Topic: Constraints for the "reason for transfer" of wire / bank transfer payments  (Read 23357 times)

What do we have to consider when we create the payment reference ("Reason for Transfer", see screenshot) for our participants?

We recommend creating a short and unique reason for transfer that does not contain any special characters, as different banks and countries have varying requirements and limitations for the wire transfer payment reference (also called "remittance information").

We think that it is a good idea to include the short name of the conference and the ID of the participant, as the participant's name might either be not unique or include special characters that complicate the identification of the payer.

Most banks limit the permitted characters to numbers (0-9) and letters (A-Z) as well as spaces and the characters . , - / + * $ %. However, special characters such as äöü or symbols such as = : € are usually not possible.

Furthermore, the length of the reason for transfer is not fully standardized. Although SEPA (and the EACT standard) introduced one field of 140 characters for the reason for transfer, banks often offer 2 to 4 fields with 27 or 35 characters per line, as former bank transfer standards provided these options and banks usually need many years to update their systems.  

So if your reason for transfer fits in two fields with 27 characters each and avoids any special characters except the above mentioned, you are on the safe side.

For more information please have a look at:
EACT Formatting Rules of SEPA "Unstructured" 140 Characters Field for Remittance Information (external link)
File structure and specifications for foreign trade payments pursuant to sections 59 et seq of the Foreign Trade and payments Regulation (AWV) (external download)