Bank customers will get 26-digit International Bank Account Number (IBAN) in place of the existing account numbers if the Reserve Bank approves the proposals submitted by its technical committee on uniform routing code and account number structure.
The committee felt that IBAN implementation should be done in a phased manner where the payment systems at the RBI and at bank levels should support both the existing account numbers and the new IBAN account numbers for a minimum period of 3 years. “Till such time, customer should be able to operate his account through the existing account number as well as the new account number,” it said.
“This scheme specifies an IBAN with sufficiently larger length of 26 digits (total length 26 = 2 for country code + 2 for check digits + 4 for bank code + 18 for account number). The idea is to have an IBAN that can be created readily by using the existing account numbers of banks,” it said.
IBAN is currently used by many countries.
Four options of IBAN format were considered — longest, shortest, UIDAI based and pattern based IBAN. After evaluating these options on the basis of changes required at banks’ end and possible inconvenience to the customers, the committee felt that longest IBAN is most suitable.