International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

In compliance with Central Bank of UAE regulations, we are pleased to inform you that United Arab Bank has successfully applied the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) for all your accounts, which will be used for all inward and outward remittances from and to the UAE and salary payments through WPS.

International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an international standard for identifying bank accounts (excluding credit cards). The main purpose of IBAN is to facilitate the automatic processing of money transfers, to improve the speed and accuracy of your payment transactions.

The Central Bank regulation is effective from 19 November 2011, whereby all banks in UAE are required to accept and process payment instructions with IBAN. Consequently, you will be required to provide an IBAN for all instructions for value date on or after 14th April 2012 when making payment from or receiving payments to your account. Please ensure that the IBAN for your account is communicated to all parties from whom you are expecting a remittance to your account.

In case the IBAN is not used, the processing of both Inward and Outward payment in your account IS LIKELY TO BE REJECTED OR MAY be delayed with additional processing charges as may be prescribed by Central Bank from time to time.

If you have standing orders for effecting payments from your account to beneficiary accounts held in banks within the UAE other than United Arab Bank, then you will need to amend the same, by providing the IBAN equivalent for the beneficiary account.

Please note, all United Arab Bank payment / instructions submission channels will be enhanced to accept IBAN from 14th April 2012.

Should you require more information on IBAN, you may:

  • Contact our 24-hour phone banking team on 800 474
  • Visit your nearest United Arab Bank branch

What is 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 (excluding checks and credit cards) 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.

Who requires an IBAN?
Bank customers, who receive or make electronic payments in UAE or abroad, will require IBAN. If you have more than one account at your bank, you will require an IBAN for each of your accounts.

Who can create and issue IBAN?
All banks in UAE having customer accounts which are used for electronic payments are authorized to generate IBAN. No other party is permitted to generate IBAN for bank customers.

Why did the United Arab Emirates decide to introduce IBAN?
Introduction of the IBAN is a strategic initiative that will further align the UAE banking system with the evolving standards applied in other global banking systems. The adoption of IBAN is a step in the direction towards increasing the efficiency of electronic payments in the UAE, while further strengthening the country’s status as a global financial centre.

How can I get my IBAN?
Each of your account numbers will be converted into IBAN format and you will be informed of the details by your bank. Your bank will also print your IBAN on your bank statement(s) starting 14th April 2012.

How would bank customers benefit from IBAN?
The main benefit of IBAN to the customer is the assurance of their transactions made to correct account to be processed efficiently and with no 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.

Briefly explain the IBAN for UAE?
According to the ISO compliant IBAN Standard issued by the Central Bank of UAE, all IBANs have a fixed length of 23 characters.

Country Code Check Digit Basic Bank Account Number
    Bank Code Domestic Account Number
AE ?? 046 0000000693123456

IBAN has 3 components i.e. the Country Code, the Check Digit & the Basic Bank Account Number
The country code (first and the second characters of an IBAN) helps to identify and country where the account is resident. It contains the ISO two letter country code ‘AE’ (the ISO country code for the UAE)
The Check Digit (third and the fourth characters of an IBAN) helps to verify the IBAN internationally is always generated by a bank in UAE and helps in verifying if the account number is correct or otherwise
The IBAN helps to identify an account number of a customer, as well as his bank, domestically. It comprises the Bank identifier (which identifies the account holding bank) and the customer account number. In the case of UAE, the Bank Identifier is the 3 digits following the Check Digits.
The remaining part of the IBAN is the existing customer account number. The length of the customer account number in the IBAN is fixed as 16 characters. It can ONLY contain numbers (0 to 9).

What is the difference between an IBAN and a normal account number?
An IBAN can always be distinguished from a normal customer account number by the following:

  • Two letters at the beginning of the IBAN, which refer to the country code where the account resides;
  • Two numbers (in the third and fourth position of the IBAN), which represent the check digit;
  • Three numbers (after the check digits) to identify the respective bank where the beneficiary maintains his/her account; and
  • The length of the IBAN is 23 characters.

