The IBAN, which is standard for the Single Euro Payment Area, has 24 digits, as opposed to the present system used in Spain, which only has 20.
An actual one looks like this 1234 1234 12 1234567890: the first four digits corresponds to the entity, the second four to the branch, the next two to the Control Digit and the last ten to the account number.
The IBAN looks like this: ES 12 1234 1234 1234 1234 1234: ES corresponds to the country code (ESpana), then comes the Control Digits, then the next four are the entity, the next four to the branch, the next four are made up of the Control Digits and the first two digits of the account number. The last two groups of four belong to the rest of the account number.
In effect, anybody that carries out a transfer, be it standing order (domiciliación) such as your electricity bills etc or any other kind of banking transfer will have to use this code from the 1st of February on. After that date transfers simple won’t go through. That, however, is the electricity company’s problem more than yours, of course…
It’s not so much of a problem for individuals, but for companies, however small, it could be a nightmare, which is why the Bank of Spain has expressed its concern that so many PYMES (small and medium companies) have still not switched over when paying their staff/workers their salaries via bank transfer.
Large companies and administration have automatic programmes for converting their users CCC (old system) into IBAN because it is a whole lot simpler and cheaper than asking each one individually for his IBAN.
But don’t panic because there is a website that will convert your CCC to IBAN: www.septaesp.es, which has been developed by the Bank of Spain together with financial entities (banks).
Further more, if you use online banking, you will find your complete IBAN there, and if you don’t, you can always ask your bank manager.
Three last points:
A) The responsibility for using the IBAN falls on the transmitting party; i.e., the person or company making the transfer or direct debiting.
B) The space available for information on the transfer/direct debit has been reduced to 140 characters, or if you prefer, twitterized.
C) Standing orders will remain operative; i.e., they will not have to be re-initiated, so you don’t have to go through all the rigmarole of setting them up again.