International Securities Identification Number

An International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) uniquely identifies a security. Its structure is defined in ISO 6166. The ISIN code is a 12-character alphanumeric code that serves for uniform identification of a security through normalization of the assigned National Number, where one exists, at trading and settlement.


ISINs were first used in 1981, but didn't reach wide acceptance until 1989, when the G30 countries recommended adoption.[1] The ISIN was endorsed a year later by ISO with the ISO 6166 standard.

Initially information was distributed via CD-ROMs and this was later replaced by distribution over the internet.

In 2004 the European Union mandated the use of instrument identifiers in some of its regulatory reporting, which included ISIN as one of the valid identifiers.[2]


ISO 6166 (or ISO6166:2013 as of the 2013 revision) defines the structure of an International Securities Identification Number (ISIN). An ISIN uniquely identifies a fungible security.

Securities with which ISINs can be used are:

ISINs consist of two alphabetic characters, which are the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code for the issuing country, nine alpha-numeric characters (the National Securities Identifying Number, or NSIN, which identifies the security, padded as necessary with leading zeros), and one numerical check digit. They are thus always 12 characters in length. When the NSIN changes due to corporate actions or other reasons, the ISIN will also change. Issuance of ISINs is decentralized to individual national numbering agencies (NNAs). Since existing national numbering schemes administered by the various NNAs form the basis for ISINs, the methodology for assignment is not consistent across agencies globally.

An ISIN cannot specify a particular trading location, or another identifier, typically a MIC (Market Identifier Code) or the three-letter exchange code, will have to be specified in addition to the ISIN. The currency of the trade will also be required to uniquely identify the instrument using this method.

Usage and acceptance

Since 1989, when ISINs were introduced, they have slowly gained traction worldwide in their usage.

ISINs are being introduced worldwide and are the most popular global securities identifier. Trading, clearing and settlement systems in many countries have adopted ISINs as a secondary measure of identifying securities. Some countries, mainly in Europe, have moved to using the ISIN as their primary means of identifying securities. In addition new European regulations such as Solvency II increasingly require the ISIN to be reported.[3]

Commercial model

The ISIN is generally included in services sold by financial data vendors and intermediaries. These services are normally paid services as more value added data is included with the information. In general, the issuer of a security will include the ISIN in issuance papers or other documentation for identification purposes.


In 2009, Standard & Poor's was formally charged by the European Commission (EC) with abusing its position in licensing international securities identification codes for United States securities by requiring European financial firms and data vendors to pay licensing fees for their use. "This behaviour amounts to unfair pricing", the EC said in its statement of objections which lays the groundwork for an adverse finding against S&P. "The (numbers) are indispensable for a number of operations that financial institutions carry out – for instance, reporting to authorities or clearing and settlement – and cannot be substituted”.[4][5]

In 2011, Standard and Poor's provided six undertakings to the European Commission to remedy the situation. The agreement is applicable to all consuming companies in the European Economic Area. These expired at the end of 2016.


The examples below describes one approach for applying the Luhn algorithm on two different ISINs. The difference in the two examples has to do with if there are an odd or even number of digits after converting letters to number. Since the NSIN element can be any alpha numeric sequence (9 characters), an odd number of letters will result in an even number of digits and an even number of letters will result in an odd number of digits. For an odd number of digits, the approach in the first example is used. For an even number of digits, the approach in the second example is used. The Luhn algorithm can also be applied in the same manner for both types or lengths (alternating multiply the string of digits by 1 and 2, starting from the end of the string), being more generic.

Apple, Inc.

Apple, Inc.: ISIN US0378331005, expanded from CUSIP 037833100 The main body of the ISIN is the original CUSIP, assigned in the 1970s. The country code "US" has been added on the front, and an additional check digit at the end. The country code indicates the country of issue. The check digit is calculated using the Luhn algorithm.

Convert any letters to numbers:

U = 30, S = 28. US037833100 -> 30 28 037833100

Collect odd and even characters:

3028037833100 = (3, 2, 0, 7, 3, 1, 0), (0, 8, 3, 8, 3, 0)

Multiply the group containing the rightmost character (which is the FIRST group) by 2:

(6, 4, 0, 14, 6, 2, 0)

Add up the individual digits:

(6 + 4 + 0 + (1 + 4) + 6 + 2 + 0) + (0 + 8 + 3 + 8 + 3 + 0) = 45

Take the 10s modulus of the sum:

45 mod 10 = 5

Subtract from 10:

10 - 5 = 5

Take the 10s modulus of the result (this final step is important in the instance where the modulus of the sum is 0, as the resulting check digit would be 10).

