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Your IBAN questions answered

Find out about IBANs and how you can check whether your number is right

What is an IBAN?

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It's a bank account number that is recognised by banks and other financial institutions around the world. You often need to use an IBAN when you make or receive cross-border payments for certain countries/regions that mandate the use of IBAN for international payments.

It's a standardised way of identifying a bank account, which cuts down on errors and delays in sending international payments. 

How many numbers does an IBAN have?

IBANs are different in length, depending on the country of origin. That's because an IBAN simply adds a standard prefix to a person's domestic account number (also known as a basic bank account number).

The prefix includes:

  • the country code (2 letters)
  • the check number (2 numbers)
  • the bank code (number of characters varies)

The basic bank account number will also vary in length depending on the country it comes from. But each country has a standard length for their basic bank account numbers and bank codes. So you can tell how long an IBAN should be based on the country it is from.

Where can I find my IBAN?

You can find your own IBAN in online banking by selecting the account and viewing its details. Alternatively, your IBAN is listed on your online or printed statements, at the top of the first page.

How do I get a beneficiary's IBAN?

Some free IBAN calculators will create the IBAN for you if you have the beneficiary's basic bank account number details. But this is not necessarily guaranteed. The best way to make sure you have the correct IBAN is to ask the beneficiary for it directly.

How can I check if an IBAN is right?

You can check an IBAN given to you by a beneficiary is configured correctly by using a free IBAN validator or calculator online. But tools like these can't verify the actual existence of an account.

You can also tell what an IBAN should start with and how long it should be based on the country it's from.

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