What is the Bank Identification Number? | Ikajo Glossary


Bank Identification Number

The Bank Identification Number (BIC) is a unique identification code of a bank that is used for hastening the transactions and facilitating the whole procedure of payment. It is a bank details element containing information on the territorial location of the bank holding the company’s current account.

Each bank has its own code in the general register of financial organizations. BIC code allows determining the affiliation of a debit or credit card to a particular bank. Thus, the sender of the funds receives documentary evidence of the card’s belonging to a particular bank. The digital code is the same for all cards, since some users prefer to start several at once: for salary, for savings, for personal purposes.

The essence of bank identification number search

The system of interbank settlements is a huge machine, in which thousands of transfers take place every second in different directions. In order to automate this complex mechanism, all accounts or branches are assigned unique numeric identifiers. So, by using them, people can significantly speed up the transaction process.

However, in such conditions, the problem of the correctness of the indication of the operating details can appear. A simple error in a single BIC digit can result in an incorrectly addressed transfer, delay or return of funds. That is why it is so important not only to rewrite these figures but also to understand their meaning. In such a way the percentage of errors will be reduced to a minimum, and payments will be on time.

This number is required to indicate when filling in all financial settlement documents, during transactions. Without this code, it is possible to conduct erroneous payment transactions. By writing the wrong identification code, the card owner can send money to a completely different recipient.

The whole structure of the code has a specific sequence in which there are the following elements:

  • The country to which the banking institution belongs.
  • The region in which the office is located.
  • Bank department.

In general, the first digits of the code indicate the country, the next several digits indicate that they belong to a specific region, the next two digits indicate the conditional number of the bank’s payment processing network, and the last seven or nine digits indicate the reference number of the banking institution where the client’s correspondent account is open.

What is the BIC used for?

The answer to the need of BIC code is obvious. There are numerous situations where it is required to be indicated, including the following:

  • conducting financial transactions at the international level. If you want to transfer money to an account of a foreign bank, you will need to indicate the BIC
  • making purchases in the online store. BIC must be specified when transferring money to the company’s settlement account.

So, for correct and timely settlements between banks, you must correctly enter your billing information and BIC, which is a kind of “passport” of each branch of credit institutions. If a person knows the BIC, he can find out in which region the bank branch is located and how long it has been registered. Everybody can get BIC from the documents provided when concluding an agreement on a card, credit or deposit or by simply contacting a bank department.

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