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What is an IBAN code?

Usually, one is used to transferring funds to other accounts within their own country, sometimes even within a particular bank. For instance, let us say that you deal with a bank called ‘A’. You are planning to transfer funds to another account which also is part of the bank ‘A’, in which case, all you need is the account number of the recipient. It is fairly straight forward.

A similar situation exists when you are transferring funds to another account of another bank ‘B’. This time you may need to get the bank code and the account number, and the task is completed. Each nation has its own standards of banking which may have evolved over time. However, it is difficult to imagine that all banks follow the same standards all over the world. The differences exist across nations because of the way the banking system has evolved.

However, ever since the technological revolution changed the way we transact and do business without borders, there was a need to identify all bank account numbers uniquely. That systematic standard is the IBAN standard. IBAN, which is the smaller version of, International Bank Account Number, is a unique number that is assigned to each and every account number that exists in the world. The guarantee that is given by all the banks that adopt this standard in their system is that no two numbers will be alike.

What does this mean to you as a banking customer? It is the simplicity of doing business over the internet. The ability to transfer funds to other accounts overseas, receive funds from senders across the globe, is now present. With this system in place, as long as you got the IBAN number of your recipient, you can never go wrong. The same applies to the other person who is sending funds to you. If he has punched in the IBAN number correctly, the transfer would happen to you and you alone!

If you are looking to find out the IBAN number for your account, then the best place would be to contact your bank. This is because, unlike SWIFT codes, there is not standard length for IBAN codes. So, each and every bank will have a different IBAN format. However, this should not be a cause for concern because the standards are designed to accommodate the variety that exists among account numbers all over the world.

What is a SWIFT Code?

SWIFT codes or Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) are unique identification codes for a particular bank. SWIFT or BIC codes are widely used to transfer messages and money between financial institutions, and mainly between banks.

How can you read / understand a SWIFT code?

Every SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 characters. When a8-digits code is given, it refers to the primary bank office.

With a 8-digit SWIFT code, you can assume that it refers to the primary office.

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