International bank account numbers (IBAN)


You’ll need your receiver’s IBAN to make a bank transfer internationally or domestically (within France).

What is an IBAN?

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number.

It is an internationally accepted numbering system that identifies individual bank accounts worldwide. Banks use IBANs to process money transfers, reduce transcription (human) errors, and ensure payments arrive at the correct location.

Components of an IBAN

An IBAN consists of up to 34 letters and numbers and follows a specific format. In France, IBANs comprise 27 digits, including the country code, check digits, bank code, bank branch code, national code, and bank account number.


1 – Country code – 2 letters

The first two letters of an IBAN represent the country where a bank is located, which is ‘FR’ for France.

2 – Check digits – 2 digits

The following two digits are check digits. These are calculated by an algorithm and used to validate the correctness of the IBAN.

3 – Bank code – 5 characters

This five-character code identifies the bank.

4 – Bank branch – 5 digits

This five-digit number identifies the bank branch.

5 – Bank account number – 11 digits

Next, it’s the account number: a maximum of 11 digits. Generally, shorter account numbers are left-justified and preceded by zeros to make them 11 digits.

6 – National code – 2 digits

The last two digits of an IBAN represent the national code. They are used to verify the validity of the account number.


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Where to find your IBAN?

You can usually find your IBAN at the top right-hand side of your bank statement or RIB. If you can’t locate your IBAN, you should be able to generate it via your bank’s internet banking service or an online IBAN calculator tool.

What is an IBAN used for?

An IBAN is essential for transferring money to bank accounts within the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area).

SEPA consists of 36 countries, largely within the European Union and European Economic Area (EEA). The UK remains part of SEPA, despite having left the European Union.

To make a money transfer within SEPA, you’ll typically need:

• The name on your receiver’s bank account.
• Your receiver’s IBAN.
• Your receiver’s BIC (also known as a SWIFT code).

However, since the beginning of 2016, it’s been possible to make payments using only an IBAN under certain conditions. Reducing the manual input needed to make a bank transfer lessens the likelihood of human error and makes life easier for everyone.

Which countries use IBANs?

IBANs are used in most European countries and in numerous countries outside Europe. The table below provides information on the countries listed in the IBAN registry, with the length of the account number for each country.

Find your country below:

CountryIBAN formatting example
BelgiumBE71 0961 2345 6769
BrazilBR15 0000 0000 0000 1093 2840 814 P2
Costa RicaCR99 0000 0000 0000 8888 88
FranceFR76 3000 6000 0112 3456 7890 189
IrelandIE12 BOFI 9000 0112 3456 78
GermanyDE91 1000 0000 0123 4567 89
GreeceGR96 0810 0010 0000 0123 4567 890
MauritiusMU43 BOMM 0101 1234 5678 9101 000 MUR
PakistanPK70 BANK 0000 1234 5678 9000
PolandPL10 1050 0099 7603 1234 5678 9123
PortugalPT50 0033 0000 5013 1901 229 05
RomaniaRO09 BCYP 0000 0012 3456 7890
Saint LuciaLC14 BOSL 1234 5678 9012 3456 7890 1234
Saudi ArabiaSA44 2000 0001 2345 6789 1234
SlovakiaSK08 0900 0000 0001 2312 3123
SpainES79 2100 0813 6101 2345 6789
SwedenSE87 3000 0000 0101 2345 6789
SwitzerlandCH56 0483 5012 3456 7800 9
United KingdomGB98 MIDL 0700 9312 3456 78

Frequently asked questions about IBANs

What are IBANs?

IBANs are codes that identify bank accounts internationally and are used to process money transfers worldwide. IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number, and it consists of up to 34 letters and numbers that identify the country, check number, bank location and account details. Banks use IBANs to ensure money transfers arrive at their intended location.

What is the IBAN registry?

The IBAN registry is a catalogue published by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). The catalogue lists IBAN format details of countries compliant with the most recent IBAN standards.

In the IBAN registry, you’ll find information for each country’s IBAN format, such as the country code, how many characters the IBAN is, number of characters for bank and/or branch identifiers, and additional pertinent details, such as whether the country is a member of SEPA.

What’s the difference between IBANs and SWIFT codes?

Both IBANs and SWIFT codes are used during international money transfers. However, IBANs identify the individual bank account number, while SWIFT codes identify the location of a specific bank.

What’s the difference between IBANs and BICs?

A bank identifier code (BIC) is identical to a SWIFT code. It is used to identify the location of a bank, while an IBAN identifies the individual bank account number.

What’s the difference between an IBAN and SEPA?

The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) is a payment system that only facilitates money transfers between European countries in euros. By comparison, an IBAN is used for money transfers worldwide and allows for transfers in multiple currencies.

Do I always need to use an IBAN?

Not all countries require an IBAN to transfer money. Suppose you’re sending money in person, online, with an international money transfer app, or via another method. In that case, you’ll always need an IBAN for both French domestic and international money transfers. An IBAN will likely also be required if you’re making a cross-border payment and your receiver’s bank is in a country that participates in the IBAN system.

Does the United States use the IBAN system?

The United States doesn’t currently use the IBAN system. Instead, US bank accounts use ABA routing numbers for domestic money transfers and SWIFT codes for international money transfers.

What’s the difference between an IBAN and RIB?

RIB stands for ‘relevé d’identité bancaire’. A RIB is a bank document that includes your bank account and bank branch details. It’s used for several things, including making cash deposits, paying utility bills, and more.

Your cheque book will usually contain a RIB slip, which will include several codes and numbers, including the account holder’s name, address and account number. A RIB slip will also include the bank identifier code (BIC), agency code, RIB key, and an IBAN to further help identify your bank.

A RIB and an IBAN are not the same, and the IBAN is simply one of the codes included in a RIB.

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