Validating bank account numbers

30-Sep-2016 05:44 by 5 Comments

Validating bank account numbers

This check is guaranteed to detect any instances where a single character has been omitted, duplicated, mistyped or where two characters have been transposed.Thus routing and account number errors are virtually eliminated.

This often led to necessary routing information being missing from payments.

The current standard is ISO 13607, which indicates SWIFT as the formal registrar.

Initially developed to facilitate payments within the European Union, it has been implemented by most European countries and numerous countries in the other parts of the world, mainly in the Middle East and in the Caribbean.

The national authority may register its BBAN format with SWIFT, but is not obliged to do so. SWIFT also acts as the registration authority for the SWIFT system, which is used by most countries that have not adopted IBAN.

A major difference between the two systems is that under SWIFT there is no requirement that BBANs used within a country be of a pre-defined length.

IBAN imposes a flexible but regular format sufficient for account identification and contains validation information to avoid errors of transcription.

It carries all the routing information needed to get a payment from one bank to another wherever it may be; it contains key bank account details such as country code, branch codes (known as sort codes in the UK and Ireland) and account numbers, and it contains check digits which can be validated at source according to a single standard procedure.

Routing errors caused delayed payments and incurred extra costs to the sending and receiving banks and often to intermediate routing banks.

This proposal had a degree of flexibility, which the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS) believed would make it unworkable, and they produced a "slimmed down" version of the standard which, amongst other things, permitted only upper-case letters and required that the IBAN for each country have a fixed length.

Each country can have a different national routing/account numbering system, up to a maximum of 30 alphanumeric characters.

The check digits enable the sending bank (or its customer) to perform a sanity check of the routing destination and account number from a single string of data at the time of data entry.

The standard was revised again in 2007 when it was split into two parts.

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