What is IBAN?

Information on International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

Regulation (EC) No 924/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on cross-border payments in the Community is repealing as from 1 November 2009 the Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 December 2001 on cross-border payments in euro. In the new Regulation is stated, that a payment service provider shall, where applicable, communicate to the payment service user the payment service user´s IBAN and the payment service provider´s BIC (Bank Identifier Code). In addition, where applicable, a payment service provider shall indicate the payment service user´s IBAN and the payment service provider´s BIC on statements of account, or in an annex thereto. This stipulation is not applicable to those service providers, who do not use IBAN as unique identifier to identify unambiguously the other payment service user and/or his payment account for a payment transaction.

The aim of the IBAN is to facilitate the automatic processing of cross-border payment transactions. Data correctness will be assured and manual intervention will be reduced.

IBAN is an account number format stipulated by ECBS (European Committee for Banking Standards) Standard EBS 204. The basis of this standard is the international standard ISO/FDIS 13616. The basic part of IBAN is BBAN (the basic bank account number). The standard stipulates the electronic format of IBAN and the format of IBAN in a paper environment.

The format of the IBAN (electronic) shall be:

  • - the first two letters shall always be the two-character country code (alpha version), as defined in ISO 3166
  • - the next two characters shall always be check digits (to calculate it apply the check character system MOD 97-10 from the ISO 7064)
  • - the remaining part shall contain maximum 30 characters (digits or upper case letters).

The electronic IBAN is without separators.

The IBAN in a paper environment has the same structure as above mentioned, besides the fact that on paper is IBAN with a blank after each block of 4 characters, the last block can contain less then 4 characters. The ECBS standard does not allow an "IBAN" tag to precede the IBAN information.

In compliance with the EBS 204 each country of EU shall stipulate the fixed length and fixed structure of IBAN per country by identifying the positions of bank code, first and second part of account (BBAN). National format of IBAN should have a fixed length. Slovak IBAN implementation is stipulated by the Decree of the NBS No. 8/2009 stipulating the bank account structure and bank identifying code structure, the structure of the International Bank Account Number and disclosure procedure of bank identifying codes.

Further information on IBAN is available on the ECBS and SWIFT websites.