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What are IBAN and BIC/SWIFT codes?


The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for bank transfers made between accounts in different nations. The IBAN was initially developed to facilitate payments within the European Union.

The IBAN consists of a country code and two check digits, followed by up to thirty additional alphanumeric characters which identify the particular bank, plus the individual account which is making or receiving the payment. These latter characters are known as the BBAN (Basic Bank Account Number).

The Dutch IBAN is composed out of the following numbers:


NL is the standard country code
kk is the numeric country code
BBBB is the code identifying the bank (in Germany this is known as a “bankleitzahl”)
CCCC CCCC CC is the identifying number of the particular bank account


SWIFT aka BIC The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) operates a worldwide financial messaging network. Messages are securely and reliably exchanged between banks and other financial institutions. Internationally, SWIFT codes are more commonly used than IBAN codes. However, the IBAN codes can be used for transfers between most European banks.

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