Many of you may be wondering what is an IBAN. The IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number which is a system for identifying bank accounts to facilitate the processing of cross border financial transactions. The use of IBAN is still not widespread in the United States which uses the ABA (American Bank Association) routing format. The bank SWIFT code is also commonly used for international wire transactions. SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. However in most European countries the use of the IBAN number is mandatory to send or receive wire transfers. The IBAN is generally alphanumeric characters which range fro 20 t0 34 numbers and include:
- Country code – the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) country code
- Check digits – two check digits provided by the issuing financial institution based on a calculation that takes into account the entire IBAN
- Bank identifier – code that identifies the financial institution and, when appropriate, the branch of that financial institution servicing an account
- Basic bank account number (BBAN) – code that identifies an individual account, at a specific financial institution, in a particular country
If you need to obtain your IBAN number for your Costa Rica bank account you will need your 17 digit “Cuenta Cliente” number. With that number in hand you can input that number into the following link provided by the Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central) and it will generate your Costa Rica bank account IBAN number.
If you want to find out which countries have implemented the use of IBAN you can view the IBAN registry set forth below: