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International Bank Account Number

International Bank Account Number

International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an internationally agreed method of representing bank account numbers for banking transactions

The IBAN is a universally accepted numbering system identifying an international bank account. It consists of thirty-four alphanumeric characters. These characters convey specific information for the account—functioning to accurately identify the individual, the country of their bank, their specific bank, and their bank account number.

The IBAN is what allows for automation of cross-border transaction processing; although it is not used in every country, it is recognized internationally.The IBAN works to facilitate successful international payments and fund transfers, even more so in Europe where international transactions are more frequent. Europe first began using the IBAN in 1997 after it was standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 136:1997). There were sixty-nine countries using IBAN by 2016.

Example of United Kingdom IBAN

A Basic Bank Account Number is made up of the bank identifier code, the branch code, and an account number. However, International Bank Account Numbers are made up of the Basic Bank Account Numbers, in addition to the country code and check digit code. While the criteria for an IBAN is universal, the arrangement of the information varies by country. Account numbers became standardized in 1997.


IBANs are standardized by the European Committee For Banking Standards.

Further Resources


What is IBAN? What does IBAN mean? IBAN meaning, definition & explanation


April 12, 2017


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