‘Microsoft collaborated with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi and SWIFT to develop a unified format that lets it receive electronic bank statements from all its banking providers in the same format. Extensible Markup Language is a way of formatting, parsing and tagging data such that computer programs can read and act on the information. (For instance, a customer name might be tagged). The ISO 20022 standard [ppt] provides a common schema for such messages, so that everyone uses the same tags and formats. It was developed mainly by European banks to handle new payment structures for Single European Payments Area payments sent between banks. But the standard has taken time to mature and crystallize. “Even within 20022, there are still lots of different variants, based on what country you’re working in and banks’ data processing requirements once the payment or cash reporting gets to the back end,” says Colin Kerr, Microsoft industry solutions manager. “That places a huge burden on the corporate treasury that has to work with multiple banks.” Microsoft works with eight major banks around the world and another 90 banks locally.”
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