From the 1st January 2010 two important changes have been introduced into the Turkish banking system to improve security and reduce errors. All these changes will impact on you if you have a Turkish bank account.


To stem the growing levels of online bank account fraud and error the Turkish Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency has introduced two key changes to the way customers carry out their banking activities.


Single Use Passwords

The first change is that all online banking transactions can now only be completed by using a unique single use password. When logging on to their accounts a text message containing the password will be sent to the user on the phone number they have registered with their bank. This password must then be entered to log on to their account. Banks will make a charge for text messages sent but the actual fees will vary depending on your bank.

For people who don’t have a mobile phone or don’t want to use their phone they can opt for a gizmo called “Sifrematik”, a calculator sized password generator. Banks will charge 25 TL for customers who request such a device.


The second change is aimed at reducing the level of errors generated in the banking system by the use of incorrect account numbers. Now all banking transfers must use an International Bank Account Number or IBAN for short.

IBAN is a standardised format of account number used mostly for international transfers but now for all transfers in Turkey. The great thing about the IBAN number is that it reduces the chance of using an incorrect account number and also improves transfer efficiency.

Turkey uses a 26 digit IBAN number and you can find out your IBAN account number by going online, using an ATM or contacting your bank.