Understanding International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN)

In this article, Micco will delve into what IBAN numbers are, their significance, structure, and how to locate them.

Apr 2, 2024

In the realm of financial transactions, IBAN numbers play a crucial role. Whether you're looking to make SEPA transfers, direct debits, or SWIFT payments, grasping how IBAN numbers operate is essential.

In this article, Micco will delve into what IBAN numbers are, their significance, structure, and how to locate them.

Before diving into these details, Micco stands as an all-in-one financial platform tailored for business creators, facilitating a comprehensive array of services. These include streamlined procedures for company registration, professional bank account establishment, capital deposit management, and more.

Micco's commitment to empowering business creators extends to:

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Table of Contents
  1. What is an IBAN Number and What is its Purpose?
  2. How is an IBAN Number Broken Down?
  3. Where to Find Your IBAN Number?
  4. Examples of IBAN Numbers

1. What is an IBAN Number and What is its Purpose?

IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is the international identification number for your bank account. It's one of the essential pieces of information required for bank transfers and payments, including:

  • SEPA transfers
  • SEPA direct debits
  • SWIFT transfers for international payments

Since February 1, 2014, banks located within the European Union or the European Economic Area cannot demand the BIC (Bank Identifier Code). In fact, if the beneficiary's bank account is in the same country, the IBAN number is sufficient for transfers.

Similarly, the introduction of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2016 allows you to make cross-border transfers using just the IBAN number.

2. How is an IBAN Number Broken Down?

The number of characters in an IBAN number varies from country to country, containing between 14 and 34 alphanumeric characters. For instance, in France, an IBAN number has 27 characters. However, according to ISO 13616-1 standards, the composition is the same in each country.

2.1 Country Code

The first two characters of an IBAN number are two letters representing the international code of the country where the bank is located, defined by the ISO 3166 standard.

For example:

  • FR for France
  • DE for Germany
  • IT for Italy
  • MC for Monaco

2.2 Check Digits

The check digits of an IBAN number are determined using the MOD 97-10 calculation method, consisting of two numbers between 02 and 98.

For example, an IBAN number for a bank account opened in France will almost always start with FR76.

2.3 Bank Account Number

This part of the IBAN is called the BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number). It includes all the digits that make up your bank account.


  • 5 digits for the bank code
  • 5 digits for the branch code
  • 11 digits for your national bank account number
  • 2 digits between 01 and 97 for the RIB (bank identification code) check.

3. Where to Find Your IBAN Number?

Your IBAN number is among the information contained in your bank account identity document (RIB). In addition to your IBAN, this document includes:

  • Account holder identity information
  • Bank-specific information such as branch name
  • BBAN, which includes bank code and branch code, along with your bank account number and RIB
  • BIC (Bank Identifier Code), which corresponds to the bank's international identification code.

Your bank will provide you with a RIB after validating the documents to open your bank account.

If you misplace this document, there are several options to find your IBAN number:

  • Download a RIB online from the bank's website or mobile app
  • Check your checkbook
  • Go to the bank counter
  • Call the bank
  • Print a RIB from an ATM.

4. Examples of IBAN Numbers

Now let's take a look at some examples of IBAN numbers from different countries:

  • France: FR7612345678901234567890123
  • Germany: DE98765432109876543210 (contains 20 characters)
  • Spain: ES2109876543210987654321 (contains 22 characters)
  • Italy: IT3624578930123456789012345 (contains 28 characters)

These examples demonstrate the structure and format of IBAN numbers from different countries. Through these examples, you can better understand the diversity and standardization of IBAN numbers.

Before making a transfer, make sure the beneficiary's IBAN number is correct. You can verify this using an online calculator.

IBAN numbers are essential information for international bank transfers and payments. Understanding the structure and purpose of your IBAN number is crucial to ensure smooth financial transactions. With the correct IBAN number, you can easily make domestic and cross-border transactions. Don't forget to verify the accuracy of the beneficiary's IBAN number before transferring to avoid unnecessary trouble.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)
  • What is a RIB?

RIB is akin to the identity card of your bank account. It contains all the information needed to set up SEPA direct debits or receive domestic and international transfers (SEPA or SWIFT).

  • What is the difference between IBAN and BIC?

IBAN is a unique number corresponding to your international bank account, while BIC is the bank's international code. Therefore, all bank accounts opened at the same bank have the same BIC.

  • Is there any risk in providing IBAN and BIC?

Providing IBAN and BIC poses no risk since this information is used to transfer funds to your bank account. To make payments, a direct debit mandate must be signed manually or electronically.

Hope this information helps. If you need further assistance or have other questions, feel free to let Micco know.

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