Afinis Interoperability Standards is a membership-based standards organization that brings together diverse collaborators – through innovative and agile processes – to develop implementable, interoperable and portable standards across operating environments and platforms.
The goal of advancing efficiency and security, and supporting innovation in financial services interoperability standards depends on interoperability standards. Today, achieving objectives such as improved transaction safety and transparency, increased communications speed and efficiency, and broadening support of payments innovations calls for consensus-led governance, intelligent innovation, and international collaboration. More about Afinis.
Since 1997 leading business, banking and technology professionals have gathered here to develop an open, interoperable messaging standard for exchanging financial data. Our longevity is a direct result of our agility and our collective expertise. The IFX Forum is organized to deliver value quickly! We operate in direct response to member priorities, and our members bring world-class expertise in technology, banking and business processes that enables us to do that.
IFX Forum members are leaders in the financial services industry from around the globe, and the IFX Standard’s SOA Architecture provides a foundation upon which incremental capabilities are quickly delivered. Learn all about it here and then come join us to expand its scope and maintain its world-class standing.
To further enhance efforts to develop the IFX specification, the Forum established Working Groups to define the business requirements and develop content for the specification applicable to specific sectors of the industry and particular use cases. Working Groups are not permanent, though many are long-lived. Over the years, the IFX Forum has had a variety of working groups that developed domain-specific content in addition to general content applicable to a broad range of banking operations.
Currently active Working Groups include:
- Liaison and Interoperability Working Group
- ATM/POS Working Group
- Open Banking APIs Working Group
- BIAN Services Working Group
The Architecture Committee ensures that the family of IFX specifications is consistent, efficient and easy to implement. Working to coordinate the various industries affected by financial transactions, the Architecture Committee unites the myriad requirements to provide one common solution between and among various industries interacting in the financial environment. More specifically, the Architecture Committee:
- Reviews new IFX Forum initiatives
- Provides coordination between the IFX Forum’s Working Groups, which define inter-industry requirements
- Maintains the most current version of the IFX specification
- Ensures interoperability of new enhancements with the IFX specification
- Enables IFX specification implementation into new industries
Working Groups Over Time
Historical Working Groups include:
- ATM/POS WG
- Electronic Bill Presentment & Payment WG (inactive)
- Business Banking WG
- Web Services WG (inactive)
- Branch Banking Services WG
- Card Management & Servicing WG
- Liaison & Interoperability WG
- Loans WG
These working groups, made up of subject matter experts in their domains, built the content that has stood the test of time — making the IFX Business Messaging Standard a premier standard for financial services messaging.
Partnerships are managed through our Liaison & Interoperability Working Group (LIWG)
Because it’s impossible for one standard to address all of the needs of the financial services industry, the IFX Forum has both formal Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and informal agreements with a variety of organizations to facilitate cooperative activities in the sector that serve the industry as a whole.
IFX Forum, Inc. was a founding member of the ISTH workgroup in 2003 along with TWIST, SWIFT and OAGi, which resulted in the initial ISO 20022 specification. The stated goal of that group was to recommend a common core payment message and transaction that could be accepted into each of the standards. The IFX Forum implemented that payment kernel in its 2004 Version 1.6 release, the first organization to do so.
In 2014 the IFX Forum completed the ISO standalone remittances messages. In 2015 and 2016, in partnership with Nexo (now EPASOrg) we submitted a comprehensive set of messages targeting ATM/POS. Those submissions have subsequently become part of the ISO 20022 repository.
BIAN (Banking Industry Architecture Network)
IFX Forum and BIAN are leaders in standardization in the banking industry. Both organizations have strength and roots in Service Oriented Architecture. It’s no surprise, then, that we have many member companies in common. And in both formal and informal discussion with these members, we have found a strong desire to bring to market the fruits of efforts made in both standards.
The Memorandum of Understanding established between the two organizations was just the beginning!
Business Payments Coalition
The IFX Forum has also, by invitation, taken a leadership role in the Remittance Coalition launched by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
ISO TC68/SC7/WG9 (ATM)
Representatives of the IFX Forum regularly attend and participate in meetings of these standards bodies, such as the ISO TC68 Plenary Sessions.