Over the past several years, much has been written about adoption of ISO 20022 XML payments. Implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) ensured widespread adoption of this payment messaging standard across Europe and beyond. As a result, many companies today enjoy a level of traceability and transparency that was previously unavailable in their payment processes.

The ISO 20022 XML standard includes an identifier for each payment called an End to End ID. This is an identifier that unambiguously marks the individual payment. For example, it could be an accounting document number that ties back to the system originating the payment. This information is unchanged throughout the payment chain and allows all parties to use a common identifier for the payment. Thus, if a seller has a question about how to allocate a payment it receives, everyone involved in the conversation at both the seller and the buyer can refer to the payment's End to End ID and be confident that they're talking about the same transaction.

For most companies that raced to meet the SEPA deadlines, the XML journey ended after their payments implementation. It shouldn't have.

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