5 mod 10 = 5

So the ISIN check digit is five.

Treasury Corporation of Victoria

TREASURY CORP VICTORIA 5 3/4% 2005-2016: ISIN AU0000XVGZA3. The check digit is calculated using the Luhn algorithm.

Convert any letters to numbers:

A = 10, G = 16, U = 30, V = 31, X = 33, Z = 35. AU0000XVGZA -> 10 30 0000 33 31 16 35 10.

Collect odd and even characters:

103000003331163510 = (1, 3, 0, 0, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1), (0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 1, 6, 5, 0)

Multiply the group containing the rightmost character (which is the SECOND group) by 2:

(0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 2, 12, 10, 0)

Add up the individual digits:

(1 + 3 + 0 + 0 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1) + (0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 6 + 2 + (1 + 2) + (1 + 0) + 0) = 27

Take the 10s modulus of the sum:

27 mod 10 = 7

Subtract from 10:

10 - 7 = 3

Take the 10s modulus of the result (this final step is important in the instance where the modulus of the sum is 0, as the resulting check digit would be 10).

3 mod 10 = 3

So the ISIN check digit is three.

BAE Systems

BAE Systems: ISIN GB0002634946, expanded from SEDOL 000263494

The main body is the SEDOL, padded on the front with the addition of two zeros. The country code "GB" is then added on the front, and the check digit on the end as in the example above.

Check-digit flaw in ISIN

The Treasury Corporation of Victoria ISIN illustrates a flaw in ISIN's check digit algorithm which allows transposed letters: Suppose the ISIN was mis-typed as AU0000VXGZA3 (instead of AU0000XVGZA3)

A = 10, G = 16, U = 30, V = 31, X = 33, Z = 35. "AU0000VXGZA" -> 10 30 00 00 31 33 16 35 10".

Collect odd and even characters:

103000003133163510 = (1, 3, 0, 0, 3, 3, 1, 3, 1), (0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 3, 6, 5, 0)

Multiply the group containing the rightmost character (which is the SECOND group) by 2:

(0, 0, 0, 0, 2, 6, 12, 10, 0)

Add up the individual digits:

(1 + 3 + 0 + 0 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 3 + 1) + (0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 2 + 6 + (1 + 2) + (1 + 0) + 0) = 27

Take the 10s modulus of the sum:

27 mod 10 = 7

Subtract from 10:

10 - 7 = 3

Take the 10s modulus of the result (this final step is important in the instance where the modulus of the sum is 0, as the resulting check digit would be 10).

3 mod 10 = 3

So the ISIN check digit is still three even though two letters have been transposed.

Such flaw against a single transposed pair of letters or digits would have been avoided using two check digits instead of just one (i.e., a 97 modulus instead of the 10 modulus, like in IBAN numbers which may also mix letters and digits). Some protocols require the transmission of additional check digits added to the full ISIN number.

See also


  1. ^ "Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey Guide, Second Edition, International Monetary Fund, 2002, Washington DC - Appendix VII: International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) Code System" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-06-14.
  2. ^ "Commission Regulation (EC) No 809/2004 of 29 April 2004 implementing Directive 2003/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards information contained in prospectuses as well as the format, incorporation by reference and publication of such prospectuses and dissemination of advertisements (Text with EEA relevance)".
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-10-07. Retrieved 2016-07-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Securities Technology Monitor, ed. (2009). "EC Charges S&P With Monopoly Abuse". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16.
  5. ^ Finextra, ed. (2009). "European Commission Accuses S&P of Monopoly Abuse over Isin Fees". Archived from the original on 2011-03-12.

External links

Bond (finance)

In finance, a bond is an instrument of indebtedness of the bond issuer to the holders. The most common types of bonds include municipal bonds and corporate bonds.

