The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for identifying bank accounts across national borders. It was originally adopted by the European Committee for Banking Standards, and was later adopted as an international standard under ISO 13616:1997 and now as ISO 13616:2007. The official IBAN registrar under ISO 13616:2003 is SWIFT and the IBAN registry is currently at SWIFT.
The IBAN was originally developed to facilitate payments within the European Union but the format is flexible enough to be applied globally. Customers, especially individuals and SMEs, are frequently confused by differing national standards for bank account numbers. IBAN imposes a flexible but regular format for account identification and contains validation information to avoid errors of transcription.
The IBAN's primary purpose is to facilitate cross-border inter-bank routing and avoid routing errors.
The IBAN consists of a ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code, followed by two check digits and up to thirty alphanumeric characters for the domestic bank account number, called the BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number). It is up to each country's national banking community to decide on the length of the BBAN for accounts in that country, but its length must be fixed for any given country.
The IBAN should not contain spaces when transmitted electronically. When printed on paper, however, the norm is to express it in groups of four characters separated by a single space, the last group being of variable length.
International Bank Account Number - IBAN
A standard numbering system developed to identify bank accounts from around the world. It was originally developed by banks in Europe to simplify transactions involving bank accounts from other countries.
The IBAN number consists of a two-letter country code followed by two check digits and up to thirty alphanumeric characters known as the basic bank account number (BBAN). It is up to the banking association of each country to determine what BBAN will be set as the standard for that country's bank accounts. Currently, the IBAN is primarily used only by banks in Europe, but the practice is becoming popular in other countries.
Note: kk after the two character ISO country code represents the check digits calculated from the rest of the IBAN characters
- Andorra (24 digits) IBAN format: ADkk BBBB SSSS CCCC CCCC CCCC
- B = bank code, S = sort code, C = account No.
- Austria (20) IBAN format: ATkk BBBB BCCC CCCC CCCC
- B = bank code, C = account No.
- Belgium (16) IBAN format: BEkk BBBC CCCC CCKK
- The last 12 digits represent: B = bank code, C = account No., K = check digits
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (20) IBAN format: BAkk BBBS SSCC CCCC CoKK
- B = bank code, S = sort code, C = account No., K = check digits