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TWIST – the Standards


TWIST delivers non-proprietary XML – based standards in the following areas:

  • Wholesale financial market transaction processing
  • Payments and Cash Management
  • Billing of Bank Services
  • Opening and Administration of Bank Accounts
  • Financial Supply Chain (Ordering, Invoicing and Financing)

The TWIST standards aim to enable effective straight through processing (STP) from end to end of financial processes, irrespective of the way the processes are transacted, the service providers that are involved and the system infrastructure that is used.

This requires standardisation of:

  • information flows
  • business process where possible
  • electronic communications (whether direct or indirect) between market participants and service providers
  • platforms, matching & netting services as well as settlement and clearing services, and the methods of integrating the relevant systems (e.g. ERP, payment and reporting systems)

Structuring and standardisation of electronic communication throughout each process requires agreement on:

  • Good practice workflows: Agreement of good practice workflows, and the possible role of market participants, service providers and individual systems, is a prerequisite for selection of the messages that need to be supported by TWIST.
  • Message standards: These include the message formats and data components (including required and optional fields).
  • Data security: Data security and reliability required by both sender and receiver (Controls requirements). TWIST’s approach is to address the risks requiring attention and solutions to be adopted by both senders and receivers of data, without being excessively prescriptive.

The syntax used by TWIST is XML (eXtensible Markup Language), a general and widely used data standard. Where necessary, mappings are provided from the XML syntax to existing flat-file formats such as EDIFACT and SWIFT-FIN messages.

TWIST aims to facilitate a modular approach to adoption of its standards, allowing implementers of the standard to make use of TWIST’s recommendations on good practice workflows, message standards and / or data security as and when they wish.

TWIST also participates in the management of the ISO 20022 standards for financial markets aiming to make this the umbrella for its comprehensive suite of standards.

The TWIST standards aim to enable straight through processing (STP) from end to end of the three processes, irrespective of the way the processes are transacted, the service providers that are involved and the system infrastructure that is used. TWIST’s end to end process-focused approach is complementary to that of other XML-based standards organisations, such as MDDL, SWIFT, IFX, OAGI, etc.

The TWIST approach is pragmatic, modular and co-operative. TWIST develops non-proprietary messaging standards, and associated workflows, protocols and controls that reflect the business and technological needs of all the participants in electronic financial markets. Where existing standards and technologies are already widely accepted, such as FIX, FpML and SWIFT messages, TWIST aims to leverage these and works with the relevant standards organisations to avoid duplication of effort and to ensure harmonisation on standards. TWIST also co-operates with other standards organisations where joint efforts can accelerate the qualitative design of messages.

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