A group that aims to ease the process by which financial firms and corporations exchange electronic messages is offering guidance.

The Common Global Implementation Initiative, based in Brussels, said Wednesday it has published best-practice guidelines for ISO20222, a format designed to give companies and banks a common worldwide language for their communications.

CGI's guidelines address standards that govern messages for payments initiation, account and status reporting, according to the group. According to CGI, promoting common formats for payment transactions lowers costs and enables companies to manage relationships with more than one bank efficiently.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a member-owned cooperative through which banking organizations and financial institutions exchange messages, supports the CGI initiative.

"Corporates have to implement different channels, formats and data requirements, while banks have to manage and maintain their proprietary protocols," Marc Gheyskens, solution manager of Swift, said in a news release. "That's where CGI comes in, providing a place for banks, corporates, vendors and market infrastructure providers to work together to define a harmonized approach on how to implement corporate-to-bank standards."

"CGI has taken the lead in demonstrating the effectiveness of providing a harmonized global standard that can be used by corporates with their multi-bank relationships and by vendors in their development efforts to support messages that interface with more than just one bank," Susan Colles, a member of the CGI working group and head of standards at Bank of America's global treasury products group, added in a news release.

Information about the guidelines is available at CGI's website.