Canadian Insurers not ready for IS2002 digital payment standard

Published: February 20, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



ISO 20022 is an internationally recognized standard for electronic payments, giving consumers means to instantly receive their insurance claims instantly. Payments Canada, speaking to Canadian Underwriter, say insurance companies in the country should start planning for the standard now.

“Your large insurance companies… ought to be thinking about an ISO 20002 environment and how they are going to modify their systems and what vendors they have and are those vendors ISO-enabled?” said Justin Ferrabee. “They should start that process because it takes time. They should talk to their bank about when their bank is ready to accept those messages.”

ISO 20022 is “becoming the standard for electronic funds transfers globally,” Payments Canada added in a press release earlier this month. The standard will power rich data transfers for making digital instant payments and will help companies improve efficiency. Not specifically for insurance, the industry will be among the largest adopter of the system.

“It’s not helpful if I attach the information to the payment, and I give it to you, and the first thing you do is take them apart so you can process them,” Ferrabee said.

Adopting the payment technology will not be tough, but changing business processes will be the hard part. “You can start preparing for it, using it and, if you want to take advantage of it in the marketplace, you can use it now,” he said.

Payments Canada is currently working on implementing the standard into its own systems.