ISO TC 68 Plenary Summary

ISO TC 68 Plenary Summary

By TC 68 Leadership


ISO TC 68 held the first virtual plenary the week of September 21st through September 25th, 2020. Over 100 delegates attended the week-long series of Committee meetings held from 12:00 GMT to 15:00 GMT each day.  Despite challenging meetings times for some members, there was a positive turnout.  Click on the header to read the entire summary.

Changes coming to ISO TC 68

The meetings were fruitful and amongst others resulted in the passing of Resolutions to enhance the mission and organizational structure of ISO TC 68. Specifically:

Strategic Leadership Group

The Strategic Leadership group renamed the Chair Advisory Group (ISO TC68/CAG). This Group is composed of the Committee chairs and the Committee managers from each subcommittee (SC2, SC8, SC9), the conveners from TC 68 level Advisory and Study groups, and the leadership from the ISO 20022 RMG. This Group strives to provide a unified strategic vision and oversight for ISO TC 68.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Study Group


The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) has popularized the acronym CBDC, and a group of Central Banks has defined CBDC as "A digital payment instrument, denominated in the national unit of account, that is a direct liability of the Central Bank".


Several factors have led to world interest in CBDC;

  • Central Bank interest in providing a CBDC to use in the payments markets
  • The implied threat of LIBRA (the fiat currency basket backed digital currency for cross border payments)
  • China progressing work on the CBDC
  • The popularity of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto-currencies


The topic of standardization of CBDCs spans many of the ISO TC 68 subcommittees, in addition to active engagement with the Fintech community and global regulators and other standards organizations. For these reasons, ISO TC 68 resolved to form the CBDC Study Group at the ISO TC 68 level.


A Terms of Reference for the Study Group is in development for CIB ballot within ISO TC 68 in November followed by a call for participation. The Group will act as coordinator of activities and education, and will be responsible for identifying challenges and opportunities for standardization within the scope of ISO TC 68. We are also looking for leadership for this Group.

Sustainable Finance Advisory Group

ISO members are seeing a trend towards institutions taking a longer-term view focused on topics that increase stakeholder's value, including sustainable finance.

Within ISO broadly, other committees like ISO TC 207 Environmental Management Systems, ISO TC 322 Sustainable Finance, and ISO TC 321 Transaction Assurance in E-Commerce require the support of ISO TC 68 to see their standards fully realized within financial services. Given this trend and the needs of our ISO partners, ISO TC 68 resolved to create the Sustainable Finance Advisory Group.  This Group will assist, leveraging our ISO TC 68 standards, in the area of reference data and information exchange, and be the liaison to these technical committees.

Rebecca Healey, from the FIX Trading Community, will lead The Sustainable Finance Advisory Group.

The Terms of Reference is currently being balloted by ISO TC 68 and the call for participation in the Group is open.  

FINTECH Advisory Group

There was approval by resolution of the revised Terms of Reference for the FINTECH Advisory Group (ISO TC 68/TAG1). The FINTECH TAG will focus on education for the ISO TC 68 Community and interaction with entities involved in FINTECH.


Other topics from the TC 68 plenary meeting agenda


Fast Track Proposal

The Fast Track process provides a mechanism for existing non-ISO standards to become ISO standards. A National Member Body or Liaison Organization must submit the existing standard. The Fast Track process bypasses only the working group drafts and committee draftg stages. Approval of a Fast Track standard is identical to a regular proposed standard in terms of balloting at the DIS and or FDIS stage. National Member Bodies have reported confusion caused by the appearance of a proposed Standard at the DIS stage without any prior communication or background.


ISO TC 68 leadership presented a proposed revision of the Fast Track process in response to feedback from National Member Bodies.  The proposed approach would follow these steps:

  1. A National Member Body or Liaison Organization would submit a proposal to the appropriate subcommittee
  2. That Member would provide a background article to TC 68 Communication Group for publication on the website and Linked-In page
  3. A four-week CIB ballot in the subcommittee to accept the work item would follow
  4. If the ballot passes, the DIS along with FORM 8A would be submitted to ISO CS
  5. The draft would enter the standardization process at the Enquiry Stage (DIS)


A resolution was approved requesting the TC 68 Strategic Leadership Group propose a process to all TC 68 subcommittees based upon the steps outlined above.



Business Domain Advisory Groups

The idea raised by the US delegation was to create vertical, business domain advisory groups, at the ISO TC 68 level for securities processing and core banking. The idea was supported by the ISO TC 68 leadership who identified the same issue where our critical areas of expertise from a business perspective spans all of our subcommittees.


The next step will be for the ISO TC 68 Strategic Leadership Group to meet and develop a Terms of Reference for these advisory groups that can be balloted by TC 68.

XBRL International Presentation

Due to time limitations, the presentation on XBRL by John Turner, CEO from XBRL International, was made at the subsequent TC 68 Strategic Leadership Group meeting.  John presented requirements for TC 68 reference data standards from a user's perspective and discussed the possibility for additional interaction between XBRL and ISO TC 68. The XBRL taxonomies likely can be a valuable source for future enhancements of ISO 20022. We are planning an article through our ISO TC 68 communications group and a webinar further exploring these requirements and opportunities for XBRL to work closer with ISO TC 68.

Norwegian request to study Remote Identification

The Norwegian delegation submitted a recommendation for ISO TC 68 to study the topic of remote identification. Our ISO SC 2 Subcommittee for information security and the GLEIF as the Registration Authority (RA) for ISO 17442 the Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) have work that provides part of the solution for remote identification. Also, the work progressing in SC 8 WG7, Natural Person Identifier envisions a phase 2 project that includes authentication of identity, including remotely (or digitally).  Again, due to time limitations at the Plenary, the Norwegian delegation instead made their presentation to the ISO TC 68 Strategic Leadership Group the week of October 5th. The leadership group recommended the formation of a Remote Identification Study Group at the ISO TC 68 level to analyze gaps in remote identification and produce a recommendation for further standards development. ISO TC 68 will make A Call for Participation once the terms of reference are published and balloted (expected in November).

Preliminary plans for future plenaries

The ISO TC 68 Strategic leadership group is investigating holding a status-oriented plenary early in 2021 that would focus on the progress of resolutions passed at the September 2020 plenary meetings and select topics that there is not typically the time for in the full plenary meeting. We expect to hold this status-oriented plenary meeting in February 2021. Discussions are ongoing with the Norwegian member body regarding hosting the full plenary, possibly onsite or hybrid (virtual and onsite) in the September/October 2021 timeframe.


In Appreciation

On behalf of TC 68, we would like to thank the following individuals for their efforts which resulted in successful plenary meetings:


  • The Accredited Standards Committee X.9 from the United States for providing the Webex teleconferencing facilities and the support for the meetings.


  • Steve Stevens, X9's Executive Director, Janet Busch, and the TC 68 Communications Manager for providing behind the scenes support for all the plenary meetings held the week of September 21st.


All our committee managers and chairs for spending significant time preparing for the plenary meetings:

  • Janet Busch – TC 68
  • Sarah Horsfield – TC 68/SC 2
  • Sandra Roth – TC 68/ SC 8
  • Maëlle Gaonac'h – TC 68/SC 9


We wish to thank all of the delegates that attended the practise sessions held before the plenary meetings. We believe these practice sessions were helpful as they permitted the meetings to start on time with minimal disruptions. Likely, we will continue this practice when we hold virtual plenary meetings.