SWIFT MT101 Usage to pay from multiple debit accounts

The previous article was about a SWIFT MT101 where the field 50a (Ordering Customer) is present in the Sequence A. As a result, the account provided in sequence A is debited for credit of all the beneficiaries mentioned in the sequence B transactions details. However, as you can see in the SWIFT MT101 definition, the field 50a can be present either in the sequence A or in the sequence B of the message.If you want to read the SWIFT MT101 definition, click on the link before or go this page.

Rule about the usage of the field 50a Ordering Customer

Now why would an ordering customer choose to put the field 50a in the sequence B? We find the answer in the MT101 Network validated rule C3. You find the rules in the SWIFT standards along with the SWIFT MT101 definition. It states: “If there is only one debit account, the ordering customer must be identified in field 50a (option F, G or H) in sequence A. Conversely, if multiple debit accounts are used, they must be identified for every transaction in field 50a (option F, G or H) of sequence B. Consequently, field 50a (option F, G or H), must be present in either sequence A (index 5) or in each occurrence of sequence B (index 15), but must never be present in both sequences, nor be absent from both sequences (Error code(s): D61).”

You may wonder what is index 5 or index 15 the rule is referring to. You find the index in the last column (No.) of the SWIFT MT101 definition / format specifications.

In other words, if the ordering customer wants funds to be debited from different accounts, then he must provide the field 50a in each occurence of the sequence B transaction details. The account provided in each transaction details is then used as debit account for that specific instruction.

SWIFT MT101 with field 50a Ordering Customer in sequence B

The picture below is similar to the one we had in the previous article. We have two domestic transactions: the first beneficiary has an account with the receiving bank. And the second beneficiary has an account with another Bank. As required in the SWIFT MT101 definition, the MT101 therefore contains two occurences of the sequence B.

SWIFT MT101 definition and field 50H in the Sequence B
SWIFT MT101 with 50a in the Sequence B transactions details

Let’s take a closer look at the message content (To easily understand it, read the SWIFT MT101 definition if not done yet). This MT101 contains two domestic transactions.

WP Data Tables

For the narratives and notes on this message, read the ones of the previous article.  The usage of the field 50H is the only difference since it is provided in the sequence B and not in the sequence A. And as we saw, the ordering customer does it when payments are to be performed out of different debit accounts.

One key take-away from this article is that Network Validated Rules provide valuable information and reading the SWIFT MT definitions only is not enough. In the next article, we will see how a parent company uses the SWIFT MT101 to pay from a subsidiary account.


    • Yes I am also a bit confused . as per explanation given “If you send 5 messages for the same order, this field will take the value 1/5 in the first message, 2/5 in the second message, and so on. 1/1 means there is only one message sent for this order.”

      Why would 5 messages be sent for same order ? Can you please elaborate with a business case ?


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