What are ISO Currency Codes?
ISO currency codes, commonly used synonymously as country codes, are unique alphanumeric codes assigned to each currency used in international transactions. These codes were established by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) to improve the accuracy and efficiency of global payments.
Each country code is made up of three letters — the first two letters represent the country and the third represents the currency. Taking USD for instance, the initial letters “US” constitutes the country, while the “D” indicates its local currency, the dollar.
This structure helps banks and financial institutions from different countries standardise their messaging and avoid confusion or errors. It’s also especially important in the global economy today where trillions of dollars are transacted globally on a daily basis.
What is the ISO 4217 standard?
ISO 4217 is an official document that contains all the ISO currency codes. Like a single source of truth for ISO codes. This standard, which was first established in 1978, ensures that each currency has a unique three-letter currency symbol, accompanied by a three-digit numeric code.
To illustrate, USD has an equivalent numeric code of 840. This numeric code is not intended for general use, so it’s unlikely to come across in a day-to-day transaction. Instead, according to ISO 4217:2015, it is used in applications of trade, commerce, and banking, where the funds are required to be described.
On top of these, there is also ISO 3166, which governs the country codes and agreed alphanumeric codes for each currency used in international trading.
Here’s the full list of ISO 4217 currency codes:
United Arab Emirates
Bermudian dollar ( known as Bermuda dollar)