BPO Education Group

Swift and the ICC Banking Commission have jointly produced a set of rules on Bank Payment Obligation (BPO), which can be defined as an irrevocable conditional undertaking to pay given from one bank to another. 

BPO Education Group (Mandate October 2014 to December 2015)

From December 2014 to December 2015, The BPO Education Group was formed to provide the ICC Banking Commission National Committees the information necessary for their members to understand the Bank Payment Obligation and to assist them in deploying the product internally and for the benefit of their customers. The Group was composed of over 20 members representing 18 national committees as well as corporate/ consulting entities. Publications by the group include Frequently Asked Questions for Corporates, Frequently Asked Questions for Financial Institutions as well as a white paper addressing Accounting and Capital treatment for the BPO. All publications are available for download below. Additionally, the Group provided collateral material to support specific presentations as requested by its members. BPO Training has been provided at the ICC Banking Commission meetings and members of the Group have provided specialized training in support of National Committee events/ requests. Until the end of its mandate in December 2015, The Group met by conference call on an ad hoc basis to develop training programs in anticipation of future Commission meetings.

More about Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligation

Swift and the ICC Banking Commission jointly produced a set of rules to govern Bank Payment Obligation (BPO), which can be defined as an irrevocable conditional undertaking to pay given from one bank to another. Bank Payment Obligation can also be viewed as an electronic letter of credit and is an alternative means of settlement in international trade. It provides the benefits of a letter of credit (LC) in an automated environment and enables banks to offer flexible risk mitigation and financing services across the supply chain to their corporate customers.

Establish uniformity of practice

BPO Brochure Cover

The URBPO contractual rules help to establish uniformity of practice in the market adoption of the BPO and the related ISO 20022 messaging standards.

Chairman of the ICC Banking Commission Mr Kah Chye Tan affirmed it was vital that the financial industry aligned on improved rules and tools in support of trading counterparties whether large or small. "The ICC Banking Commission views the development of the Bank Payment Obligation rules and the related ISO 20022 messaging standards as strong foundations for banks to provide modern risk and financing services aligned with today's technology."

ICC URBPO Regional Launch with Dubai Chamber

  • Launched in Dubai, UAE - 24 June 2013.

The International Chamber of Commerce's Regional Banking Commission Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in partnership with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a regional launch of the ICC Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligation (URBPO) at the Dubai Chamber headquarters on 24 June 2013.

The regional launch ceremony was attended by Hamad Buamim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber, and Deputy Chair of the ICC World Chambers Federation, Lakshmanan Sankaran, Chair of the ICC Regional Banking Commission MENA, and Thierry Senechal, Executive Secretary of the ICC Banking Commission. They were joined by chief financial officers, corporate credit and risk managers, corporate treasurers, bankers, insurers, consultants and vendors active in trade and supply chain finance.

The regional launch of URBPO was followed by a panel discussion giving the corporate perspective and relevance of the new rules and how they will impact businesses in the MENA region. The ICC Regional Banking Commission, MENA, also revealed key findings of its Global Trade finance Survey 2013 , which provides a detailed statistical analysis of the regional and global trends in trade finance.

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Online training - URBPO

Register now for four hours of structured online training in all aspects of the URBPO, from the basic concepts through to a detailed analysis of the rules. The course will help you understand how the new BPO Rules will operate in practice.

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Uniform Rules for BPO

BPO Publication

ICC's URBPO are the first-ever Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligations (BPOs), a 21st century standard in supply chain finance that governs Bank Payment Obligations transactions worldwide.

Get your copy of Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligations (BPOs) at the ICC Store

ICC Guide to the URBPO


This ICC Guide to the Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligations is an insightful resource to unlock URBPOs.

Get your copy of the ICC Guide to the Uniform Rules for Bank Payment Obligations at the ICC Store

ICC Guidelines for the Creation of BPO Customer Agreements

Following a request made by a number of banks to the ICC, the Banking Commission and SWIFT agreed to create a working group for the drafting of guidelines to assist banks in the creation of customer contracts or agreements for use with their BPO related services or products.

The document (below) does not provide a suggested text of a contract or agreement. The drafting of a BPO contract or agreement is like any other bank document and should remain within the domain and control of the concerned bank. However, what it does provide is a suggested list of categories, and the individual components within those categories, that should be considered when drafting a customer contract or agreement.

The appendix to the document contains a list of bank financing product and services descriptions that were drafted by SWIFT in May 2009 for the Trade Services Utility (TSU) documentation. This list is by no means fully encompassing or comprehensive, may contain concepts and terms which are not uniformly used worldwide, and is offered solely for guidance.

A previous draft text has been reviewed by the ICC Banking Commission Legal Committee and their valuable comments are incorporated into this final version.

It is the responsibility of each bank to design its financing products and services relating to the BPO and to assess their legal and operative feasibility.

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