IBAN and Bank Identifier Code (BIC)

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Business Identifier Code (BIC) enable the verification of any bank account in the 34 Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) countries. These types of technical standards were created by the International Corporation for Standardization (ISO). The IBAN is ISO standard 13616; the BIC is ISO standard 9362. To find out more visit www.iso.org. The European Payments Council (EPC) video animation 'IBAN - Your Brand-new Better Friend' illustrates precisely how simple it is to utilize IBAN and BIC when making payments.

SEPA Control defines utilization of IBAN and BIC by payers and payees

In February 2012, the European legislator implemented the 'Regulation (EU) No 260/2012 creating technical and business necessities for credit transfers and direct debits in euro and amending Rules (EC) No 924/2009' (the SEPA Regulation), which defines 1st February 2014 as the deadline in the euro region for compliance with the core requirements of this Regulation. In non euro countries, the dead-line tend to be around 31 October 2016. To find out more on the SEPA Regulation, read this committed page on the EPC Webpage: SEPA Legal and Regulatory Structure.

The SEPA Regulation details, among other activities, the utilization of IBAN and BIC by payers and payees. A payee receiving credit transfers must connect the IBAN of the account to which the payment ought to be credited and the BIC of its payment service provider (PSP) "but only where necessary”, to its business associates. A payer wanting to make a payment by direct debit should connect the IBAN of the bank account that should be debited and the BIC of its PSP "but only when necessary”, to the payee.

IBAN and BIC for consumers

Banks, businesses and public administrations offer the equipment to guarantee a smooth transition to IBAN and BIC for consumers.

- Billers together with businesses and public administrations will attribute related information significantly on sites, invoices and stationary.

- Consumers locate IBAN and BIC pertaining to their own account on their bank account statements and / or printed on their bank card.

- Banks provide easy-to-understand guidance on the utilization of IBAN and BIC on internet home banking channels or on print flyers, for instance.

- In nearly all SEPA countries, a nationwide site devoted to SEPA is offered, consisting of a variety of IBAN and BIC related items, such as educational material facilitating the usage of these account identifiers. Links to national SEPA sites are available on the European Central Bank ( ECB ) webpage.

The BIC (bank identifier code) is one of the SWIFT (society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) laid down internationally valid bank code. Since the BIC is awarded by the SWIFT, it often is also called SWIFT code. Together with the IBAN as internationally uniform account number he makes to the data needed to identify an account within the framework of SEPA and force since 2008 Euro transfer, both in the national and international payments a receiver to identify correctly. A Transition period until 2010. Until that date, all companies must have converted their account information to the new system of IBAN and BIC and communicate them in the business. At that time, the BIC-code then replaces the current national Bank.

The BIC or SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 alphanumeric characters and is divided as follows:
- 4-digit bank code
- 2-digit country code
- 2-digit encoding of the place
- 3-digit designation of the branch (optional)

This code each bank can be identified within the new European payment area, so in all EU Member States properly.