What is IBAN?

An IBAN, or International Bank Account Number, is a globally recognised sequence of letters and numbers used to process select cross border payments. It was originally adopted by member states of the European Union and has since been taken up by other countries.

International payments from Australian accounts to IBAN-recognised countries will thus require a valid IBAN.

The actual number can be very long, sometimes stretching up to 30 or more characters, depending on the destination country, bank and customer account number.

It uniquely identifies the bank account of the intended recipient, and will need to be sourced from them before you can complete the overseas transfer.

So it's a good idea to check and confirm this number with the beneficiary because of its complex structure, length and strict formatting requirements.

For example, a Finnish account holder might require an IBAN with 18 characters while a transfer to Turkey needs a 26-character number.

If the IBAN is incorrect or missing, a charge may be applied by the receiving bank and the transfer may not go through.

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