Wednesday, May 15, 2013

SEPA is coming…

From 1 February 2014, there is a new European payment standard: Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). SEPA is a European Union (EU) integration initiative in the area of payments that ensures that there is no difference between domestic and cross-border payments in the 32 participating European countries. 

As of February 2014 we will only be using IBAN instead of our traditional bank account number. The goal is to make it easier for organizations and consumers to make cross-border payments and to save costs.

SEPA currently consists of the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco. 

Time is ticking….

Is your CRM system SEPA proof?

The introduction of SEPA has a lot of impact for organizations and the systems that contain payment transaction data (e.g. SAP ERP, CRM, HR, and payroll). Also web services, interfaces, forms etc. may be affected by the introduction of SEPA.

When you start with the implementation of SEPA, you will see that SAP is still working hard to fine tune the SEPA setup to meet all the SEPA requirements. New OSS notes regarding SEPA are released on a daily basis.

This blog will focus on how you can make your SAP CRM system SEPA proof. In the blog we have combined some of our findings and experiences of recent SEPA projects involving CRM 7.0 (or higher).

SEPA, we no longer need a bank account number

In SAP_ABA releases 7.1 and 7.0, new functionality is introduced to be able to handle IBAN without entering a Bank Account number. By activating the IBAN ONLY switch, the IBAN only Bank details can be maintained along with normal Bank details within the Business partner.

The IBAN ONLY option can be activated in SPRO via the path:
IMG -> Cross-Application Components -> SAP Business Partner -> Activation Switch for functions -> IBANONLY.

By default, the IBAN Only switch will not be set, implying that the default behaviour shall be that of normal Bank details as in the existing releases.

For more details see OSS note:
SAP Note 1031641 - Introducing IBAN ONLY functionality for Bank Details of BP

Because this functionality was not considered for the WEB UI you will have to implement:
SAP Note 1539788 - WEB UI: IBAN ONLY functionality w/o bank number not possible

NOTE: The IBAN ONLY option is currently only supported in the integration scenario CRM Business partner -> ECC Business partner. In the scenario CRM BP -> ECC customer you will run into replication issues and the IBAN is not replicated to ECC.

We are currently looking for a solution, together wit SAP, for the CRM BP -> ECC Customer scenario. I will post an update on this BLOG when the issue is solved.

BIC or no BIC that’s the question


When you maintain the bank details on a business partner, the SWIFT-code (BIC) is  a mandatory field. When the bank master data is maintained correctly in transaction FI01 (table BNKA), the system will automatically derive the Bank Key and SWIFT-code from the entered IBAN number.

Via transaction BIC2 you can do a mass upload of bank master data. You can purchase files with BIC reference data at

IBAN without BIC

One of our customers didn’t want to upload and maintain the bank master data for 32 EER countries.  Since the SWIFT-code (BIC) is a mandatory field, the field can’t be left empty. SAP provides a work around solution to be able to use IBAN without BIC/SWIFT.

By implementing the following notes a new customizing transaction is introduced in CRM (or ECC) that enables you to enter IBAN’s with a dummy BIC code.

OSS Notes:
SAP Note 1726191 - SEPA country settings
SAP Note 1766385 - Basic function: IBAN without BIC

After implementing the ABAP coding from the notes you have to create a fictitious internal bank using the new transaction FISEPA. It is sufficient to create one internal bank per country.
For example:
Bank country: FR
Bank key: SEPA
Name of the bank: SEPA

Then you can activate the indicator "IBAN w/o BIC" for country XX in transaction OY13.

Now when you enter an IBAN for country FR, the system will automatically fill the Bank Key with SEPA.

NOTE: In case of integration with ECC you will need to repeat the above steps in your ECC system.

Mandates in CRM?

In our current projects the mandates are maintained in ECC and will not be replicated to CRM but in case you want to setup the integration of mandates in CRM you can take a look at OSS Note:
SAP Note 1749231 - SEPA mandate: Basis for CRM/BP

IBAN replication to ECC

When the option IBAN ONLY is not activated (see OSS Note 1031641 for more info) in your system, the IBAN’s will be stored in the table TIBAN. This table is not part of the BDOC synchronization with ECC. So if you maintain an IBAN for a Business partner, the IBAN will not be visible on ECC side.

In this scenario the IBANs will be replicated via IDOCS (don’t ask me why).  The following note describes the required settings to setup IDOC replication:
SAP Note 1097088 - Using ALE to distribute the IBAN: Documentation

Also for the replication of the bank master data you can use IDOC’s. In that case you can follow the steps described in the above note but this time use object type BANK.

Additional notes which can be helpful

The following OSS note gives an overview of the recommended settings for countries in which the IBAN is already used:
SAP Note 1012293 - IBAN and maintenance of bank master data

To improve the search on bank details you can implement the following SAP Notes:
SAP Note 1481198 - Search accounts by bank detail
SAP Note 1507448 - Performance issue on bank key search help

Are you ready to start with SEPA?

I hope that we have given you some input to make your CRM system SEPA proof.  This blog only covers SAP CRM but don’t underestimate the impact of SEPA on your IT landscape. The deadline is 1 February 2014 so start now!

With the SEPA changeover you will also have to convert the bank account numbers to IBAN numbers (and BIC) in the SAP master data. SAP has provided a migration program to support this IBAN conversion. I will cover the IBAN conversion in a separate blog.

I would to thank my colleague Daan Schattenberg for his input for this Blog.