FIX, SWIFT Agree on XML Communications Protocol

July 5, 2001 ( - FIX Protocol Ltd. (FPL) and SWIFT today announced an agreement to converge their respective messaging protocols, which could facilitate a more seamless and accurate communication of trade instructions.

According to the firms, the agreement revolves around the adoption of ISO 15022 XML as a common industry standard.

FPL and SWIFT will actively support the efforts of the ISO Working Group 10, which aims to evolve the current ISO 15022 scheme for securities message types to a single standard, expressed in Extensible Markup Language, or XML.

Can We Talk?

Extensible Markup Language is a “meta-language,” a computer language that makes it easy for different documents and formats to communicate with each other. XML is seen to have a critical role to play in overcoming the communications barriers that currently exist within the IP environments that the securities industry is now embracing.

The agreement between the firms leverages the expertise of FPL in the pre-trade/trade domain and SWIFT in the post-trade domain. Both will work to develop mapping documentation to support the industry’s migration to ISO 15022 XML and the coexistence of FIX, ISO 15022 and ISO 15022 XML, according to the press release.

“Achieving interoperability and convergence of standards from the front to back office is an industry prerequisite if higher rates of STP are to be achieved,” said Francis Remacle, Head of the Securities Industry Division, SWIFT. “Unless everyone is speaking the same language, communication will be compromised, irrespective of other efforts toward automation.”

ISO 15022 XML is expected to be available by early 2002.