MT 798 – What is SWIFT MT 798?

Messaging Type 798 by SWIFT

MT 798 - What is SWIFT MT 798?

MT 798 is a multi-bank messaging type which is used for international trade – import, export and standby Letters of Credit.

If you deal with international trade financing through instruments like Bank GuaranteesDocumentary Credits, and Letters of Credit (LCs), you may have heard of FIN MT 7nn, which is a category 7 SWIFT code which supports the processing of bank guarantees and documentary credits between banks around the world.

In trade finance, there are several bank-to-bank and corporate-to-bank messaging systems which allow for the flow of information relating to trade finance transactions. MT 700 or MT 7nn, MT 760 and MT 798 are the three most prolific messaging types for documentary credits, standby Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantees. The following workflow shows a typical messaging service between an applicant and an advising bank, and also the reverse, between a beneficiary and the issuing banks, and where MT 7nn fits in.

Lead Bank Model – Applicant Side

MT 798 Lead Bank Model Applicant Side

Lead Bank Model – Beneficiary Side

MT 798 Lead Bank Model Beneficiary Side


What is the format of the MT 798?

Depending on the type of transaction (e.g. applying for a documentary credit, issuing an SBLC, or perhaps refusing a Letter of Credit), the format differs, and the sub-messages which are incorporated into the MT 798 will be different.

Here’s an example of an application for documentary credit transaction, which includes the index message (essentially the contents of the MT 798), the details messaging and an optional extension message which can incorporate other messaging types.

Application for Documentary Credit TransactionSOURCE: SWIFT

What is the format of MT 798?

Within the MT 798 messaging, there are several sub-messages which can be incorporated into the message. We’ve put a Document together on the format of MT 798 which you can view here:

Format of the MT 798 PreviewSource: SWIFT

Download MT 798 Format Types >

What information is required by the financial institution?

A funder will need to know the name of the advising bank. However, they will request more granular detail, such as the LC Number and LC Amount. This will also include the tenor or length of the draft. This will be alongside the latest date of shipment. The company that is liable for the confirmation fee needs to be known; along with information on what the products are being traded, location, port, unloading location and whether the LC is restricted for negotiation or not.

Some of the information for an MT 798, required by a financial institution include:

  • Unique Transaction Number
  • Sub-Message Type
  • Method of Issue – (How the Documentary Credit is Issued, e.g., courier and post type)
  • Bank Details
  • Charges Payable to the Bank
  • Who pays the confirmation charges
  • Transport Mode (e.g. Air, Sea, Rail, Road, Multinodal)
  • Forward Contract Reference Numbers
  • File Identification Number
  • Bank Details

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About the Author

Deepesh Patel is Editorial Director at Trade Finance Global (TFG). In this role, Deepesh leads efforts in developing TFG’s brand, relationships and strategic direction in key markets, including the UK, US, Singapore, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Deepesh regularly chairs and speaks at international industry events with the WTO, BCR, Excred, TXF, The Economist and Reuters, as well as industry associations including ICC, FCI, ITFA, ICISA and BAFT.

Deepesh is the host of the ‘Trade Finance Talks’ podcast and ‘Trade Finance Talks TV’. He is co-author of ‘Blockchain for Trade: A Reality Check’ with the ICC and the WTO, alongside other industry research.

In addition to his work at TFG, Deepesh is a Strategic Advisor for WOA, and works closely with ITFA. He also sits on the Fintech Working Group of the Standardised Trust.

Prior to TFG, Deepesh worked at Travelex where he was responsible for the cards business and the Travelex Money app in Europe, NAM, UK and Brazil. Deepesh is Chair of Governors and co-opted LA Governor of the Wyvern Federation, which has responsibility for 5 primary schools in South London.

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