BIC my IBAN!

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Do the acronyms SEPA, BIC, IBAN or SWIFT ring a bell? If they don't, read on. If they do, but they make your eyes roll and your heart go into overdrive, read on as well.

If you didn't hover over the acronyms I used above, do so now, it'll help you understand things quicker. However, I'm not about to write a complete essay on the what, how and why of the IBAN conversion, for that I suggest you read up at wikipedia : IBAN.

What I want to write about is the fact that quite often your bank requests a valid IBAN account number and their terminals no longer accept the old BBAN format. However, most bills I still get do not list the proper IBAN or BIC codes which means that I have to contact the issuer of the bill to request such information before I can complete my payment to them. I could simply let them know that I won't be paying my bills till they start adopting the new format, but that would probably lead to nothing as I'm hardly a multinational or government that can strong arm the other party into adopting their way of doing things.

As I had the same problem with the Dell purchase I made yesterday I started looking around on the web for a converter and sure enough, I found one (in Dutch and only for Belgian BBAN's) : IBAN DEMO. I can't give you any guarantees as how correct the tool is, or how long it'll remain online but I converted 5 BBAN's to their IBAN version and they all turned out to be correct. I then proceeded to convert 4 more numbers of which I had no way to verify the conversion right away, and all IBAN numbers turned out to be correct as well when I used them to pay some bills.

If you receive a bill that doesn't list IBAN and BIC, ask them to send it to you. The sooner we all start using the new format, the easier it'll be for everyone.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on March 19, 2009 11:21 AM.

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