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The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an internationally agreed means of identifying bank accounts across national borders with a reduced risk of propagating transcription errors. It was originally adopted by the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS), and later adopted as an international standard under ISO 13616:1997. The current standard is ISO 13616:2007, which indicates SWIFT as the formal registrar. Initially developed to facilitate payments within the European Union, it has now also been implemented by most European countries and many other countries in the developing world, especially in the Middle East and in the Caribbean.
The IBAN consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters: first the two-letter ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code, then two check digits, and finally a country-specific Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN). The check digits enable a sanity check of the bank account number to confirm its integrity even before submitting a transaction. The BBAN format is decided by each national banking community under the restriction that it must be of a fixed length of case-insensitive alphanumeric characters. It includes the domestic bank account number, branch identifier, and potential routing information.
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