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Common Bank Reporting and Payment File Formats for Treasury

Bank reporting and payment formats are important for the seamless exchange of payment instructions and financial information between banks and their clients. When organizations adopt direct connectivity solutions, it's necessary to select a format that supports automated communication and creates efficiencies in the exchange of these messages.

Formats follow a structured arrangement of information required for processing financial transactions and information electronically. They specify how payment data should be organized and presented to ensure accurate and efficient processing by banks, financial institutions, and payment systems. In return, they also structure how bank statement data is sent back to clients for reporting and reconciliation purposes.

What are Bank Reporting Formats?

Bank reporting formats are standardized file structures used to exchange detailed financial information between banks and their clients. These formats ensure accurate and efficient communication of account balances, transaction details, and other critical financial data.

What are Payment File Formats?

Payment file formats are important for the accurate and efficient processing of various types of electronic payments between organizations and their banking partners. These standardized formats enable the secure transmission of payment instructions, ensuring that funds are transferred correctly and on time. 

By using these formats, treasury teams can streamline their payment processes, reduce errors, and enhance compliance with regulatory requirements.

Bank Reporting and Payment File Formats for Treasury

Treasury teams utilize various file formats for both reporting and payments, each designed to carry specific types of information. Below, we explore these formats and the types of data they can handle. 



What is a BAI2 File?

The Bank Administration Institute created the BAI2 format to be a widely-used cash management balance reporting specification in the United States. It’s designed to facilitate the exchange of detailed financial information between banks and their clients. This format is primarily text-based and consists of structured files that allow for efficient transmission and processing of account data.

What is a BAI2 File used for?

  • Cash Management (specifically daily cash positioning)
  • Automated Account Reconciliation
  • Treasury Operations
    • Monitor and manage corporate liquidity, ensuring that there are sufficient funds available to meet obligations and optimizing the use of excess cash
  • Payment Monitoring
  • Multi-Bank Reporting




What is an EDI File?

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is a widely adopted format for the exchange of structured data between organizations. In the context of banking and treasury management, EDI files are used to store and transmit detailed financial transactions and account information. The format is based on plain text, making it easily readable and accessible for both automated systems and human review.

What is an EDI File used for?

  • Finance, Treasury, and Cash Management
  • Account Analysis Statements (EDI 822)
  • Remittance Details (EDI 820 or 810)
    • Cash Concentration and Disbursement (EDI 820)
  • FX/Trade Confirmation (EDI 867)
    • Lockbox (EDI 823)
    • Direct Debit Authorization (EDI 828)


What is an EDI 822 File?


The EDI 822 file format is specifically designed for account analysis reporting. It provides detailed statements that help organizations review and analyze their account activities. Key information typically included in an EDI 822 file consists of account balances, transaction details, fees, and interest charges. 


What is an EDI 823 File? 


The EDI 823 format is tailored for the reporting of lockbox data. Lockbox services are used by organizations to streamline the processing of incoming payments, such as customer remittances. An EDI 823 file includes information about payments received, such as payer details, payment amounts, and dates. However, it’s important to note that the EDI 823 format does not include remittance advice line item data, which means it focuses more on the summary of payments rather than detailed remittance information.



ISO 20022 XML

What is ISO 20022 XML?

ISO 20022 XML, maintained by the International Organization for Standardization, is a versatile and comprehensive messaging standard that uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) to aid the exchange of financial information between organizations and their banking partners. This format promotes interoperability by providing a common language for financial communications, enabling different systems to understand and process the data efficiently. This file format will be widely adopted by global financial institutions by the end of 2025. 

ISO 20022 XML supports rich and detailed data structures, enhancing the accuracy and depth of financial messages, which in turn are more likely to post automatically, potentially reducing manual touch points for faster reconciliation, increased straight-through processing, and reduced risk of fraud. 

What is ISO 20022 XML used for?

  • Payments
    • Credit Transfers
    • Direct Debits
    • Real-Time Payments
  • Securities
    • Trade Settlement
    • Corporate Actions: dividends, stock splits, and mergers
  • Foreign Exchange (FX)
    • Trade Confirmation
    • Settlement Instructions
  • Cash Management
    • Bank Account Statements
    • Liquidity Management
  • Trade Finance
    • Letters of Credit
    • Documentary Collections
  • Regulatory Reporting
    • Compliance
    • Audit Trails

camt.052.001.02 for Intraday Transactions and Balances


One of the key message types within the ISO 20022 XML standard is the camt.052.001.02, also known as the Bank-to-Customer Account Report. This message type is used for reporting intraday transactions and balances, providing treasury teams with real-time insights into their account activities. 


The camt.052.001.02 message includes detailed information about each transaction, such as:


Account Information:

Identifies the account being reported on, including account numbers and descriptions. 


Balance Information:

Provides current and available balance details, helping treasury teams manage liquidity and cash positions effectively. 


Transaction Details:

Lists all intraday transactions, including amounts, transaction types, dates, and references. This detailed reporting allows for precise tracking and analysis of account activity throughout the day. 




What is SWIFT?

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a globally recognized network that provides international and cross-border payment instructions and reporting between financial institutions and their clients. 

A SWIFT file ensures secure, reliable, and standardized communication, making it an important tool for global treasury operations. By using SWIFT, organizations can streamline their international payment processes and ensure accurate and timely financial reporting.

