SWIFT message types

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SWIFT or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication provides a network to allow financial and non-financial institutions (e.g. corporates) to transfer financial transactions through a 'financial message'.

Currently SWIFT's network can support the following message standards:[1][2]

SWIFT MT[edit]

SWIFT messages consist of five blocks of data including three headers, message content, and a trailer. Message types are crucial to identifying content.

All SWIFT messages include the literal "MT" (Message Type). This is followed by a 3-digit number that denotes the message category, group and type. Consider the following example, which is an order to buy or sell via a third party:

The first digit (3) represents the category. A category denotes messages that relate to particular financial instruments or services such as Precious Metals (6), Treasury (3), or Travelers Cheques (8). The category denoted by 3 is Treasury Markets.

The second digit (0) represents a group of related parts in a transaction life cycle. The group indicated by 0 is a Financial Institution Transfer.

The third digit (4) is the type that denotes the specific message. There are several hundred message types across the categories. The type represented by 4 is a notification.

Overview of SWIFT MT Categories:

Message TypeDescription
MT0xxSystem Messages
MT1xxCustomer Payments and Cheques
MT2xxFinancial Institution Transfers
MT3xxTreasury Markets
MT4xxCollection and Cash Letters
MT5xxSecurities Markets
MT6xxTreasury Markets - Metals and Syndications
MT7xxDocumentary Credits and Guarantees
MT8xxTravellers Cheques
MT9xxCash Management and Customer Status

ISO 15022 MT[edit]

Although ISO 15022 Message Types are different in their structure than the SWIFT MT, the naming convention remains the same. The following example will illustrate:

As with SWIFT MTs, the first digit (3) denotes the category. As above, this denotes Treasury Markets.

As with SWIFT MTs, the second digit (0) represents a group of related parts in a transaction life cycle. The group indicated by 0 is a Financial Institution Transfer.

Finally, the third digit (7) denotes the specific message. In this case, similar to the MT 304, the 7 denotes ‘Notification’. The SWIFT MT 304 and the ISO 15022 MT 307 are equal but were created for different financial groups using different standards.

ISO 20022 MX[edit]

A new message type expressed in XML syntax, which is more flexible and easier to implement than the previous generation of message types (MT). These message types are developed in accordance with ISO 20022 standard.

Current syntax is as following: xxxx.nnn.aaa.bb, where

Consider the following example: TREA.001.001.02

SWIFT Standards for MX Messages:

MX IdentifierDescription
acmt.xxx.xxx.xxAccount Management
camt.xxx.xxx.xxCash Management
pacs.xxx.xxx.xxPayments Clearing and Settlement
pain.xxx.xxx.xxPayments Initiation
reda.xxx.xxx.xxReference Data
seev.xxx.xxx.xxSecurities Events
semt.xxx.xxx.xxSecurities Management
sese.xxx.xxx.xxSecurities Settlement
setr.xxx.xxx.xxSecurities Trade
tsmt.xxx.xxx.xxTrade Services Management

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of MT and MX Messages". SWIFT. , pdf document from August 2008
  2. ^ http://www.paymentcomponents.com/resources/