Close this search box.

Table of Contents

International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)


The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) is a unique code that distinctly identifies a specific securities issue. The organization that allocates ISINs in any particular country is the national numbering agency. ISIN codes are used globally and help to facilitate trade and settlement by indicating the particular securities being traded.


International – /ˌɪntərˈnæʃənəl/Securities – /sɪˈkjʊrɪtiz/Identification – /aɪˌdɛntɪfɪˈkeɪʃən/Number – /ˈnʌmbər/(ISIN) – /ˈaɪsɪn/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) is a unique identifier for securities, which is used to facilitate unambiguous identification of these instruments globally. It ensures that securities are correctly traded and settled.</li><li>ISINs are assigned following an international standard (ISO 6166) and consist of a two-letter country code, a nine-character alphanumeric national security identifier, and a single check digit.</li><li>Almost all countries utilize ISIN for their securities. Despite being international, it’s assigned by a national numbering agency (NNA) in each respective country, and that agency is the only entity authorized to issue ISIN in their jurisdiction.</li></ol>


The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) plays a crucial role in global finance, providing a standardized system for the identification and differentiation of securities such as stocks, bonds, and ETFs. This alphanumeric code, which comprises 12 characters, is an essential mechanism for improving the efficiency, reliability, and transparency of international transactions. It ensures that each security can be accurately identified, preventing potential errors, fraud, or misunderstandings. As a result, the ISIN serves as a cornerstone of global financial communication, harmonizing references across diverse markets and jurisdictions, facilitating financial reporting, and simplifying the management of cross-border securities trades.


The International Securities Identification Number (ISIN) serves a critical role in modern global finance by providing a standardized and unique identification for securities, aiding in their clear recognition, proper documentation, and efficient handling across international borders. By reducing the potential for misidentification and confusion, ISINs ensure that trades and transactions are accurately recorded and tracked, an aspect that is particularly important given the vast number of securities traded every day in global markets. ISINs are used extensively by investors, brokers, financial institutions, and government regulatory bodies. For investors and brokers, the ISIN code aids in identifying, buying, and selling securities, as well as tracking and managing investment portfolios efficiently. For financial institutions, it offers a reliable method for processing and settling trades, facilitating accurate asset management and risk assessment. On the other hand, government regulating agencies use the ISIN for effective surveillance and monitoring of national and international securities markets, enabling effective oversight and regulatory control. Hence, the ISIN serves to improve operational efficiency, accuracy in transactions, and transparency in the global financial system.


1. Microsoft Corporation ISIN:The ISIN number of Microsoft Corporation’s common stock, for example, is US5949181045. This ISIN uniquely identifies the publicly-traded shares of Microsoft, which are listed on NASDAQ. 2. Nestlé S.A. ISIN:An example in the Swiss market, the food and beverage conglomerate Nestlé S.A. has the ISIN CH0038863350 for its publicly-traded shares listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.3. GlaxoSmithKline plc ISIN:From the UK market, the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline plc has the ISIN GB0009252882 for its publicly-traded shares listed on the London Stock Exchange. These examples illustrate that the ISIN is a unique and universal identifier that differentiates publicly traded securities worldwide, allowing for precise identification to facilitate global trading and settlement.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is International Securities Identification Number (ISIN)?

ISIN is a unique 12 digit alphanumeric code that distinctly identifies equity, debt or other securities issued by a particular company. It is an international standard used worldwide to unify different identification systems.

What does ISIN consist of?

An ISIN code comprises three parts. The first two letters are the Alpha-2 country code, the third through tenth characters are the National Securities Identifying Number(NSIN), and the eleventh and twelfth characters are a two-digit check sum.

Who issues the ISIN?

ISINs are issued by a National Numbering Agency (NNA) in each country where the security is registered for trading.

Why is ISIN important in finance and business?

ISIN facilitates the identification and differentiation of securities traded and settled internationally. Its use simplifies various administrative tasks such as clearing and settlement, making it essential in cross-border trading.

Can one security have different ISINs?

No, each security has only one unique ISIN, which is used across all markets globally. However, the same ISIN can have different trading symbols or tickers in different markets.

What types of securities can have an ISIN?

Variety of securities from shares, bonds, derivatives to futures can have ISINs. Essentially, any fungible investment that is traded on an exchange could possess an ISIN.

Is ISIN the same as a ticker symbol?

No, a ticker symbol is a series of letters representing a particular publicly traded stock on an exchange. While a ticker symbol may vary by exchange or country, the ISIN is consistent across markets and countries.

How can I find the ISIN of a specific security?

You can find the ISIN of a specific security through stock exchanges, the company’s investor relations website, financial news media, or in documents such as a company’s annual report or prospectus.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More