What Is an IBAN for Transferring Money Internationally?
IBAN is short for International Bank Account Number. It identifies an individual’s bank account, their bank, and their country, thereby making it easier and faster to process transactions when money is sent to another country. It’s primarily used in the European Union, so if you’re trying to send money to/from Europe, you’ll probably need a valid IBAN.
Do I always need to use an IBAN?
Not all countries will require an IBAN. It may be optional for transfers to other countries like Australia or Canada. At OFX, we use our Global By Local system to process your transfers locally whenever possible, so you may be able to avoid using complicated bank codes. Instead, you can often make your transfers using simplified domestic codes like the routing and account number for the U.S., BSB for Australia, and the sort code and account number for the U.K.
What Are the Components of an IBAN?
In countries where an IBAN is necessary, it will include the following:
- The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) country code (two letters such as ‘NL’ for the Netherlands or ‘PT’ for Portugal)
- The cheque number, which will be two digits
- The bank code, which will identify the financial institution and the branch servicing the account
- The unique bank account number
Do be careful when entering your IBAN as some receiving banks may charge a fee if the details are incorrect. Alternatively, your money transfer may be rejected altogether, if there’s a typo in the IBAN.
Where Do You Find Your IBAN?
Your bank statement should have your IBAN number, which you may need to submit in order to send or receive money internationally. This number is sometimes used along with your SWIFT code, which also helps international banks identify one another and their accounts.
At OFX, we make it a point to take the guesswork out of transferring money, so you may never again have to ask ‘what is an IBAN?’. Our intuitive online form will prompt you for the right information depending upon the currency and country you’re sending to. Choose the simple way to send money and choose OFX.