What is ISO 4217?
ISO 4217 is the International Standard for currency codes. The most recent edition is ISO 4217:2008.
The purpose of ISO 4217:2008 is to establish internationally recognised codes for the representation of currencies. Currencies can be represented in the code in two ways: a three-letter alphabetic code and a three-digit numeric code.
The alphabetic code is based on another ISO standard, ISO 3166, which lists the codes for country names. The first two letters of the ISO 4217 three-letter code are the same as the code for the country name, and where possible the third letter corresponds to the first letter of the currency name.
- The US dollar is represented as USD - the US coming from the ISO 3166 country code and the D for dollar.
- The Swiss franc is represented by CHF - the CH being the code for Switzerland in the ISO 3166 code and F for franc.
The three-digit numeric code is useful when currency codes need to be understood in countries that do not use Latin scripts and for computerised systems. Where possible the 3 digit numeric code is the same as the numeric country code.
For currencies having minor units, ISO 4217:2008 also shows the relationship between the minor unit and the currency itself (i.e. whether it divides into 100 or 1000).
ISO 4217:2008 also describes historical codes in table A.3 as well as the codes representing certain funds in table A.2.
Maintaining ISO 4217
Periodically, amendments must be made to ISO 4217:2008 and these are managed by the Secretariat of the Maintenance Agency, in this case the SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd on behalf of the Swiss Association for Standardization, SNV.
More details on how to contact SIX Interbank Clearing Ltd can be found in the list of Maintenance Agencies.