ABA created routing numbers to get payments to the right bank. Learn how to identify and use the routing number on your checks; apply for an ABA routing. ABA stands for American Banker's Association, a banking industry association that developed the routing transit number system used for paper checks and. An ABA transit routing number is a nine-digit code assigned to U.S. banks that helps make paper.
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Management[ edit ] Since , the American Bankers Association has partnered with a series of registrars, currently Accuity , to manage the ABA routing number system. They are used on paper check, wire transfers, and ACH transactions. In addition, many international financial institutions use an IBAN code. The IBAN was originally developed to facilitate payments within the European Union but the format is flexible enough to be applied globally.
It consists of an ISO alpha-2 country code, followed by two check digits that are calculated using a mod technique, and Basic Bank Account Number BBAN with up to thirty alphanumeric characters. The BBAN includes the domestic bank account number and potentially routing information. The national banking communities decide individually on a fixed length for all BBAN in their country. Banks had been disagreeing on identification.
The gathering chose a committee to assign each bank in the country convenient numbers to use. In May , the American Bankers Association released the codes. Schroeder, C. McKay, and J. The prefixes mean locations and the suffixes banking firms within those locations. Half of the prefixes represent major cities the other half represent regions of the United States. Lower prefixes are used for higher populations, first based on the U. Likewise, within each prefix area banks are numbered in order of city population and bank seniority, although single-bank towns are numbered in alphabetical order.
When a new bank is being organized, the current publisher of the directory of banks assigns it a transit code. By it was the publisher of the semi-annual ABA Key to Routing Numbers and was owned by Reed Business Information, British publisher of reference works for professionals, which in turn is owned by Reed-Elsevier, English-Dutch publisher of online format reference works for professionals. By the Key included the U. Federal Reserve's nine-digit magnetic-ink routing numbers.
The fraction form was used for manual processing before the invention of the MICR line, and still serves as a backup in check processing should the MICR line become illegible or torn; it generally appears in the upper right part of a check near the date. Sometimes a branch number or the account number are printed below the fraction form; branch number is not used in processing, while the account number is listed in MICR form at the bottom. In the case of a MICR line that is illegible or torn, the check can still be processed without the check digit.
Typically, a repair strip or sleeve is attached to the check, then a new MICR line is imprinted. Either or with a hyphen, but no check digit may be printed, and both are 9 digits. The former with check digit is preferred to ensure better accuracy, but requires computing the check digit, while the latter is easily determined by inspection of the fraction, with minimal clerical handling.
The ABA RTNs were originally assigned in the systematic way outlined below, reflecting a financial institution's geographical location and internal handling by the Federal Reserve. Following consolidation of the Federal Reserve's check processing facilities, and the consolidation in the banking industry, the RTN a financial institution uses may not reflect the "Fed District" where the financial institution's place of business is located.
Check processing is now centralized at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The digits are assigned as follows: 00 is used by the United States Government 01 through 12 are the "normal" routing numbers, and correspond to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Currently they are still used by the thrift institutions, or their successors, and correspond to the normal routing number, plus