What purposes does the IBAN Calculator serve? And for what purposes should it not be used?
The IBAN calculator has many applications. For example, it is useful when entering European cross-border electronic payment transactions, validating account numbers etc. The Wiesbaden police writes: "For fraudulent online money transfers, it is very helpful if the police can find out about the bank and its address based on the IBAN code. Asking a bank takes a long time, and often such requests are not answered." There probably are still more useful applications. However, there are also things one should not do with the IBAN calculator. In particular, the IBAN calculator does not magically make cross-border transfers possible or cheap! For the cheap or free European STP transfers, several criteria must be met. Therefore, for money transfers involving currencies other than the EUR or non-European countries, it is usually a good idea to check with the bank and/or the account holder that a transfer is actually possible and not too expensive in the desired curency. Simply calculating an IBAN and trying if the transfer works can lead to unexpected expenses.
How secure is the IBAN calculator?
Whenever you enter an account number into a form that is not
encrypted, there is a possibility for random people to read these
data as they travel over the internet. 1. What can happen
if someone reads an account number? For German bank
accounts, someone could take money off the account. However, as
soon as the owner notices, he can simply tell his bank to undo the
unauthorized transfer. 2. How can the account number be
kept secret? You can use the premium version
of the IBAN calculator, which allows you to transfer account
numbers over a secure 256 bit SSL connection. That way, it is almost
impossible to listen to your IP traffic and thereby get access to your
account numbers. Also, the SSL connection verifies the identity of the
server to which you send your data.
Why are account numbers sent across the internet at all?
Theoretically, it would be possible to do the calculations inside your browser without transmitting account data over the internet. We decided to to the calculations on the server, however, since for IBAN calculations to make sense, it is necessary to validate bank codes and account numbers. For doing so, large amounts of data are needed (lists of bank codes for many countries plus large numbers of account validation algorithms - a three-digit number for Germany alone). If all this data were sent to your browser for every calculation, it would take forever, and the server would quickly be overwhelmed with all this traffic. You can minimize your risk by using a premium subscription, which comes with SSL and many other useful features.
How reliable is the IBAN calculator?
Correctness: We guarantee the correctness
of the calculation results (with a few exceptions such as Greece). If you
get an incorrect IBAN because of a bug in our software, and if you have to pay
increased transfer fees as a result, we pay part or all of these costs.
This guarantee was used only twice in 2006 although thousands of people
use the website every day. Therefore, while not impossible, errors are unlikely.
Here you can find details about the
various supported countries. Availability:
The IBAN calculator runs on two servers in two different computing centers.
If one server fails or becomes inaccessible, we are automatically
notified with an SMS within minutes and route the traffic to the other server.
This way, we achieve high availability - usually much better than 99 %. So
you can rest assured that if you integrate the
IBAN calculator into your business processes, things will almost
always work okay. Here you can read a
detailed description of the server setup.
Why are some countries not supported? When are the missing countries going to be supported?
We support only countries for which we have some information about bank codes and/or account number validation methods. Other IBAN calculators in the World Wide Web may support more countries, but fail to validate the account numbers. We prefer to support fewer countries, but calculate correctly. If you know about sources for lists of bank codes, BICs, or account number validation methods for unsupported countries, we would be grateful if you'd let us know. We will support more countries if we have the necessary information.
Where do the bank codes, BICs etc. come from which are used on this website?
Our two main data sources are national banks and the World Wide Web. National banks: Institutions such as the Bundesbank, the Austrian national bank etc. publish lists with bank codes and BICs. World Wide Web: The information from national banks is not always sufficient. For some countries, e. g. the UK, lists with bank codes and BICs are prohibitively expensive ((ISCD, SWIFT). For other countries, there are sometimes discrepancies between the BIC published by a national bank and that published by the bank.
Because of this, we use a web crawler that automatically compiles lists of bank codes and the corresponding BICs from a seven-digit number of websites containing the words "IBAN" and "BIC".