institutions are processing the transaction, who the payment is made to, etc.

Iziago software allows you to create ISO 20022 compliant domestic, SEPA and international payment files for banks worldwide.