What are IBAN Codes and What Countries Use Them?

What are IBAN Codes and What Countries Use Them?

If you’ve ever tried to send money overseas, chances are you’ve been asked for an IBAN code.

Some countries use them, some countries don’t. To those who don’t regularly deal with them, it can all get a little confusing. But not to worry, we’re about to make it all seem much clearer for you, and hopefully make it easier for you to send money internationally.

Here’s everything you need to know about IBAN Codes.

What is IBAN?

The first thing you should know is that IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number.

IBAN is an internationally agreed format, made of up to 34 letters and numbers, which helps banks make sure that international transfers are processed correctly. A typical IBAN includes all of the country, bank, and account details you need to send or receive money internationally.

This system is already being used throughout Europe, as well as some areas in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean.

The 34 alphanumeric characters that an IBAN code consists of are broken down as follows:

Country Code: 2 letter code
Control Code: 2 number code
Remaining: up to 30 letters and numbers outlining the domestic bank and account number.

What Countries Use IBAN?

The use of IBAN is mandatory in the following countries:

Andorra Austria Bahrain Belgium Bosnia
Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Faroe Islands Finland France Georgia
Germany Gibraltar Great Britain Greece Greenland
Guernsey Hungary Iceland Ireland Isle of Man
Italy Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kuwait
Latvia Lebanon Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg
Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro
Netherlands Norway Palestine Poland Portugal
Qatar Romania San Marino Saudi Arabia Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Tunisia
Turkey Ukraine United Arab Emirates

While not mandatory, the use of IBAN is recommended in these countries also:

Albania Azerbaijan Belarus Brazil Costa Rica
Dominican Republic Guatemala Iraq Iran Israel
Kosovo Kuwait Mauritania Mauritius Pakistan
São Tomé and Príncipe Serbia Seychelles St Lucia Virgin Islands
IBAN, BIC, SWIFT – What’s the Difference?

SWIFT codes, BICs and IBANs are all used to help banks identify where a transfer is headed. However, the process and details needed varies depending on the location of the banks involved.

A SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) code gives details of the country and bank a transfer is headed to, while an IBAN contains enough information to identify the exact bank account needed.

A BIC Code (Business Identifier Code) is popular in certain countries and is still used alongside IBAN and other account number formats more as a matter of convention and also by the traditional financial services industry.

How to find an IBAN code

Finding the right IBAN code is super-important, and thankfully it’s not very difficult. If you don’t use the correct IBAN code, your payment might be returned or sent to the wrong account.

To find your IBAN code, simply log in to your bank’s online banking, or check your bank statement. If for some reason can’t find it, call your bank so you get it right the first time. 

When sending money abroad, probably the best way to get the necessary IBAN code is by simply asking the recipient to provide the details.  If the recipient doesn’t have their IBAN, or doesn’t know how to find it, ask them to call their bank and request their code.

If you can’t get in contact with the recipient, or are finding it hard to get a hold of your bank, you can search for your desired IBAN online. There are several online calculators which will convert a bank account to an IBAN. All you have to do is input the bank’s code and the account number.

However, always exercise caution and reconfirm the IBAN number. Sending payments to an invalid IBAN number can lead to lost payments and long wait times for refunds.

You can see sample IBANs by country here.

What Is The Best Way To Send Money Internationally?

One of the most popular ways to transfer money internationally is a wire transfer.

Unfortunately it can take around 5 business days for the recipient to receive their funds. Wire transfers are also very expensive, especially when it comes to international payments. This is due to high bank fees and a poor exchange rate the sender is being charged.  

They also require gathering a lot of information, and oftentimes, an annoying trip to the bank.

The better alternative would be to make an online payment. Online payments are able to process much quicker than wire transfers. But banks and other financial services can still rip you off with high fees and FX rates.

Here at REMITR, we can solve all your international payment problems. Our service allows companies to send money to over 150 countries worldwide at any time.  With REMITR, you get the best live foreign exchange rate –  regardless of banking hours.

We also offer guaranteed savings, charging a flat fee of just $5 to most countries. And that’s no matter how much you send!

The beneficiary receives all the money that you send; we don’t charge any sneaky receiver fees when you send to them in their local currency.

Time is money – save them both by getting in touch with REMITR today.

Remitr is the better alternative to cheques, bank visits and wire transfers (they all suck). The Remitr Global Network allows fast, often 1-day, business payments worldwide. Remitr also offers businesses a free Global Business Account for receiving online sales payouts in USD, GBP and EUR – all without the bank fees or the delays.

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