1. What is an International Bank Account Number (IBAN)?
IBAN is used to express bank customer account numbers in an ISO standard compliant format. The use of such an internationally accepted format will immensely improve the efficiency of electronic payments and bring a number of benefits to bank customers.
The IBAN assigned to a customer account will be unique globally, making it easier to identify an account from any part of the world.
The IBAN has a fixed length per country and consists of a two letter Country Code, followed by two digits used for checking the validity of the account number (known as 'Check Digits') and up to 22 alphanumeric characters for a Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN).
Example: BH 29 FUBB 01100123456789
2. What is the purpose of the IBAN?
IBAN will be used for Inward and Outward remittances as it will facilitate the Straight-Through-Processing (STP) of payments between banks by enabling the correct identification of a Beneficiary's bank account.
The IBAN provides the facility for the Sending Bank and/or the Remitter to perform a validity check of the Beneficiary's account number at another bank.
For all domestic transactions, the customers’ basic bank account number will be used.
3. Where can I get hold of the IBAN details of the person / organization I
want to pay?
The usual way to obtain the IBAN is to contact the beneficiary directly and request the details from them. Alternatively, the beneficiary may quote their IBAN on their invoice.
If the company hasn’t printed their IBAN on their invoice, you should ask for it. You should advise the company that payment could be rejected, delayed or incur extra charges if they don’t provide this information. You should be aware that the beneficiary's bank can reject your payment if you don’t use an IBAN.
4. Does IBAN apply to payments to all countries?
No, currently it only applies to payments made to certain countries.
5. Why is IBAN being introduced in Bahrain?
This absence of a standard account numbering structure makes it difficult for a bank to know whether the number of an account held at another bank is valid. When a bank receives a payment that contains an invalid account number, they cannot automatically process that payment. Such payments require costly and time-consuming manual intervention. In some cases payments received with invalid account numbers are returned to the sending bank. IBAN provides banks with a mechanism for introducing a common account numbering standard while retaining their customers' basic bank account numbers.