The IBAN is the International Bank Account Number that identifies the beneficiary of transactions, allowing payments to be made by automated means. It is used by members of the European Union.
An IBAN is made up of an alphanumerical sequence of characters, with a fixed length depending on the country, and a maximum of 34 characters, providing a unique identification of the account a customer holds with a bank anywhere in the world.
There are two different formats for IBAN codes, the paper format and the digital format.
The difference between the two is simple: in the paper version, IBAN codes are grouped into sets of four characters, whereas in the digital version, they are grouped all together with no spaces.
IBAN codes are defined by the ISO 13616:1997 standard according to the following rules:
- 2 characters: country code, according to the ISO format.
- 2 characters: Control digit.
- Up to 30 characters (depending on the country): account number.
The purpose of the IBAN is to facilitate the automated processing of cross-border transfers, guarantee their accuracy and reduce manual intervention.