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These heritage solutions, such as CGI BESS, have run diligently since electronic messages first emerged and are technically capable of continuing to do so for many years. With the global migration to ISO 20022, we now face a significant challenge. Changes hindered for many years are suddenly happening with tight deadlines and strong business mandates. In short, the high-value and cross-border markets demarked by SWIFT and central banks are going through seismic shifts that will affect your mainframe at its core.

This is not the first major market migration to ISO 20022 messages. Only 10 short years ago, the European Union mandated connectivity to its ISO-based SEPA schemes for thousands of banks and a flurry of bridges, pipes, wrappers and renewals emerged. This was the primary driver for the creation of ISO 20022-native solutions, such as CGI All Payments. However, while SEPA was typically a new endeavor for most of participants and led to the implementation of new processing solutions, the upcoming high-value and cross-border market changes are hitting at the very core of most banks’ infrastructure along with some of their oldest technology solutions.  Often, the wire solution is the beating heart of the bank— tied to its core systems and essential to everyday life. Due to decades of technology evolution, it is not atypical for a heritage wire solution within a bank to interface with more than 100 systems. These may be simple connections to reporting systems, liquidity management, sanctions screening, or complex interweaving process flows. The connections often involve a myriad of bankspecific processing solutions, all designed to support MT-based payments.

Now we have a challenge. How do we put the patient (bank) on bypass and prepare for open heart surgery (heritage replacement)? How do we keep transactions flowing in a fast-approaching ISO world? Is it better to replace the old, enlarged organ (old system) with a modern replacement, giving the bank’s infrastructure a new lease on life?

CGI has been preparing to address this question for years. The conclusion, of course, is a highly variable answer. It depends entirely on the state of your system, your timelines, and your solution preference.