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 to provide an IBAN code. Some countries use them while others don’t. Confused yet?

Not to worry. We’re breaking down everything you need to know about IBAN Codes. Let’s get started.

What is IBAN?

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number.

Their purpose is to help banks make sure that international transfers are processed correctly. This system is currently in place throughout Europe, as well as some areas in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caribbean.

A typical IBAN code includes all of the country, bank, and account details you need to send money internationally. IBAN codes are structured in an internationally agreed upon format of up to 34 letters and numbers. The 34 alphanumeric characters that an IBAN code consists of are broken down as follows:

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

Which Countries Use IBAN?

The use of IBAN is mandatory in the following countries:


Austria Bahrain Belgium Bosnia
Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark
Estonia Faroe Islands Finland France Georgia
Germany Gibraltar 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

United Arab Emirates

United Kingdom

 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 as well. 

A BIC Code (Business Identifier Code) is popular in certain countries. It’s 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 very important. Using an incorrect IBAN code could result in your payment being returned (with delays) or sent to the wrong account. Thankfully it’s not very difficult to find the IBAN code you need.

To find your IBAN code, simply log in to your online banking portal, or check your bank statement. If you’re still unsure, or for some reason can’t find it, check by calling your bank so that you get it right the first time!

If you are sending money abroad, the best way to get the necessary IBAN code is by simply asking the recipient to provide the details you need.  If the recipient doesn’t have their IBAN (or doesn’t know how to find it) ask them to call their bank and request the 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 into an IBAN. All you have to do is input the bank’s code and the account number.

You can see sample IBANs by country here.

What’s the Best Way to Send International Business Payments?

One of the most popular ways to transfer money internationally is a wire transfer. However, it can take around 5 business days for the recipient to receive their funds – sometimes even longer.

Wire transfers are also very expensive, especially when it comes to international payments. This is due to high bank fees and the poor exchange rate the sender is being charged. Basically, wire transfers suck.

Check out what Canadian banks charge for wire transfers here.

Here at Remitr, we provide the best alternative to wire transfers for Canadian businesses – solving all of your international payment problems. 

Our Global Network allows you to send money to over 150 countries, with funds being delivered in just 1-2 business days. We offer you the best live foreign exchange rates – and charge a flat fee of just $5 to most countries.

You can learn more about funding options for your international payments here.

PS: We also do same-day local payments here in Canada at a cost of just $1 per payment!

Wondering how we can best serve your company’s unique needs?

Arrange a call with our Business Payments Specialist 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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