Secure, error-free transactions across borders, courtesy, IBAN

November 17, 2011


Every country has its own policies and protocols to maintain sanity in the ever-widening legal and financial climes. With the growing security concerns across the globe, no amount of preventive measures seems to suffice. However, what each country follows might not be in sync with the policies accepted worldwide, especially with regard to finance. The ever-growing cross-border monetary transactions demand a common thread, which can be accepted by one and all. This uniform code will strengthen the security in transaction processes and reduce errors.

This necessity forced financial institutions to invent a unique measure, which would ease things in an era, when processes have gotten faster and the influx of information has grown manifold. In this regard, the introduction of International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an important step towards upholding security and uniformity in international financial transactions.



International Bank Account Number or IBAN is a common standard accepted internationally to identify bank accounts across nations with a reduced risk of transcription errors.
An account system of ISO standards, IBAN helps in improving security and efficiency for electronic payments, both local and international.

European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS) was the first to adopt it. Later it was taken up as an international standard under ISO 13616:1997 and then under ISO 13616-1:2007, for which SWIFT happens to be the official registrar.


 IBAN of UAE consists of 23 digits starting with AE (ISO country code) followed by The Check Digit (third and the fourth characters of an IBAN), Bank Identifier (the 3 digits following the Check Digits) and finally the customer Account Number



IBAN will have an immensely positive impact on global remittance. It will make automatic processing of cross-border payments easier and enable the bank to check the accuracy of account numbers, immediately upon receipt of the amount. This ensures faster credit to the account and curtails fees for manual processing of transfers.

Account holders will be required to use their IBAN to complete any local or international payment transactions. They need to ensure that their IBAN is used by the sender when they receive electronic payments, both locally and internationally.



Originally developed to facilitate transactions within the European Union, the IBAN format was found with the flexibility to be applied globally. Currently, over 50 countries across the world follow the IBAN standards. These include the entire European Union apart from Middle Eastern states like Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

UAE is all set to join the IBAN-equipped country list. The UAE Central Bank announced the introduction of the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) as a standard for identifying all bank accounts in the UAE. According to the UAE Central Bank’s regulatory requirements, all the payments and receipts (wire transfers) to UAE should contain IBAN details.

It is mandatory for banks, across the UAE, to provide their account holders with a unique
23-digit IBAN, which will replace the customer’s existing account number for all future transactions. This adoption of IBAN will increase the efficiency of electronic payments in the UAE, while further strengthening its status as a global financial centre. From a remittance perspective too, the implementation of IBAN is just the right thing to do in the UAE, the hub of remittances, for it will ensure safe, efficient and transparent


For more information please visit our nearest Branch Location or log on to UAE Exchange corporate website


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