The bond is a debt security, under which the issuer owes the holders a debt and (depending on the terms of the bond) is obliged to pay them interest (the coupon) or to repay the principal at a later date, termed the maturity date. Interest is usually payable at fixed intervals (semiannual, annual, sometimes monthly). Very often the bond is negotiable, that is, the ownership of the instrument can be transferred in the secondary market. This means that once the transfer agents at the bank medallion stamp the bond, it is highly liquid on the secondary market.Thus a bond is a form of loan or IOU: the holder of the bond is the lender (creditor), the issuer of the bond is the borrower (debtor), and the coupon is the interest. Bonds provide the borrower with external funds to finance long-term investments, or, in the case of government bonds, to finance current expenditure. Certificates of deposit (CDs) or short-term commercial paper are considered to be money market instruments and not bonds: the main difference is the length of the term of the instrument.

Bonds and stocks are both securities, but the major difference between the two is that (capital) stockholders have an equity stake in a company (that is, they are owners), whereas bondholders have a creditor stake in the company (that is, they are lenders). Being a creditor, bondholders have priority over stockholders. This means they will be repaid in advance of stockholders, but will rank behind secured creditors, in the event of bankruptcy.

Another difference is that bonds usually have a defined term, or maturity, after which the bond is redeemed, whereas stocks typically remain outstanding indefinitely. An exception is an irredeemable bond, such as a consol, which is a perpetuity, that is, a bond with no maturity.

Demat account

Demat account number is quoted for all transactions to enable electronic settlements of trades to take place. Every shareholder will have a Dematerialized account for the purpose of transacting.

Access to the Dematerialized account requires an internet password and a transaction password. Transfers or purchases of securities can then be initiated. Purchases and sales of securities on the Dematerialized account are automatically made once transactions are confirmed and completed.

Digital object identifier

In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to uniquely identify objects, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

A DOI aims to be "resolvable", usually to some form of access to the information object to which the DOI refers. This is achieved by binding the DOI to metadata about the object, such as a URL, indicating where the object can be found. Thus, by being actionable and interoperable, a DOI differs from identifiers such as ISBNs and ISRCs which aim only to uniquely identify their referents. The DOI system uses the indecs Content Model for representing metadata.

The DOI for a document remains fixed over the lifetime of the document, whereas its location and other metadata may change. Referring to an online document by its DOI is supposed to provide a more stable link than simply using its URL. But every time a URL changes, the publisher has to update the metadata for the DOI to link to the new URL. It is the publisher's responsibility to update the DOI database. If they fail to do so, the DOI resolves to a dead link leaving the DOI useless.

The developer and administrator of the DOI system is the International DOI Foundation (IDF), which introduced it in 2000. Organizations that meet the contractual obligations of the DOI system and are willing to pay to become a member of the system can assign DOIs. The DOI system is implemented through a federation of registration agencies coordinated by the IDF. By late April 2011 more than 50 million DOI names had been assigned by some 4,000 organizations, and by April 2013 this number had grown to 85 million DOI names assigned through 9,500 organizations.


The Financial Instruments Reference Database System (FIRDS) is published by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and lists meta-information to all financial instruments included in the scope of MiFID II. This reference data is necessary to find metadata on a given financial instrument, uniquely identified by a so-called International Securities Identification Number (ISIN).

International Bank Account Number

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is an internationally agreed system of identifying bank accounts across national borders to facilitate the communication and processing of cross border transactions with a reduced risk of transcription errors. It was originally adopted by the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS), and later as an international standard under ISO 13616:1997. The current standard is ISO 13616:2007, which indicates SWIFT as the formal registrar. Initially developed to facilitate payments within the European Union, it has been implemented by most European countries and numerous countries in the other parts of the world, mainly in the Middle East and in the Caribbean. As of February 2016, 69 countries were using the IBAN numbering system.The IBAN consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters comprising: a country code; two check digits; and a number that includes the domestic bank account number, branch identifier, and potential routing information. The check digits enable a check of the bank account number to confirm its integrity before submitting a transaction.

International Standard Audiovisual Number

International Standard Audiovisual Number (ISAN) is a unique identifier for audiovisual works and related versions, similar to ISBN for books. It was developed within an ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) TC46/SC9 working group. ISAN is managed and run by ISAN-IA.

International Standard Book Number

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. For example, an e-book, a paperback and a hardcover edition of the same book would each have a different ISBN. The ISBN is 13 digits long if assigned on or after 1 January 2007, and 10 digits long if assigned before 2007. The method of assigning an ISBN is nation-based and varies from country to country, often depending on how large the publishing industry is within a country.

The initial ISBN identification format was devised in 1967, based upon the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering (SBN) created in 1966. The 10-digit ISBN format was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and was published in 1970 as international standard ISO 2108 (the SBN code can be converted to a ten-digit ISBN by prefixing it with a zero digit "0").

