The International Bank Account Number (“IBAN”) is a system to identify bank accounts internationally to facilitate the communication and processing of cross border transactions with a reduced risk of transcription errors. IBAN is used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers.
The system initially developed to facilitate payments within the European Union and currently has been implemented by most European countries and many countries in the Middle East and the Caribbean. As of April 2015, 66 countries were using the IBAN numbering system.
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) is the formal registrar of the system.
The IBAN consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters which formatted as below
- The first two 2 characters ("CC") specify the country code as of ISO 3166-1 alpha-2. Only letters.
- The next 2 characters ("KK") specify the check digits for a sanity check. Only digits.
- The remaining characters up to 30 characters ("BBBBBBBBBBBB...") specify the Basic Bank Account Number (“BBAN”). The format is decided by the national central bank or designated payment authority of each country. Both letters & digits allowed.
The length of BBAN can be up to a maximum of 30 alphanumeric characters.
However, each country will have a fixed length and comprise case-insensitive alphanumeric characters. BBAN will normally local bank routing information such as bank & branch indentifier and domestic bank account number.