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Global Work Glossary

What is IBAN and how is it used in banking?

IBAN, or International Bank Account Number, is a standardized international numbering system designed to uniquely identify bank accounts across borders, aiming to minimize errors and delays in international money transfers.

IBAN Format

The structure of an IBAN is globally agreed upon, comprising numbers 0 - 9 and letters A-Z. However, the length varies depending on the country's banking standards, ranging from 16 to 34 alphanumeric characters.

Components of an IBAN

Two-letter country code: Identifies the country of the bank account (e.g., ES for Spain, PL for Poland). Check digits: 2-digit numbers used to validate the IBAN's accuracy. Bank code: Identifies the bank, with varying length. Branch code: Identifies the bank branch, length varies. Account number: Specifies the account, with country-specific length. Check digits: Identifies the account within the bank.

How IBAN Works

During an international transaction, the bank's payment system verifies sender and recipient accounts by comparing IBAN details with its database, using special algorithms. Valid information ensures successful payment processing.

Security of IBAN

Regarded as safe by Eurozone finance regulators, IBAN usage for fund transfers is prevalent. While it allows deposits, IBAN prevents withdrawals or fund transfers from the account, ensuring security against unauthorized transactions.

Utilization in Global Payroll

IBAN plays a pivotal role in global payroll processing for multinational companies. It serves to facilitate cross-border payments to employees and contractors worldwide, ensuring accuracy, efficiency, and security in the payment process. By standardizing account identification, IBAN enhances the speed and reliability of international transactions, benefiting both employers and recipients alike.

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