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What is a SWIFT MT103 message?

What is an MT103?

An MT103 is a standardized SWIFT payment message used specifically for cross-border/international wire transfers.  MT103 messages are globally accepted as proofs of payment and include all payment details such as date, amount, currency, sender, and recipient. MT103 messages are also great for tracking payments that are missing or delayed because they show the route of the payment between the banks. All banks and financial institutions which make payments via SWIFT will have an MT103 for every payment, but they are unlikely to let you have them. 

MT103 fields

Use the table below to view the definition of the MT103 fields 

Field Field Name
:20 Transaction Reference Number
:23B Bank Operation Code
:32A Value Date / Currency / Interbank Settled
:33B Currency / Original Ordered Amount
:50A, F or K Ordering Customer (Payer)
:52A or D Ordering Institution (Payer's Bank)
:53A, B or D Sender's Correspondent (Bank)
:54A, B or D Receiver's Correspondent (Bank)
:56A, C or D Intermediary (Bank)
:57A, B, C or D Account with Institution (Beneficiary's Bank)
:59 or 59A Beneficiary
:70 Remittance Information (Payment Reference)
:71A Details of Charges (BEN / OUR / SHA)
:72 Sender to Receiver Information
:77B Regulatory Reporting

Benefits of MT103

Having direct access to MT103s for each of your payments gives you greater control and information.

  • Confirmation: You have confirmation that your payment has been sent, including all the important details such as recipient information and payment amount.
  • Evidence: Serves as a valid proof of payment, whether to send to a supplier to serve as proof of payment or to accounts payable for reconciliation purposes.
  • Tracking: An MT103 can help with payment location and tracking if the funds are held up in regional clearing banks on the way to your recipient.

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