White paper

Improving ISO 20022 operational resilience with test automation, synthetic data, and machine learning

A joint white paper by Nth Exception and Virtusa

Published: April 10, 2023
ISO 20022 Migration

Large-scale global ISO 20022 migrations will take off in March 2023, and the payments industry approaches a critical deadline for cross-border payments. Operational experts at Nth Exception and Virtusa focus on real-world operational challenges, practical adoption issues, and essential considerations to ensure operational resilience.

The migration to ISO 20022 is not limited to the SWIFT network and will involve continuous changes over the next five years for payment professionals, vendors, and technology partners. The migration comprises significant changes in the internal processes and daily operations of banks, which must be introduced without impacting customers. Therefore, banks must provide an end-to-end testing environment, including internal system readiness, appropriate tools to validate test scenarios, and simulators.

ISO 20022 test coverage must be planned comprehensively, covering conformance testing, message validation, synthetic test data, and test automation sandbox. The conformance testing ensures that the system conforms to the ISO 20022 requirements, while message validation helps implement accurate ISO 20022 message validation for structure and values.

Synthetic data is relevant for ISO 20022 migration because banks lack ISO 20022 reference data since most of the world is yet to start transacting in MX messages. Therefore, they need to plan to obtain synthetic financial MX and MT data sets. Lastly, test automation is key to the successful implementation and go-live of new payment features. Virtusa's test automation sandbox can generate payment information and track it to the future by integrating it with internal systems, including the payment engine.

This whitepaper, crafted by payments operational experts at Virtusa and Nth Exception, is intended to provide all parties involved with a ready-made reference guide for achieving operational resilience. The guide also includes crucial elements such as synthetic test data and the role machine learning can play. Both the contributing organizations of this whitepaper are payments and ISO 20022 experts in their rights. They bring deep domain expertise, practical tools, and accelerators.

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