Financial Services Markup Language

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What Does Financial Services Markup Language Mean?

The Financial Services Markup Language (FSML) is a markup language based on the Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). It is designed to facilitate efficient transfer and sharing of financial documents over the Internet. The delivery of e-checks and associated documents along with financial records are also facilitated with the help of FSML. Similar to other markup languages, FSML also uses a set of markup symbols to allow its users to define the financial information items that constitute a document. Originally designed to ensure the secure transfer of e-checks by email, the use of FSML has been extended to a full range of payment mechanisms.


Techopedia Explains Financial Services Markup Language

The Financial Services Markup Language is a special type of markup language that allows the delivery of finance-related documents and information across the Internet. It has its own set of markup tags, syntax and semantics to carry out the efficient transfer of financial information and related documents.

FSML strictly adheres to it its set of rules, syntax and values associated with the data elements to ensure reliable transfer of financial information. It was originally designed to help transfer e-check information via email and ensure that information did not get corrupted by the email processing system.

Some of the applications of FSML are:

  • Electronic checks
  • Automatic clearing house payment authorization
  • ATM network transaction authorization
  • Variations of a check

Financial information may get corrupted by document processors or business applications as some blocks may be removed without invalidating the cryptographic signatures that are associated with them. FSML allows defining of the information into blocks where even the signatures and the certificates needed for signature verification can be structured as FSML blocks.

By making signatures and certificates to be part of FSML document, these blocks remain intact and available for the later signers. Thus authenticating the origin and integrity of each piece of financial documents at any point along the way becomes easy.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.