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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any question to view the answer:

BICs can be 8 or 11 characters in length. Often, when the field length is 11, 8-character BICs are padded with "XXX" at the end. Either version should work.

There is a SOAP interface for this purpose, also available as a REST interface, as well as wrapped in http. With this interface, you can delegate calculating and data updates to us, while still retaining control over the presentation of results on your website or in your software.

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.

Theoretically, it would be possible to do the calculations inside your browser without transmitting account data over the internet. We decided to perform 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). Also, we check IBANs against a database of more than a million IBANs that can be found on the Web, as well as against a blacklist. 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.
We minimize your risk by using a secure SSL connection.

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.
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.

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.

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".