Transaction Workflow Innovation Standards Team (TWIST)
What is Transaction Workflow Innovation Standards Team (TWIST)?
Transaction Workflow Innovation Standards Team (TWIST) is a not-for-profit industry group of corporate treasurers, fund managers, banks, system suppliers, electronic trading platforms, market infrastructures, and professional services firms. The primary aim of TWIST is to develop new and rationalize existing XML standards that connect the financial and physical supply chains, releasing the enormous value locked up in disjoined paper-based processes. TWIST also participates in the management of the ISO20022 standards for financial markets aiming to make this the umbrella for its comprehensive suite of standards.
The leading party in Twist is the Royal Dutch Shell Group’s corporate treasury department, giving the Twist standards more of a corporate finance perspective as opposed to a banking perspective. Participants in Twist come from across the broad supply chain of banking and its support industries. A common role for Twist is to draw on expertise in corporate treasury and channel it to software vendors so that they can create the products required. Geographically Twist has good traction in the United Kingdom, Singapore, and the Netherlands. It has momentum in the foreign exchange (FX) and fixed income (FI) and money markets (MM) asset classes.
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 standardization 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 standardization of electronic communication throughout each process require agreement on:
- Good practice workflows: Agreement on good practice workflows, and the possible role of market participants, service providers, and individual systems, is a prerequisite for the 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 are 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 the 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 organizations, such as MDDL, SWIFT, IFX, OAGI, etc.