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 6 groups of four characters each, e.g.: AE12 0461 2345 6789 0123 456 to support easy recognition. The last group of the IBAN for a customer in UAE contains three 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. AE500461234567890123456

Does the existing account number become invalid with the introduction of IBAN?
No. 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 UAE does not require changing or replacing the existing account numbers.

For which transaction(s) can IBAN be used?
IBAN can be used for the domestic and cross-order payments. Additionally, the IBAN will be mandated for use in the Wages Protection System.

Is the IBAN to be used only for international payments?
No, Customers have to use IBAN in making and receiving international as well as domestic electronic payments.

What happens if we don’t mention Beneficiary account as IBAN after April 14, 2012?
Banks will not process and will reject such transfers if they do not contain a valid IBAN account number after April 14, 2012. Furthermore, there may be additional rejection charges applied to the transfer. This is only applicable for payments made to beneficiaries in the UAE

Is the IBAN required in Wages Protection System (WPS) processing?
Yes, Employer should provide the IBAN in SIF (salary information file) where EDR routing number is bank.

Is the IBAN required in Wages protection system where the A/c number is Pay roll cards & their EDR routing numbers are banks & PSP (Pay roll service providers)
Yes if IBAN is available. If IBAN is not available, then valid employee payroll card numbers needs to be used. i.e. 23 digits card numbers, first 7 digits padded with zero & last 16 digits first digit should be starting with 4,5 or 6. (Eg: 00000004123486789012345, 00000005123456789012345 & 00000006123456789012345).

What happens if we do not provide A/c number as IBAN or Pay roll card numbers from April 14, 2012 onwards where EDR routing no is Bank & PSP?
Bank will reject whole SIF file of the Employers & will not process the salary file, if any one of EDR employee IBAN or pay roll card number is invalid in SIF.

Is the IBAN required in Wages protection system where SCR routing number is same as EDR routing number? (Employer & employee A/c is in the same bank)
Yes, if IBAN is not provided & only bank A/c numbers is provided, still bank will process their salaries. If any one of the A/c number is invalid in EDR, then bank will reject the entire employer SIF file & the salary file will not be processed.

Is the employer IBAN required for Non-WPS & WPS salary processing?

Is the employee IBAN required for Non-WPS salaries?

What happens if we do not provide A/c no as IBAN for Non-WPS employee salaries from April 14, 2012?
Bank will process valid IBAN salaries from the salary excel file & invalid IBAN salaries will be credit back to employer A/c.

What is the bank excel file format for Non-WPS salaries?

Sl No
Beneficiary Account Number Beneficiary Name Amount Bank Code Employee No Special Instructions for Beneficiary Bank
1 AE580460000001111111111 Mr.Altaf 3250.00 046 1 Sal Nov 2011
2 AE850460000001111111111 Mr. Khan 4000.00 046 2 Sal Oct 2012

The field specification is as follows: (Note: No special characters are allowed)

SNO. Field Label Max Size Type Use Remarks
1 Sl No 6 Numeric Mandatory This number must be unique in this file and need not be in any specific occurrence order.
2 Beneficiary account number 23 Alpha Numeric Mandatory The Beneficiary account number (IBAN) must be specified in this field.
3 Beneficiary Name 35 Alpha Numeric Mandatory Special characters including comma not allowed
4 Amount 9 Numeric Mandatory Valid transaction amount with 2 decimals. Negative & zero value are not permitted. Maximum length is inclusive of decimal values and decimal DOT. Eg: 123456.78
5 Bank code 3 Numeric Mandatory Valid bank code, 2nd, 3rd & 4th digit of the bank 9 digit routing number
6 Employee number 8 Numeric Mandatory This number must be unique in this file and need not be in any specific occurrence order.
7 Special Instructions for Beneficiary Bank 175 Alpha Numeric Optional  

When onwards employer should provide Non-WPS salaries in bank excel file format?
From 14th April 2012 onwards.

What happens if employer does not provide Non-WPS salaries in bank excel file format?
Bank will not process those salaries & will return back to employer.