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Have you ever been in the situation that the BIC in your SEPA-Mandate of a customer was wrong although it seemed the correct bank had been selected?

Actually I was. In the first years working as a consultant I thought, this is a no-brainer. So I entered T-Code FI02, changed the BIC as requested, and job done. Since this is a global setting that applies to all bank accounts using the according bank number, you might imagine what has happend in the next payment run...

So another solution is required.


Using transaction code BAUP to import the bank master data, e.g. from the Österreichische Nationalbank, the Deutsche Bundesbank or the Narodowy Bank Polski, is in general an easy job that can be performed manually. In detail the steps are

  • download the file from the according source into the download folder,

  • start transaction code BAUP,

  • select the desired file structure and the file and path name to the downloaded file,

  • perform a test run to see what is going to be changed, and

  • perform an update run.

You may also want to flag banks, that are no longer included in the file and thus are no longer valid with a deletion flag.

The field that is greyed out, however, is the field "Bank Key" that has the value "Bank number (National ID). In other words the bank key is identical to the bank number.

Transaction Code BAUP

With a system setup where the bank key is identical to the bank number searching for banks is easy since there is no need to think whether to use the bank key or the bank number to filter, order or search the result. Actually most of the people that I got in contact with and that have been working for a longer time with a system setup like that think that bank key and bank number are the same and get confused e.g. when being confronted with banks in a country that have no bank number.

How does this help to overcome the situation described above?


Since bank key and bank number are in fact different fields in a bank master record they may have a different field value. To allow this, the country settings have to be changed. To be precise, it is a central country setting recorded in database table T005 that can be maintained using transaction code OY17.

Country settings

With the settings from this screenshot we have the behaviour described above, i.e. the value for the Bank Key is automatically taken over from the field Bank Number.

Remembering the initially presented situation it is obvious that this setting must be changed into something different. Strictly speaking, '3' = 'Assign internally' and '4' = 'Assign externally' seem to be valid options.

Comparing the outcome of both of these options, when asked I advise to use the latter. The reason for that is that the outcome is much more convenient compared to internal numberings. And having a closer look into the documentation of this very field the answer to the question which of these settings shall be used is pretty obvious, i.e. '4'.

Having changed the country settings in customizing accordingly, we are now able to maintain the formerly grayed-out filed "Bank Key".

T-Code BAUP: Bank key

Now we have to tell the system which value from the bank master shall be used as the bank key. To overcome the initial issue the values 6 = 'BIC Code/Bank Number (Optimized)', 7 = 'Bank Number/BIC Code (Optimized)' and 8 = 'All BIC Codes and Bank Numbers' are valid options. Again from my experience the best option here and '6' and '7' depending on whether you prefer the bank number of the BIC Code as the leading object.

Which of these options you want to use depends on the primary value you expect in the field Bank Number. If you prefer working with bank numbers will likely use the value 7 and if the BIC is your favorite, 6 will be your choice.

Either way both options will cope with the situation and provide us with any combination of Bank Number and BIC.


Now that we have all necessary banks in the system SEPA mandates can be maintained with the correct house bank.

But, are there any side effects?

The clear answer is: it depends.

My experience is that some training and knowledge transfer is required to avoid annoyance of users. Additionally, if bank master data is used in used in customer programs or interfaces tests are required to ensure things are still working correctly.

Hope someone can benefit from this blog and I'm curious to hear about your experiences.