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Al Baraka Islamic Bank B.S.C. (C)   

What is the IBAN?

IBAN is the acronym for ISO 13616 Standard compliant International Bank Account Number. IBAN is a unique customer account number which can be used confidently in making or receiving payments within the country as well as abroad. The confidence comes from two sources: the first is the internationally accepted standard for numbering bank customer accounts and the second is the ISO standard methodology for verifying the accuracy of the IBAN.

Implementing the IBAN system will help improve the quality of information exchanged between banks, either within Bahrain or internationally. Its reliability and accuracy will help to reduce errors and delays in transaction processing.

IBAN usage in Bahrain

As directed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), with effect from 31 January 2012, the IBAN shall be used by banks and their customers for electronic payments which take place between banks. These include:

a) Domestic electronic payments to and from customer accounts of banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain

b) Cross-border outgoing electronic payments from customer accounts of banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain to customer accounts of banks/financial institutions in ‘Countries that have adopted IBAN’ where the use of IBAN is mandatory

c) Cross-border incoming electronic payments to customer accounts of banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain from customer accounts of banks/financial institutions in ‘Countries that have adopted IBAN’ as well as ‘Countries that have not adopted IBAN’

Benefit of the IBAN in electronic funds transfers

The main benefit of IBAN to the customer is the assurance of making a payment to the correct account without delay. Since banks check the accuracy of the IBAN at the point of initiating a payment, they can only make the payments which carry the correct IBAN. 

Do the existing account numbers become invalid with the introduction of IBAN?

Your existing account number will continue to be valid. IBAN is not a new account number. It simply represents the existing account number in an electronically recognizable ISO standard format. The adoption of IBAN in Bahrain does not require changing or replacing the existing account numbers


IBAN structure

The IBAN is unique for each account and is made up of a combination of numbers and letters. Thus, every account will have a corresponding IBAN, and every IBAN designates one account.

The first four digits of the IBAN include two digits for country code and two check digits (to verify the validity of the IBAN). The remaining part of the IBAN includes the national account number, (referred to as Basic Bank Account Number - BBAN).

The Bahrain IBAN is a combination of 22 alphanumeric characters and is structured as follows:





Country code (two digits) in ISO format, to identify the account holding country. For Bahrain based accounts, it is BH

Check digit (two digits), enables validation of IBAN

Bank identifier code (four characters) to identify the bank where the IBAN is held. For AIB Bahrain, it is ABIB

Account number (14 digits), to identify the credit account (two leading zeros will be added to your existing 13-digit ABIB account number)

Is there a standard way to write an IBAN?


When you write or print an IBAN on a document, it has to be split into groups of four characters, e.g.: BH67 ABIB 0101 0200 2001 01 to support easy recognition. The last group of the IBAN for a customer in Bahrain contains two characters. There should not be any spaces when entering the IBAN in an electronic payment message. The IBAN should be presented in an electronic payment message as a continuous string of characters i.e. BH67ABIB01010200200101


Where do I get my IBAN for my AIB accounts?

We will communicate the IBAN(s) that corresponds to your accounts though your regular statements.

What happens if I don't quote the IBAN of the beneficiary while initiating a payment?

With effect from 31 January 2012, funds transfer requests to banks within Bahrain/other IBAN-enabled countries without beneficiary IBAN will be rejected. This is applicable for all instructions that have been created with value date on or after 31 January 2011.

What happens if the IBAN is not quoted when receiving payments?

With effect from 31 January 2012, all inward payment instructions to AIB Bahrain that do not contain beneficiary IBAN could be rejected.

Do my overseas remitters need to quote my IBAN?

Yes, you should request your customers to make payments to your IBAN account number. If you issue invoices, you should quote the IBAN on the invoices too.

Do we need to quote the IBAN for inter-account transfers (payments within AIB)?

Where both the debit and credit accounts are with AIB Bahrain, you can continue to provide the standard AIB bank account number.

What if I give an instruction over the counter at a branch, do I still need to provide the IBAN of the beneficiary?

Yes, please ensure that you provide the IBAN to avoid delays in processing the payments.

I receive monthly payments into my account from my creditors/employers; what instructions do I need to give them?

Please provide your IBAN to your creditors/employer, to ensure timely receipt of funds into your account.

Is there any service charge if we fail to provide the IBAN at the time of making payment requests? Will there be any charge should the remitter fail to incorporate my IBAN at the time of making payments?

For the time being, there will not be any additional charges, other than the normal transaction processing fee. Should this change, AIB will communicate the tariff changes to you.


  Last Updated:17/08/2015
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