Customers with accounts in the UAE: mandatory new Purpose of Payment codes

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In support of recent changes announced by the Central Bank of UAE, effective 18 March 2017, a valid Purpose of Payment code will be mandatory for all domestic ACH Credit and Priority Payments (where the debit account is held with HSBC UAE). In addition, the list of accepted Purpose of Payment codes is being updated to include changes to existing purpose codes, as well as the introduction of additional codes.

If a valid Purpose of Payment code is not provided in the appropriate field (as per the below information), your transaction(s) will be rejected.

The full list of revised Purpose of Payment codes is available here (PDF, 270KB)

Please note that the new Purpose of Payment codes will be enforced effective 18 March 2017. After this date, if you include a code that is no longer on the list, your transaction(s) will be rejected.

Please note, the REM, MIS, RBC, ROC and INV codes will be removed from the list of accepted codes effective 18 March 2017.

We are introducing new codes on HSBCnet to replace these expired codes. This change is with effect from Dec 9th 2016, where 44 Purpose of Payment codes are to be made available from Dec 9th, 2016 and remaining 14 Purpose of Payment codes to be made available by end of Jan 2017. Please also note that these Purpose of Payment codes may be amended in accordance with Central Bank of UAE instructions.

Action required by 18 March 2017

Use the Purpose of payment field instead of the beneficiary reference field to provide valid Purpose of Payment codes for your payment instructions (details provided below).

For Wages Protection System (WPS) transactions, please use the WPS-specific screens and WPS-specific file formats only. If you are using the ACH Credit file format to initiate a WPS transaction, a Purpose of Payment code will be mandatory. Please make the necessary changes to your respective payment files based on the information provided below.

Domestic Priority Payments and Customer Transfers already require a valid Purpose of Payment code. Please use the new list of payment codes to update your payment files accordingly.

Please also note that, with effect from 9 December 2016, customers using Smartforms need to use the new Smartform Version V1K (PDF, 1.6MB) carrying the updated purpose of payment codes for UAE while submitting instructions to the Bank. With effect from 9 December 2016, all previous versions of the Smartform will not be accepted for processing by the Bank. Please note to always refer to the Download centre on HSBC UAE Business website to retrieve the latest version of the Smartform.

How to include Purpose of Payment codes in your payment instructions

The attached file format guidance document (PDF, 297KB) provides information on related to populating the Purpose of Payment code as per respective file formats.

We expect the Central Bank of UAE to announce additional changes regarding international payments in 2017. We will advise you once we receive further notification from the Central Bank.

For more information on Purpose of Payment requirements in UAE, please contact your HSBC representative.

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