What is SWIFT used for?

  • International Money Transfers
    • Bank-to-Bank Transfers
    • Remittances
  • Secure Messaging
    • Standardized Messaging
    • Interbank Communication
  • Trade Finance
    • Letters of Credit
    • Documentary Collections
  • Securities Trading
    • Trade Confirmation
    • Clearing and Settlement
  • Compliance and Reporting
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Corporate Services
    • Treasury and Cash Management: manage cash positions, make payments, and handle liquidity management

What is a SWIFT Message?


SWIFT messages are structured in a standardized format known as MT (Message Type), where each message type is identified by a unique three-digit code (MTXXX). These messages are plain text files that follow a specific structure, making them easy to parse and process by different banking systems. Two common message types used for reporting purposes are MT940 and MT942.


What is MT940 used for? 


The MT940 message type is used for prior-day balance and transaction reporting. It provides a detailed account statement that includes information about all transactions that occurred on the previous day. Key elements of an MT940 message include:


Account Identification:

Details about the account being reported on, including account numbers and descriptions. 


Opening and Closing Balance:

Information on the account balance at the start and end of the reporting period. 


Transaction Details:

Comprehensive information about each transaction, such as amounts, transaction types, dates, and references. 


What is MT942 used for?


The MT942 message type is used for intra-day transaction reporting, providing real-time updates on account activities throughout the day. This message includes:


Account Identification: 

Similar to MT940, it specifies the account being reported on. 


Balance Information:

Current balance details, including booked and available balances. 


Transaction Details: 

Information about transactions as they occur, allowing for immediate tracking and monitoring. 




What is CSV?

Comma-Separated Values (CSV) is a widely used format for storing and exchanging tabular data. Each line in a CSV file represents a data record, and each record consists of fields separated by commas. This simple, text-based structure makes CSV files easy to read, write, and parse by both humans and machines. In treasury management, CSV files are often used to store and transfer financial data, such as account balances, transaction details, and payment instructions.

What is CSV used for?

  • Data Import and Export
  • Data Analysis
  • Financial Reporting and Record Keeping
  • Bulk Payment Processing



What is PDF?

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format developed by Adobe that presents documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. PDFs are commonly used for sharing documents because they maintain the original formatting and layout, ensuring that the document appears the same on any device. Although not commonly used for automated processing, files are sometimes used for sending bank statements and other financial reports in a human-readable format.

What is PDF used for?

  • Bank Statements
  • Financial Reports
  • Payment Confirmations
  • Invoices and Receipts
  • Compliance and Regulatory Documents
  • Contracts and Agreements



What is the NACHA Format?

The National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) format is a widely used standard for electronic payments in the United States. This text-based format is designed to facilitate the automated clearing of funds between financial institutions, enabling a secure and efficient method for processing a wide range of electronic payments. The NACHA format is integral to the operation of the Automated Clearing House network, which handles millions of transactions daily.

What is the NACHA Format used for?

  • Payroll Deposits
  • Business-to-Business Payments
  • Direct Payment of Consumer Bills
  • Government Benefit Deposits
  • E-commerce Payments


Positive Pay

What is Positive Pay?

Positive Pay is a fraud prevention tool used by organizations to protect against unauthorized or altered checks. It involves providing the bank with a list of issued checks, including details such as check numbers, dates, and amounts. 

When checks are presented for payment, the bank verifies the information against the provided list. Any discrepancies or mismatches are flagged for review, allowing the organization to approve or reject the payment before funds are released.

What is Positive Pay used for?

  • Fraud Detection
    • Verification Process
    • Mismatch Alerts
  • Improved Financial Security
    • Prevents Unauthorized Checks
    • Reduces Check Fraud Risk
  • Operational Efficiency
    • Automated Reconciliation
    • Timely Detection
  • Enhanced Control
    • Exception Handling
    • Audit Trail
  • Compliance and Reporting
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Internal Controls



What is ANSI ASC X12?

ANSI ASC X12 is a standardized format for EDI that facilitates the exchange of structured business information between organizations. Developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, this format is widely used in various industries, including banking, to streamline and automate business transactions. 

What is the ANSI ASC X12 Format used for?

  • Payment and Cash Application Data
  • Shipping and Receiving Information
  • Invoicing
  • Order Placement and Processing



Choosing the right bank file formats is important for treasury teams to ensure accurate, efficient, and secure financial communications. Each file format, whether it’s BAI2 for detailed cash management reporting, EDI for structured data exchange, ISO 20022 XML for flexible and rich data messaging, SWIFT for international payments, or CSV for versatile tabular data storage, plays a vital role in the operation of treasury functions. These formats enable organizations to automate processes, reduce manual errors, and maintain compliance with regulatory standards.

Understanding and implementing the appropriate bank reporting and payment file formats are necessary steps towards achieving streamlined and effective treasury management. Similar to changes coming with Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA), financial communications are continuing to evolve into more modern solutions and implementing technologies that can utilize or produce these formats are necessary steps towards achieving streamlined finance and treasury operations.

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Disclaimer: DebtBook does not provide professional services or advice. DebtBook has prepared these materials for general informational and educational purposes, which means we have not tailored the information to your specific circumstances. Please consult your professional advisors before taking action based on any information in these materials. Any use of this information is solely at your own risk.

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