Implement Electronic Payments the Easy Way

  • by Vinayak Ghugare, SAP Consultant, Infosys Technologies Ltd.
  • May 15, 2006
Are you ready to reap the benefits of electronic payments? Implementing an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) interface is sometimes considered a difficult and time-consuming activity. However, with IDocs and this implementation guide, it can be a quick and easy process.
Key Concept

The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) interface has become known for providing quick and accurate exchange of information with various partners. The EDI interface is the common method of transfer of data between companies using networks, such as VANs or the Internet. The EDI interface generates and accepts electronic payment instructions in its own standard message types and also in the form of SAP Intermediate Documents (IDocs), for processing outgoing payments in SAP systems. Therefore, the EDI Interface is the pathway for both its own EDI message types as well as IDocs. IDocs are SAP-provided containers for the transfer of data between SAP and non-SAP systems. You can send IDocs directly to your bank partner as is or you can convert them to standard EDI messages in the EDI subsystem, which has the tools to convert the IDocs into EDI message types. The EDI interface transfers payment information to the bank electronically, resulting in a fast and accurate exchange.

Fully electronic payment is an important aspect of electronic commerce. Most banks can accept electronic payment instructions from corporate clients. Some accept SAP IDocs as one of the standard ways of transmitting payment processing instructions. One way to do this would be to implement a custom solution by writing customized Z programs to create payment instructions and then send them to banks. However, I’ll describe an easier way to implement an SAP pay-order IDoc interface with a bank. I’ll also provide some tips to help the functional or technical consultant make the implementation a success as well as information that may help in the decision-making process.

This functionality is available in Release 4.x and above. First things first: You need to talk to your bank to find out whether it accepts SAP IDocs as a payment instruction file. If it does not, the EDI subsystem can also convert IDocs into standard EDI message types automatically and send them to the bank, so you can still benefit from this method.

Two widely used EDI message standards to which you could choose to convert are ANSI X12 and EDIFACT. Once the bank agrees to accept SAP IDocs as a payment instruction file, follow the process below to set up your SAP system to generate payment instruction IDocs.

Vinayak Ghugare

Vinayak Ghugare is an SAP consultant with specialization in FI-CO. He has over seven years of consulting and functional experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in production engineering and a master’s degree in business administration with specialization in finance. He has worked with clients from the high-tech, manufacturing, retail, and telecom industries.

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10/10/2013 1:36:37 PM

Hi Vinayak,

If you have experience can you please explain how to upload the ack IDOC back into SAP to process the SAP IDOC? Please explain it with configuration step on Port and Partner profile.

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