IBAN: A safe, fast method of transferring and receiving funds in Europe

IBAN: A safe, fast method of transferring and receiving funds in Europe

What is an IBAN?

IBAN stands for the International Bank Account Number. This is a unified global system that was established by banking networks to identify any valid bank account in a lot of countries around the world. Obtaining this number, along with other payment data, enables a person or a business to transfer and receive funds globally – using bank accounts or eWallets. We at Genome offer personal and business IBANs as well!

IBAN has strict rules in its order:

  • It always begins with two letters of a country code. If we take Europe for example, for the UK the code would be GB, France – FR, for Germany – DE, and for Austria – AT;
  • Then it follows with two other numbers that are important for the identification and control verification;
  • And at last, it continues with a basic bank account number that can be up to 30 numbers plus characters long. The exact length is established by the banking associations of each country separately. It normally includes the bank code and the account number.

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How does an IBAN work for transfers?

If we are talking about Europe, the International Bank Account Number is used to send domestic and SEPA transfers. Speaking of which, sending money with SEPA is usually much faster than using SWIFT.  For instance, SEPA Credit Transfers take one to two business days to complete, and SCT Inst is performed in less than 10 seconds. Find out more about SEPA payments types. IBANs are also usually required for SWIFT payments. 

To make one of transfers listed, a sender should input the following data on the online account page or in the application:

  • Fill in the name of the recipient
  • Input the IBAN
  • Add BIC or SWIFT codes
  • Fill in the address and optionally other contact details 
  • Write the correct amount to be sent
  • Confirm the following transaction

IBAN transfers (which is another name for transfers that require an IBAN) are quite popular in Europe, as all its state countries are united in one economical space, people do often transfer funds and receive funds from all over the EU.

IBAN, SWIFT, and BIC: the difference explained

IBAN (International Bank Account Number)SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) BIC (Business Identifier Codes)
Is used to identify an exact bank account from which the transfer is done, or which should receive the sent moneyIs used to point out the exact banking institution for the given transaction or receiving moneySame as SWIFT it identifies banks globally. Both BIC and SWIFT are used interchangeably

Benefits of IBANs

  1. Payments facilitation. The system verifies the filled-in data automatically, suggesting on made mistakes, typos, and other human errors. It lowers the declinations of transactions and payments. It also minimizes unsuccessful transactions, and so saves time and funds. 
  2. Security and protection. By including a banking institution into this network, the higher standards ensure data protection, top-level security while transferring and receiving money. The internal server architecture offers strong reliability of the various services.
  3. Rapid operations. Using this money flow system, a person or a business is provided with access to fast operations, instant transfers, quick verification, and notification process.
  4. Automatization. As many processes within the system as can be automated to lower the chance of a mistake, and to improve the user experience.
  5. Global coverage. Currently, 77 countries are using the IBAN system, by doing so they are included in the international network of money transactions.

How can I find out my IBAN?

To learn your International Bank Account Number, along with SWIFT or BIC codes, you should address your bank with the request of receiving the file with all this information. If you have access to the account via a web page or through the app, this is also an option. Usually, IBAN data is easy to find, it is stored somewhere within the account.

When requested, the data comes in a format of a pdf file with the full banking information that includes IBAN, BIC, or SWIFT, name, and address of yours, name and address of the bank, and some contact details.

How can I get the European IBAN?

Genome offers European International Bank Account Numbers to both our personal and business users. You can also pre-order virtual cards and physical cards, start multi-currency accounts, and more – all within one ecosystem for personal, business, and merchant accounts. We recommend checking it out.


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Is it dangerous to give someone your IBAN?

No, it is not. By giving an IBAN you can expose only that data that allows someone to send money to you, but not take it from you.

Is it safe to email an IBAN?

Yes, absolutely. IBAN can be transmitted in any comfortable way for you.

Is IBAN confidential?

No, giving just the IBAN is safe.

Is IBAN real?

Yes, this number does exist in banking networks. But though it is not visible on your payment card for example.