Swift, the international payment messaging group, has joined with the International Chamber of Commerce to help companies finance international trade transactions.

The organizations on Wednesday released new legal and technical rules for bank payment obligations, electronic letters of credit that offer an alternative to traditional letters of credit as a means of settlement between banks.

Bank payment obligations give banks another way to offer financing services to their corporate customers, according to the organizations. It ties to Swift's ISO20022 messaging standard, which is designed to give companies and banks a worldwide language for their communications.

"The BPO, with the underlying ISO 20022 standards, is shaping the future of the trade industry and is a key opportunity for banks to innovate in the services they offer their corporate customers," Gottfried Leibbrandt, Swift's chief executive, said in a news release.

The organizations say the rules will establish uniform practices for adoption of bank payment obligation.