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In addition to ISO 15022, there are a number of widely used messaging standards. These include:


The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol is a series of messaging specifications for the electronic communication of trade-related messages. FIX is a self-describing protocol that’s similar in many ways to other self-describing protocols, such as HTML. The FIX session is layered on TCP (Transmission Control Protocol).

FIX is the predominant standard of the securities front office. FIX is utilized as the messaging standard to submit and receive trade-capture information to and from DTCC's Universal Trade Capture (UTC) system.


This stands for Financial Products Markup Language. It uses extensible markup language (XML) syntax and was specifically developed to describe the often complicated contracts that form the base of financial derivatives products. XML is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form and is widely used for interchanging data via the internet.

SWIFT Messages

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has established common standards for financial transactions and a shared data-processing system and worldwide communications network.

SWIFT has become the industry standard for syntax in financial messages. Messages formatted to SWIFT standards can be read by and processed by many well-known financial processing systems, whether or not the message actually traveled over the SWIFT network.

SWIFT messages are also referred to as ISO messages (for example: 15022 or 20022).

Proprietary Domestic Messages

Various proprietary domestic messaging standards are also widely used. DTCC is an example of a market infrastructure using proprietary-formatted standards. DTCC processes some 40 million messages each day to clear and settle U.S. domestic securities trades.


XBRL is a flexible extensible markup language (XML)-based standard for exchanging business information, which specializes in providing easy automation for information found in unstructured documents. XML is a set of rules for encoding documents in machine-readable form and is widely used for interchanging data via the internet.

ISO 20022

ISO 20022 is the newest messaging standard. settlement messages at DTCC are in ISO 15022 only. DTCC is moving to provide all corporate action announcements and other processing messages in the ISO 20022 format instead of its current proprietary format in order to converge toward best practices in the capturing and processing of corporate action events.

*Portions of this article have been adapted from the booklet titled "ISO 20022 for Dummies," written by The SWIFT Standards Team, copyright © 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, West Sussex, England.

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