RBI has proposed to use IBAN for standardization of banking account numbers in India. Please read our post on IBAN in India.

RBI Committee examined the technical aspect of IBAN and debated the following four types of IBAN for India, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

  1. Longest IBAN
  2. Shortest IBAN
  3. Aadhaar Based IBAN
  4. Pattern Based IBAN

After detailed deliberation, RBI committee has found “Longest IBAN” as most suitable for Indian banks and their customers. You can read the complete arguments for and against each scheme here.

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. A study of existing account numbers with banks operating in India revealed that the longest account number is of 18 digits, and hence this length has been retained for the BBAN part of the IBAN. All other existing account numbers of varying lengths can be padded (prefixed / suffixed) with zeroes to arrive at the fixed-length BBAN of 18 digits. Thus, the IBAN can be readily arrived at by prefixing country code, check digits and bank code to the BBAN so arrived at. Such a system would also facilitate making the IBAN mandatory after some time for all payment transactions.

Country CodeINChar (1-2)
Check Digit68Numeric (3-4)
Bank IdICICChar (5-8)
Account Sequence Number4324 5672 4672 1968 72Numeric (9-26)
IN68 ICIC 4324 5672 4672 1968 72

The committee has also proposed to use first four alphabets of IFSC code as bank codes as these are well recognized by bankers as well as customers. The last 18 digits will recognize the branch and the account number.

Well, 26 digit IBAN will surely improve the bank processes and payment systems in India but, boy, it will be tough to remember!