Travel & International | NatWest International

Travel and international

Currency, international payments
and more

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Using your debit card abroad

Whether you're going on holiday or travelling on business, let us know if you will be using your debit card abroad. Register your travel details with us at least 24 hours before your trip, and we'll do our best to ensure your holiday spending isn't affected at all.

You will be able to create one Travel Plan at a time, for a maximum period of 90 days, that includes up to seven countries. Joint account holders need to register separately.

You can register your travel plans in our Mobile App, in Online Banking, by calling us or popping in to any of our branches.

 

Mobile App
With our app it's easier than ever to tell us your travelling so you can use your debit card

You can register your travel plans via our Mobile App at least 24 hours before your trip. All you need to do is:
 

  1. Simply select the Help menu
  2. Tap our 'Going abroad' section

    More about our Mobile App

Online Banking
Log in to Online Banking to let us know about your travel plans

You can register your travel plans via Online Banking at least 24 hours before your trip. All you need to do is:
 

  1. Log in to Online Banking
  2. Select 'Cards' from within the left hand menu
  3. Select 'Using your debit card abroad'
  4. Register your travel plan details

Give us a call or call into your local branch
Other options for letting us known about your travel plans

You can also call us or pop in to your local branch where our staff would be happy to help do this for you. Just make sure you let us know at least 24 hours in advance.

These rates are an indication only for amounts below 5,000 GBP and do not include any charges which may apply. 
For an indicative rate on larger foreign exchange amounts, please contact your local branch or relationship manager.

IBAN number

To make and receive payments overseas you'll have to use an International Bank Account Number (IBAN). Use our IBAN checker to be sure that your IBAN is valid before sending a payment.

How should an IBAN look?

Understanding what an IBAN looks like
IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It's a standardised way of identifying a bank account. An IBAN is always used in conjunction with a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) - a sequence of numbers and letters which identifies a bank and branch.


An IBAN isn't a bank account number. It can include your sort code and account number, but also includes extra characters. Never try to create or guess an IBAN as the format is different for different countries. Always ask the person you are paying what their IBAN is. You'll find your own IBAN on your bank statement.


Printed and electronic IBANs

An IBAN will be between 15 and 28 characters in length, depending on the country where the account is held. UK IBANs are 22 characters long.


An IBAN will look slightly different in printed form than it will when it is used electronically - such as when it's being used during an online banking transaction.


In printed form, the number is frequently split into groups of four characters. This makes it easier to read. When it is used electronically it shouldn't contain blank spaces or the word IBAN.


For example, a printed IBAN would look like this:
GB99 RBOS 1234 5612 3456 78
 

While the electronic equivalent would look like this:
GB99RBOS12345612345678

How do IBANs work?

IBANs and BICs are used throughout the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland. They should be used on all payments to and from these countries.


Making payments

You must always quote the IBAN and BIC of the beneficiary. Don't give extra information - such as account numbers or bank names as this can cause problems with the payment.


You can also use IBAN and BIC to make currency payments within the UK. But if you're simply making sterling payments in the UK, you should use sort codes and account numbers.


Receiving payments
If you're receiving funds, you should:

- Give the payer your IBAN and BIC
- Don't provide any other information, such as your account number or address


Although it's not essential, you can also provide your IBAN and BIC for payments being received from other countries.

Other common IBAN questions

Why do IBANs make payments easier?
All the EU countries have different ways of expressing account numbers and formats for making domestic payments. The IBAN provides one common style, (even though they look different) of account number format across the EU and EEA. It's easier for banks to identify if a customer has missed, added or transposed any numbers.


Does it affect all payments or just euro payments?

Strictly speaking, IBANs only apply to euro payments. However any payment to the EU or EEA has the potential to be converted to local currency. We strongly recommend the use of IBAN and BIC for all payments you make or receive from the EU and EEA including sterling payments.


Does it affect sterling payments within the UK?
No, you should continue to use sort codes and account numbers for sterling payments in the UK.


What happens if I don't provide IBAN and BIC information to the payer?
The paying bank may decline to make the payment, which could affect your cash flow. If the paying bank agrees to make the payment, then it may levy extra charges for making the payment.


Can I use IBAN and BIC for other countries?
Yes you can. You can quote the IBAN as your account number and the BIC as your bank details in the same way that you present the information for EU and EEA. The information is sufficient for the payment to reach your account at NatWest International.

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