Payments: Global EBICS Access

In order to execute international payments, organizations use different communication channels, especially EBICS, SWIFT and local host connections.

As EBICS is increasingly used in more and more countries, this protocol is an option for a growing number of organizations. In addition to Germany, EBICS is available in France and recently has also become a standard in Switzerland. There are also initiatives in Portugal and Austria. In addition, individual banks offer EBICS in other European countries.

There are two different options that lend themselves specifically for global use of EBICS:

EBICS with a bank as a hub

If the bank is used as a hub, organizations can route a payment file via EBICS to their house bank. The bank then distributes the individual payments to the banks in the different locations in which the payments are to be executed. This can be performed via the bank's network – if the organization only uses one bank – or the house bank can forward the payment via "request for transfer" (RFT) using MT101 to banks outside of the network. For example, a company can ask its bank to “instruct bank X in Paris to transfer an amount from my account in Paris to an account in Hong Kong".

This approach is often used for treasury payments for which a high value payment file is generated. However, some banks also execute mass payments.

Direct credit transfers via EBICS

As EBICS is used more and more globally, organizations already have the option to execute many payments directly via EBICS to the banks in different countries. A requirement for this is, of course, that the bank offers EBICS. In comparison to the hub approach, the direct transfer has the potential to save time so that payments reach the recipient more quickly. As EBICS currently is offered by banks in Europe, it especially lends itself to payments within Europe.

Which approach is the best for you?

To decide which of these two approaches or the alternatives SWIFT or host connection brings the greatest benefits, organizations have to answer the following questions:

  • What kind of payment structure does my organization have?
  • Where do my payments go to (which countries, which banks)?
  • Which approach is the best for me in regard to price, time and technology?

A detailed look at the status quo in the beginning is the most helpful method to find the right solution.

If you require support in evaluating your individual situation, we will be happy to help you in the process. In an analysis of potential we look at the status quo and, based on our long-time experience from projects, work out a strategy and realization plan with you that best fit your organization. For more information on that approach, please have a look at our article on our Business Cases and contact us if you are interested or just have questions. And last but not least: our SAP-integrated software FinanceSuite Payment Management covers EBICS, SWIFT and host connections and thus offers a high degree of flexibility.