What is the difference between an IBAN and my account number?

Your account number and branch details are the primary way in which the bank identifies your account. Your IBAN is used for receipt of cross border payments in your favour to identify your account in a uniform way. It allows the sending bank to validate that the IBAN data provided is in the correct format.

Where can i get my IBAN account number? Who issues it?

When you open an account with any bank in europe, the bank is required to provide you to the IBAN account number along with your domestic account number. It is the legal requirement for all banks in europe to issue you IBAN. You have to ASK your bank to give you one.

Caution: DO NOT attempt to generate or compute IBAN by yourself or using any third party tools. Only your bank can provide you true and accurate IBAN. If you use incorrect IBAN then either payment will be rejected or you will penalised extra for defaulted payments. The algorithm published only for your understand and may not guarantee you true and accurate IBAN number.

You should use your IBAN & BIC for invoicing and for instructing a foreign bank to make payments to your account. The IBAN & BIC should be used instead of account number and branch detail in cross border payments. Always quote BIC/SWIFT code of the institution along with IBAN.

What are the costs for using IBAN in bank transfers?

Ever since july 2003, most of cross border european union payment transactions between european banks are processed and validated by means of IBAN account numbers. The significant advantage of sending payments using IBAN, the payment transaction between these countries are considered domestic and it would cost you less, but under the following conditions…

The Payment is made in EUR currency.
The total amount is less than EUR 12’500.
IBAN account number is specified along with BIC/SWIFT code of institution.
Please consult your bank for charges involving IBAN as it varies specific to countries and currency involved.

Can i also quote IBAN if my payment is sent outside the EU?

If you are sending payments outside europe, for example to USA or Asia, it is unlikely that the payer’s country banks will use IBAN system since IBAN is used widely only within europe. Therefore it is not required to send them your IBAN. All you need to give the payer is..

Account number
BIC/SWIFT code of Institution
How about receiving payments using IBAN ?

If you receive funds within EU & EEA, then you should give to payer:

IBAN account number
BIC/SWIFT code of Institution
Bank name and Address
If you receive funds from outside europe, then you have to give the payer

Account number
BIC/SWIFT code of Institution
The only difference of using IBAN is your bank will levy you only domestic charges, instead of foreign transfer. If you prefer not to quote IBAN and prefer only account number and swift code, the payment will not be considered as foreign payment and appropriate charges will be levied. Some banks will charge EUR 20 to EUR 35 for foreign transfers.

Will Banks outside of the Europe area accept an IBAN?
An IBAN can be used instead of your account number. Any bank will simply pass on the ‘account number’ as they are given it. All banks in the International Payments community should be aware of IBAN initiatives, even if their country is not using IBAN formats at present. They should therefore accept your IBAN & BIC instead of your usual account number and sort code.

Useful Links