EBS – How to interpret a BAI2 file

Hello Reader,

I would like to share the knowledge I gained around Electronic Bank Statement (aka EBS) processing. After avoiding it for several years, finally the time turned on me. What appeared as cumbersome all these years, is actually very interesting and logical

To begin with, I would like to start with a very basic topic – Interpreting the BAI2 file. There are many other prevalent formats for EBS like MT940 / Multi Cash Format, etc.

The BAI2 file is a plain text file (.TXT Format), which contains values / texts one after the other. Hence, interpreting that becomes a bit tedious. Usually, one should request a BAI Statement Guide from the Bank / End Client to interpret the BAI2 file. A Sample BAI2 Statement Guide is attached at the end of this document

For now, I will make an attempt to explain what and how does a BAI2 file contain. Other Bank statement formats (MT940, etc.) also have a similar science surrounding them

This is how a BAI2 bank statement file looks like.


With the help of colour coding, lets understand how to interpret the key elements in the above file.

The data records in the screenshot above are depicted in the below excel sheet. With different colour coding for various key elements, I shall try to explain what do they mean


The file records with 01, 02 and 03 contain the basic information with regards to Bank Routing No (Bank Key). Statement generation date, Statement date, Bank Account no., Opening Balance, etc

The file records with 88 always contain some extra information about the preceding record. In the above screenshot, the records with 88 after the 03 record, contain information about Closing Balance, Total Debits and Total Credits

The file records beginning with 16 contain the transactional information – Checks In / Out, Wires In / Out, Bank Charges, Bank Interest, etc. Each one of these transactions is represented by a unique transaction type. For example, 475 for Checks Out, 354 for Interest Income, etc. We use these transactions to trigger the various postings in the FI – General Ledger

If some extra information is there about a particular transaction, the data record 16 will follow with a 88 data record (See below). The 88 record usually serves the purpose of “Note to Payee” wherein Invoice Reference or some Unique reference about the transaction is stored. Using this information, for example, an incoming check from a customer can be used to clear the invoice


The records 49, 98, 99 appear at the end. These signify the closure records of the Bank Statement.

I hope this simple explanation helps you to understand the basics of BAI2 file.

The link to download the BAI2 Statement Guide is here: BAI2 File Format Guide 091208.doc – Google Drive

Please do share your feedback on the same and we can improve it

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Ajay Maheshwari

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