SEPA Migration Checklist

Dear client,

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) standards become mandatory across 17 Euro member states on 1 February 2014. If your organisation initiates Euro ACH payment or direct debits, action needs to be taken to ensure compliance. This email series is intended to provide you with relevant information and practical guidance.

What are the different versions of ISO 20022 XML in relation to SEPA?

If your organisation is looking to adopt ISO 20022 XML for SEPA Credit Transfers and Direct Debits, the technical discussion quickly revolves around several abbreviations including pain, camt messages and different versions. This guide is intended to simplify some of this language and provide a guidance in terms of the different versions of ISO 20022 XML that exist today.

The SEPA data formats are based on the global ISO 20022 message standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language which is defined as a set of rules for modelling documents in machine-readable form.

The ISO 20022 XML message naming convention follows the following format:

aaaa.xxx.yyy.zz

where the fields respectively refer to:

  • aaaa: Business Area (pain stands for payment initiation, camt stands for cash management),
  • xxx: Message Type (for pain, 001 identifies Credit Transfers, 008 identifies Direct Debits),
  • yyy: Variant (001 is the standard default variant, and is supported by Citi)
  • zz: Version

For example, pain.001.001.03 is version 3 of the credit transfer initiation message.

Credit Transfers: Currently the two most widely used versions of the credit transfer initiation message are version 2 (published by ISO in 2006), and version 3 (2009).  Citi can support both of these versions for SEPA Credit Transfers, as well as global payments in general. Version 2 has been supported for three years longer, and currently represents the majority of the ISO 20022 XML credit transfer transactions that Citi receives.  Version 3 is the most recent version that banks in general are supporting today, and is also the version around which the guidelines of the Common Global Implementation group have been created.  If you are planning to adopt ISO 20022 XML for the first time to send payments, we recommend you initially look at using pain.001.001.03 (version 3).

NB. ISO published version 4 of the credit transfer initiation message in 2012, with only minor changes over version 3.  This newest version does not yet appear to have been much adopted by the international banking community.

Direct Debits: Citi supports two versions of the direct debit initiation message; version 1 (published by ISO in 2006), and version 2 (2009).  Both versions can be used to implement SEPA Direct Debits, as well as other direct debit schemes offered by Citi around the world.  If you are planning to adopt ISO 20022 XML for the first time to collect direct debits, we recommend you initially look at using pain.008.001.02 (version 2).

NB. ISO published version 3 of the direct debit initiation message in 2012, with only minor changes over version 2.  This newest version does not yet appear to have been much adopted by the international banking community.

Citi is fully ISO 20022 XML compliant and is ready to support clients in their transition to SEPA.. As an XML market leader, we have the experience, technology and coverage (90+ countries) to enable you to use XML as your SEPA and global payment format, supporting your transition to XML every step of the way.  However Citi also provides the flexibility to allow clients to continue utilising several existing file formats to initiate SEPA transactions.
For further information on whether your organisation is required to adopt ISO 20022 XML or not, please see our earlier newsletter here.

SEPA has the ability to deliver real value to your organisation. Citi is committed to delivering solutions that enable you to capitalise on the benefits that SEPA offers.

To put our expertise to work for you today, please contact your Citi representative or visit our SEPA website at www.transactionservices.citi.com/SEPA where you can also find previous SEPA topics covered in this series.

Upcoming Events

  • SEPA Webinar – "SEPA: Meeting the Deadline and Looking Ahead to the New Era"
    Wednesday 25th September, 3.00- 4.00 pm BST

  • EuroFinance Barcelona – Citiís SEPA Breakfast Session with PwC
    Thursday 17th October, 8.00- 9.00 am CET

Join our EuroFinance Breakfast session to hear more about how you can meet the deadline and leverage SEPA to unlock opportunities for your organisation.

Regards,
Treasury and Trade Solutions

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