What is an IBAN number?
If you want to make a bank transfer with WorldRemit, we may ask you to provide an IBAN number for the account you want to send money to. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN), contains all the information we need to make sure your international bank transfer goes to the right account, wherever in the world you’re sending it to. The IBAN follows a standard structure and is very easy to find.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about IBAN numbers, including what they’re used for, how you can find them and which countries use them.
What is an IBAN used for?
An International Bank Account Number (IBAN) contains all the information needed to identify one specific bank account from the millions held all over the world. Without the correct IBAN number, your bank transfer may not get to the right destination.
IBAN numbers are written in a standard format across all the countries they’re used in. They contain letters and numbers that identify the country, bank, branch and account number. This code can be up to 34 characters long and is always structured in the same way.
How can I find my IBAN number?
You can find your IBAN number by checking your paper bank statements, logging into your online banking, calling into your local branch or even generating your own.
- Paper bank statements
Many banks will include the IBAN number for the account somewhere on their paper statements. However, it might be that your intended recipient doesn’t receive paper statements. In that case, they should log into their online bank account and view their statements there.
- Online banking
Most banks include the IBAN number for an account on their online bank statements. However, if they don’t, it should still be easy to find:
- Run an internet search for your bank's name + 'IBAN number' and the results should tell you how to find your IBAN.
- Type 'IBAN number' into the search box on your bank's website (if it has one).
- Check your bank's FAQs, international payments and other related pages.
- Call into your local branch
Your recipient can also pop into the local branch of their bank and ask them what their IBAN number is.
- Generate your own
It’s also possible for you or your recipient to generate your own IBAN number using one of the IBAN calculators that are available online. You can find more information about this in the ‘How do I generate/validate an IBAN number?’ section below.
What does an IBAN number look like?
IBANs are written in a standard format across all of the countries that use them. You can see an example of the IBAN format below:
- Country code - The code used to identify the country the account is held in
- Check number - These digits validate the IBAN number and vary from account to account
- Bank identifier - This identifies the bank the account is held with
- Sort code & account number - These numbers will be the same in your IBAN, as they are in your own country
The IBAN can contain up to 34 letters and digits, although it may be less. This will depend on the country the account is held in.
How do I generate/validate an IBAN number?
As all IBANs have the same format, it's possible to generate your own IBAN number. Simply enter your country, sort code and account number into an IBAN calculator and it will generate your IBAN number for you.
If you want to double-check that an IBAN number you've been given by your recipient is correct, you can use an IBAN number checker. It will tell you whether the number you enter is an active IBAN. Even if you don't have the full IBAN number, the system will be able to autocomplete the missing details and validate the number.
What's the difference between IBAN, BIC and SWIFT codes?
When making a bank transfer, you could be asked for an IBAN number, SWIFT code or a BIC. A SWIFT code and Bank Identifier Code (BIC) are the same thing.
Unlike an IBAN number, which identifies the specific account involved in the transfer, a BIC or SWIFT code identifies the specific country, bank and branch your recipient's account is held with. A BIC or SWIFT code is made up of either 8 or 11 letters and numbers and will be arranged in the following way:
- AAAA: the 4-character bank code
- BB: the 2-character country code
- CC: the 2-character location code
- DDD: the optional 3-character branch code
Find out more about BIC/SWIFT codes in our SWIFT code guide.
Which countries use IBAN?
Here is a list of the countries that use IBAN along with the length of their IBAN numbers and their country codes:
|Country||Length (in characters)||Country Code|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||20||BA|
|British Virgin Islands||24||VG|
|Central African Republic||27||FR|
|Isle of Man||22||IM|
|Saint-Pierre and Miquelon||27||FR|
|Sao Tome and Principe||25||ST|
|United Arab Emirates||23||AE|
|Wallis and Futuna||27||FR|