BIS and SWIFT Intensify Race With Crypto For Cross-Border Payments

Major players of the traditional financial industry are looking for new ways how to keep their positions, threatened by the emerging cryptoasset and decentralized finance (DeFi) industries.

The Bank for International Settlements’ Innovation Hub (BISIH) and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Communication (SWIFT) have teamed up to host a hackathon to highlight the potential of the new ISO 20022 payments standard and application programming interfaces (APIs) to make cross-border payments "faster, cheaper and more transparent."

The participating teams are invited “to develop and showcase solutions that improve cross-border payments, using the ISO 20022 standard for payments messages and APIs,” the organizers said in a statement.

“By 2025, SWIFT's global cross-border payments community will fully transition to ISO 20022, as part of an enhanced SWIFT platform,” according to the organizers. By then, “more than 90% of [High-Value Payments Systems] value worldwide will move on ISO 20022 rails.”

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