IBAN's and routing codes
The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for identifying bank accounts across national borders. It was originally adopted by the European Committee for Banking Standards, and was later adopted as an international standard. There is enough information in an IBAN to identify the bank and account number.
For example for Great Britain an IBAN would look like
GBkk BBBB SSSS SSCC CCCC CC where:
GBidentifies the country
B= alphabetical bank code,
S= sort code (often a specific branch),
C= account No.
So the IBAN of
GB29 NWBK 6016 1331 9268 19 indicates:
- Sort Code of
- Account Code of
In this instance the Sort Code is also a routing number.
A routing code is more a United States and Canada term but it is possible to do European payments with a routing code and account number combination. Other words for routing code could be Transit Number, ABA, Fedwire Number, and Sort Code.
So what to use?
If you have an IBAN use this. If you only have a routing code and account number it is possible to use this and still have the payment settle successfully (but generally only to the United States and Canada).