International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)
ISIN.net is the global provider of ISIN and CUSIP services.
The ISIN Number Code is used in nearly 100 countries to identify both equity and debt securities issues, derivatives, syndicated loans and equity options, as well as stocks, bonds, treasuries, commercial paper, medium terms notes, warrants, rights, trusts, futures, options and more.
The ultimate goal of international identification codes referred to as “ISIN” (International Securities Identification Number) is to standardize the identification of securities and other financial instruments via a unified system and a uniform classification.
Said another way, ISIN numbers are allocated to securities, much like a social security number for a person, in order to clearly show or state what the securities details are, and to assist in the clearing and settlement procedures between potential buyer and seller.
ISINs – as opposed to the 9 digit CUSIP numbers – are composed of a 12 digit alphanumeric number code. The ISINs are also a solid tool in the unification for varying ticker symbols (think “APPL” for Apple, Inc.). Ticker symbols can vary from exchange to exchange, which only causes confusion, especially when currency is taken into consideration. Thus, a ticker symbol for a US security traded on the NASDAQ may be different on Stock Exchanges. Therefore, an ISIN number can actually ‘unify’ all ticker symbols of the securities, enabling those searching for the securities to see an all-inclusive picture of the securities being searched.
For the United States, ISIN codes are extended versions of the 9-character CUSIP (Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures) numbers. ISIN numbers are formed by adding a country code and what is called a “check digit” to the beginning of the CUSIP, and end of a CUSIP numbers. There is an advantage for companies that obtain an ISIN and CUSIP number.