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]

SWIFT MT[edit]

SWIFT messages consist of five blocks of the 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:

  • Example: MT304

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 Type Description
MT0xx System Messages
MT1xx Customer Payments and Cheques
MT2xx Financial Institution Transfers
MT3xx Treasury Markets
MT4xx Collection and Cash Letters
MT5xx Securities Markets
MT6xx Treasury Markets - Metals and Syndications
MT7xx Documentary Credits and Guarantees
MT8xx Travellers Cheques
MT9xx Cash 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:

  • Example. MT 307

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

  • xxxx is an alphabetic code in four positions (fixed length) identifying the Business Process,
  • nnn is an alphanumeric code in three positions (fixed length) identifying the Message Functionality,
  • aaa is a numeric code in three positions (fixed length) identifying a particular flavour (variant) of Message Functionality,
  • bb is a numeric code in two positions (fixed length) identifying the version.

Consider the following example: TREA.001.001.02

  • TREA refers to ‘Treasury’
  • 001 refers to ‘NDF opening (notification)’
  • 001 refers to the variant
  • 02 refers to the version message format, in this case version 2 of ‘NDF opening’ type.

SWIFT Standards for MX Messages:

MX Identifier Description
acmt.xxx.xxx.xx Account Management
admi.xxx.xxx.xx Administration
camt.xxx.xxx.xx Cash Management
defp.xxx.xxx.xx Derivatives
pacs.xxx.xxx.xx Payments Clearing and Settlement
pain.xxx.xxx.xx Payments Initiation
reda.xxx.xxx.xx Reference Data
seev.xxx.xxx.xx Securities Events
semt.xxx.xxx.xx Securities Management
sese.xxx.xxx.xx Securities Settlement
setr.xxx.xxx.xx Securities Trade
trea.xxx.xxx.xx Treasury
tsmt.xxx.xxx.xx Trade Services Management

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "List of MT and MX Messages" (PDF). SWIFT. , pdf document from August 2008