IBAN and BIC in payment transactions

The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and BIC (Business Identifier Code) simplify payment transactions worldwide. Since 2008, banks in Switzerland have been gradually shifting to the use of IBAN. UBS supports the IBAN and recommends its use with national and international payment transactions.

Where do I find my IBAN and BIC?

Your IBAN is printed on the front of your Maestro card. On your account statement, the IBAN and BIC are shown to the right of the correspondence address. In UBS e-banking the IBAN and BIC are displayed next to the account number.

Maestro card

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Account statement

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e-banking

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The IBAN is an international bank number and a global standard format for account numbers. The format of the IBAN is the same throughout the world.  The country, financial institution and account number are clearly identifiable from the IBAN.

Example of a IBAN (21 characters):

Beispiel IBAN

The IBAN makes automatic payment processing possible. And this makes payment transactions faster and easier.

The BIC is a combination of numbers and letters that clearly identify the bank. The BIC is only needed for cross-border payments.

Example of a BIC (11 characters):

Beispiel BIC

IBAN and BIC are required in Europe

European banks already require that the IBAN and BIC of payment recipients be provided. If this information is missing from the payment order, the order has to be processed manually. The recipient bank passes on the processing fees to the party who ordered the payment.

Recipient banks abroad may even refuse to accept cross-border payment orders that are not accompanied by an IBAN and BIC. 

IBAN is also used for Swiss payments

The Swiss Payments Council of the Swiss banks (SIX Interbank Clearing) is working towards extending the systematic use of the IBAN to Switzerland. In Switzerland, payments that do not state an IBAN are still processed without additional third-party costs. However, in the future, higher costs may apply to domestic payment orders that do not state the IBAN.

What does this mean for you as a client?

UBS recommends that you always use the IBAN for payments. If the IBAN is not stated on an invoice, you should ask the payment recipient to provide it. Whenever you issue an invoice, you should always inform the recipient of your IBAN and, if necessary, the BIC.

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