ISIN (International Securities Identification Number)

What is ISIN?


A security is identified by its ISIN (International Securities Identification Number).
ISO 6166 specifies its structure.
The ISIN code is a 12-character alphanumeric identifier that allows for universal identification of a security during trading and settlement by normalizing the allocated National Number, if one exists.

ISINs were originally used in 1981, but it wasn't until 1989 that the G30 countries urged their use that they gained widespread popularity.
ISO recognized the ISIN with the ISO 6166 standard a year later.

The European Union authorized the use of instrument IDs in some regulatory reporting in 2004, and one of the permissible identifiers was ISIN.


The structure of an International Securities Identification Number is defined by ISO 6166 (or ISO6166:2013 as of the 2013 revision) (ISIN).
An ISIN is a fungible security's unique identifier.

ISINs can be used with the following securities:

Investing in stocks (shares, units, depository receipts)

Instruments of debt (bonds and debt instruments other than international, international bonds and debt instruments, stripped coupons and principal, treasury bills, others)

Rights and responsibilities (rights, warrants)

Derivatives are a type of financial instrument (options, futures)

Others are (commodities, currencies, indices, interest rates)


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 needed with leading zeros), and one numerical check digit make up ISINs.
As a result, they are always 12 characters long.
The ISIN will change when the NSIN changes due to corporate actions or other factors.
Individual national numbering agencies issue ISINs, which are decentralised (NNAs).
Because ISINs are based on existing national numbering schemes controlled by multiple NNAs, the technique for assignment is inconsistent between agencies globally.


ISINs have slowly gained popularity in their use around the world since their introduction in 1989.

ISINs are the most widely used global securities identity and are being introduced all around the world.
ISINs have been implemented as a secondary means of identifying securities in several countries' trading, clearing, and settlement systems.
The ISIN has become the principal means of identifying securities in some countries, mostly in Europe.
Furthermore, new European laws like as Solvency II are requiring the ISIN to be reported more frequently.