The Bank of Israel’s Payment and Settlement Systems Department encourages payment system operators, banks, payment service providers, and fintech companies to register for and take part in a global hackathon[1] on the use of the ISO 20022 Standard for promoting cross-border payments. Three teams from among all the hackathon participants around the world will be chosen by a panel of expert judges from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, SWIFT, and other leading financial entities in Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Singapore to present their hackathon solutions at a virtual conference held by the BIS.


This global hackathon will be held on the issue of cross-border payments. It is sponsored by the BIS Innovation Hub and SWIFT. The goal of the hackathon is to develop and present test cases and solutions intended to improve the cross-border payment system, by adopting the advanced international ISO 20022 Standard for payment messages. Standard ISO 20022, which has been adopted at a global level by payment system operators, banks, and payment service providers, makes it possible to place a data-rich payment messages and will make it possible to have new, automatic and faster business models and processing procedures. Ultimately, this will make it possible to have cross-border payments that are less expensive, faster, and more transparent to all.


Registration is open until Monday, March 8, 2021 at: for teams of 2–8 people.



The Bank of Israel’s Payment and Settlement Systems Department establishes payments policy, oversees the critical payment systems in the state, and operates critical clearinghouses in the Bank of Israel. The Department is at the center of discourse and activity in an area that is at the cutting edge of the new financial worlds—technologies, means of payment and payment systems that are the basis for new financial value propositions for consumers and businesses, as well as already-existing systems and means of payment. Among other things, the Department leads the ISO 20022 integration processes as well as examining the promotion of cross-border payments.


The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is the oldest international financial organization. Currently, 63 central banks are members in it, and its role is to promote collaboration between the central banks. Its activities include developing international standards and yardsticks for supervising banks (Basel regulations), monitoring the stability of the international financial system, providing banking services to central banks and assisting various financial institutions in fulfilling their functions. The Bank of Israel joined as a full member in BIS in September 2003, after receiving the government’s authorization.


SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is an international clearing house through which a considerable portion of payments between various countries are made. It serves more than 10,000 financial institutions and corporations.


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[1] The global hackathon is an intense event in which experts from a certain area gather with the goal of solving a predefined challenge.