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What is ISO 11649-2018?

ISO 11649-2018 is an international standard for the representation of International Bank Account Numbers (IBAN) and Business Identifier Codes (BIC). It provides a standardized format for representing these banking identifiers, making it easier to identify and process financial transactions across different countries and banking systems.

Importance of ISO 11649-2018

The implementation of ISO 11649-2018 brings several important benefits. Firstly, it improves the accuracy and efficiency of international financial transactions. With a standardized format for IBAN and BIC, there is less chance of errors or misinterpretation when transferring funds between accounts held in different countries.

Secondly, ISO 11649-2018 enhances transparency and security in the banking industry. By using a consistent and internationally recognized format, it becomes easier to identify and verify bank accounts and their corresponding financial institutions. This helps prevent fraudulent activities such as money laundering or identity theft.

Key Features of ISO 11649-2018

ISO 11649-2018 specifies the structure and formatting rules for IBAN and BIC. For IBAN, it outlines the country-specific structure of the account number, the checksum algorithm for error detection, and the maximum length of the IBAN. The BIC, on the other hand, consists of a bank code, country code, location code, and branch code.

Furthermore, ISO 11649-2018 provides guidelines for the presentation of IBAN and BIC on documents such as invoices, bills, or payment slips. This ensures that the information is legible and easily accessible, facilitating efficient processing of financial transactions by both individuals and financial institutions.


The introduction of ISO 11649-2018 has greatly simplified and standardized international banking transactions. It promotes accuracy, efficiency, and security in the transfer of funds between accounts held in different countries. By adopting this standard, banks and financial institutions can ensure seamless cross-border transactions and reduce the risks associated with errors or fraudulent activities.


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