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BANK KEY vs SWIFT CODE

Mar 12, 2017 at 08:10 AM

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1. Usually, do are bank keys externally assigned or internally assigned by system?

2. Is it a good practice to store SWIFT code is the bank key?

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Best Answer
Bohdan Petrushchak Mar 12, 2017 at 07:47 PM
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Hello,

Best practice assumes that bank key is usually defined externally. Each country has its own codification systems and issues its own keys uniquely identifying banks e.g. in Ukraine we use so called MFO-code, Russia / Belarus use BIC-codes etc. You can check upon common approaches for usage of bank keys in other countries in this Wikipedia article. Bank key is usually used as payment requisite in local bank transfers, whereas SWIFT-codes are used for international payments. Hence, another good practice is to store both values in bank master record in FI01. Moreower, SAP actually created separate field, where SWIFT code can be stored.

I would also recommend to set up country specific checks in t-code OY17 defining the following:

- bank key should be equal to bank number (option 1 in drop-down list);

- maximum length for bank number / bank key as well as checking rule 4, meaning that the length should be kept exactly to the settings.

Proper set-up of country specific rules serves as a safety mechanism and insures integrity of banks' master records. Without this set-up you might run into trouble where bank data is really chaotic. Once, I encountered the situation where there were around 500 banks defined for a country, whereas in reality there were only 120 banks. Other records were either duplicates or incorrect entries with SWIFT-codes entered as bank key etc. This chaos not only confuses everyone, it also creates all sorts for problems with automatic payment program, bank statement, print forms etc.

Hope this would help you!

Regards,

Bohdan

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For the moment we are having some issues with French bank accounts.

The bank number in France should identify the bank and its location. In theory the SWIFT code of one bank number should be unique. Which of course it isn't!

Our current configuration (bank key = bank number), implicates that we can only manage one SWIFT code per bank number.

Therefore we are now exploring the option of using the SWIFT code as our bank key for the FR bank accounts of our business partners.

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