Wire Virtual Account Number

In an effort to better reconcile funds when receiving wires, we are upgrading the current reconciliation mechanism that requires customers to enter both Circle’s unified omnibus number and tracking reference number when sending wires to Circle. Circle’s new solution is based on Virtual Account Number, which is a unique bank account number we will assign to you as well as your end-users. Each Virtual Account Number is uniquely attributed to both Circle and a specific customer. Once in effect, you will use your Virtual Account Number each time you send a wire to Circle, and that Virtual Account Number will allow Circle to attribute incoming funds accordingly. This eliminates the need to input both the Circle Omnibus Account Number and Tracking Reference ID when sending wires, thereby improving the customer experience and the incidents of wires returned due to missing reference ids.

Timeline

Impacted APIs

Effective Date

Core Functionality: get wire deposit instructions

Sandbox & Production: July 28th, 2022

Payments API: get wire payment instructions

Sandbox: September 19th, 2022

Production: October 11th, 2022

FAQ

What is a Virtual Account Number ?

Circle manages a single omnibus account number for receiving all wire payments. The way Circle identifies funds and assigns them to you is through the use of a Virtual Account Number. This unique number enables us to properly attribute those wired funds to you or your end users account.

With our current approach, we have to rely only on this Circle/Tracking reference number being entered correctly to identify the customer funds coming in. In the case that the customer or the bank initiating the funds transfer omits or makes an error in capturing the Circle reference number, funds are often returned and we cannot reconcile i.e. identify the customer. Also, in case of intermediary and FFC(For Further Credits) banks, Circle/Tracking reference number may get dropped out from the payment instruction and as a result funds are returned and we cannot reconcile i.e. identify the customer.

What are the benefits of Virtual Account Number ?

When customers use Virtual Account Number to make a local Wire Payment or Internal SWIFT transfer, they do not have to quote a tracking reference in the payment instruction. Each linked fiat account will be assigned a unique Virtual Account Number and any incoming wire payment funds will be attributed to the customer wallet based on the Virtual Account Number that is attributed to them.

This eliminates one of the most common reasons for wire returns (missing or incorrect tracking reference in the incoming wire) and thereby improves the wire payment experience and success rate.

Which Payment rails are supported for Virtual Account Number?

All Domestic and International wire transfers (i.e.SWIFT payment) are supported with Virtual Account Number.

What endpoints are affected?

There is no impact to the existing API schemas. Instead we change the underlying field value beneficiaryBank.accountNumber to a Virtual Account Number rather than using Circle’s Omnibus account number. All other information i.e. Beneficiary Bank Name, address, SWIFT code and routing number etc. will remain unchanged.

The beneficiaryBank.accountNumber field is located within:

  1. Get wire deposit instructions GET: /v1/businessAccount/banks/wires/{id}/instructions
  2. Get wire payment instructions GET: /v1/banks/wires/{id}/instructions

Is Tracking Reference still supported?

Customers may continue to use the older omnibus account *7427 along with tracking reference to send payments for already linked Fiat accounts as the change is backward compatible. In this case, customers are still required to ensure correct tracking reference is included in payment instruction. In absence or error in tracking reference, funds cannot be attributed to appropriate customer wallet and may result in funds being returned.

Once the Virtual Account Number feature is in effect, any fiat account linked after feature rollout date will be automatically assigned Virtual Account Number and it is highly recommended that customers should use their assigned Virtual Account Number when sending funds to Circle.

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Once the feature is in effect, you may still see the tracking reference id provided along with the Virtual Account in the get wire instruction call. This reference id is being provided for backward compatibility and is not required to be included in the wire instruction if sending to the Virtual Account Number. We will in future look to deprecate and remove this tracking id as well.


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