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What is the BIC?

BIC is the abbreviation for "Bank Identifier Code" and is a global identifier of a bank. It consists of either 8 or 11 characters and replaces the German bank code (BLZ) since the conversion to IBAN.

The BIC is issued by SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) to banks and is therefore internationally known as the SWIFT code.

It is not necessary to enter the BIC code for payment transactions within Germany. The IBAN specification is sufficient here.

Structure of the BIC

The BIC is based on the ISO 9362 standard. The following example shows the structure using the BIC of the Deutsche Bundesbank in Berlin (MARKDEF1100):
The first 4 digits are the bank code, which can be chosen freely by the bank. This is followed by the 2-digit country code according to ISO 3166-1 and the coding of the location with 2 digits. At the end there is the 3-digit identification of the store. Since this value is optional, a BIC can have 8 or 11 characters. An 8-digit BIC can be extended with "XXX" to an 11-digit BIC.

BIC Structure