To make a European cross border payment, customers need to quote an IBAN and its associated Bank Identification Code (BIC).
IBANs were introduced to help speed up international payments by standardising the identification of bank accounts. There are some important points to be aware of:
- The IBAN is not a new account number.
- Your existing bank code and account number(s) will not be replaced.
- Additional characters will appear in front of your existing bank code and account numbers.
The IBAN is comprised of:
The complete identifier, original bank code and account number, plus the additional characters. IBAN implementation has facilitated improvements in the quality of information exchanged between parties involved in European cross-border payments helping reduce errors and delays.
The IBAN is calculated in such a way that it provides a guard against the accidental transposition of its characters/numbers and it can be checked or validated using our IBAN checker. However its validation does not guarantee that the bank code or account number is correct, nor does it guarantee that the account actually exists, or is live.
Officially an IBAN can only be issued for an account by the bank which services the account. The account owner is responsible for communicating their IBAN to their trading partner(s). It is unwise to take IBANs from any other source. It is also unwise to generate them from any source other than one provided by the account servicing bank. Other sources may be misinformed and give inaccurate or incorrect IBANs, and thus may cause delays in the payment process.
- Cash overtaken by ‘non-cash’ payments in 2014 (21 May 2015)
- Latest Current Account Switch Service figures published (23 Apr 2015)