Privately published books sometimes appear without an ISBN. The International ISBN agency sometimes assigns such books ISBNs on its own initiative.Another identifier, the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), identifies periodical publications such as magazines and newspapers. The International Standard Music Number (ISMN) covers for musical scores.

International Standard Link Identifier

The International Standard Link Identifier (ISLI), is an identifier standard. ISLI is a universal identifier for links between entities in the field of information and documentation. It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and published on May 15, 2015. ISO/TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for the development of the ISLI standard.ISLI is used for identifying links between entities in the field of information and documentation. A linked entity can be physical, e.g. a print book or an electronic resource (text, audio, and video); or something abstract, e.g. a physical position within a frame of reference or the time of day.

In the context of modern information technology, the application of resources in the field of information and documentation is increasingly getting diversified. Isolated content products can no longer satisfy the ever-increasing user demand.

Using a link identifier to build links between resources in the field of information and documentation provides a basis for a combined application of resources in the field, and supports collaborative creation of content and data interoperability between systems.

The openness of the ISLI system will boost the emergence of new applications in both multimedia and other fields, which increases the value of the linked-resources.

International Standard Music Number

The International Standard Music Number or ISMN (ISO 10957) is a thirteen-character alphanumeric identifier for printed music developed by ISO.

International Standard Musical Work Code

International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC) is a unique identifier for musical works, similar to ISBN for books. It is adopted as international standard ISO 15707. The ISO subcommittee with responsibility for the standard is TC 46/SC 9.

International Standard Recording Code

The International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) is an international standard code for uniquely identifying sound recordings and music video recordings. The code was developed by the recording industry in conjunction with the ISO technical committee 46, subcommittee 9 (TC 46/SC 9), which codified the standard as ISO 3901 in 1986, and updated it in 2001.

An ISRC identifies a particular recording, not the work (composition and lyrical content) itself. Therefore, different recordings, edits, and remixes of the same work should each have their own ISRC. Works are identified by ISWC. Recordings remastered without significant audio-quality changes should retain their existing ISRC, but the threshold is left to the discretion of the record company.

International Standard Serial Number

An International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an eight-digit serial number used to uniquely identify a serial publication, such as a magazine. The ISSN is especially helpful in distinguishing between serials with the same title. ISSN are used in ordering, cataloging, interlibrary loans, and other practices in connection with serial literature.The ISSN system was first drafted as an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) international standard in 1971 and published as ISO 3297 in 1975. ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for maintaining the standard.

When a serial with the same content is published in more than one media type, a different ISSN is assigned to each media type. For example, many serials are published both in print and electronic media. The ISSN system refers to these types as print ISSN (p-ISSN) and electronic ISSN (e-ISSN), respectively. Conversely, as defined in ISO 3297:2007, every serial in the ISSN system is also assigned a linking ISSN (ISSN-L), typically the same as the ISSN assigned to the serial in its first published medium, which links together all ISSNs assigned to the serial in every medium.

International Standard Text Code

The International Standard Text Code (ISTC) is a unique identifier for text-based works. The ISO standard was developed by TC 46/SC 9 and published in March 2009 as ISO 21047:2009. The authority responsible for implementing the standard is The International ISTC Agency.

Isin (disambiguation)

Isin is an ancient city in Mesopotamia.

Isin or ISIN may also refer to:

Isin Rural District, in Iran

Isin, Kwara

International Securities Identification Number

List of business and finance abbreviations

This is a list of abbreviations used in a business of financial context.

Luhn mod N algorithm

The Luhn mod N algorithm is an extension to the Luhn algorithm (also known as mod 10 algorithm) that allows it to work with sequences of non-numeric characters. This can be useful when a check digit is required to validate an identification string composed of letters, a combination of letters and digits or even any arbitrary set of characters.

Securities Depository Center (Jordan)

The Securities Depository Center (SDC) (Arabic: هيئة ايداع الاوراق المالية) is the central securities depository of Jordan. It is a public utility institution established in the Kingdom by the Securities Law of 1997.

Ticker symbol

A ticker symbol or stock symbol is an abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded shares of a particular stock on a particular stock market. A stock symbol may consist of letters, numbers or a combination of both. "Ticker symbol" refers to the symbols that were printed on the ticker tape of a ticker tape machine.

International numbering standards
ISO standards by standard number

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