Currency Codes and Standards

ISO 4217, Alpha, Exponent, and Exponent Codes

When importing data from outside of the system, currency codes must be used. You can find them in the /config/currency/conversionrates object.

These three-letter alphabetic codes start with the first two letters of the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code and end with the initial letter of the currency name. This is to avoid ambiguity with names such as dollar or franc.

ISO 4217 Code

The ISO 4217 Code is a standard way to identify currencies. The codes are used internationally, in financial transactions and for reporting. The standardized codes help to prevent misunderstandings and ensure accuracy in communications. They also make it easier for automated systems to process currency information.

The system is updated over time as new currencies are introduced and older ones expire. This may be the result of a new country becoming part of a larger organization (such as the European Union) or due to a change in a currency’s denomination (such as when a currency is revalued). The ISO 4217 maintenance agency is responsible for maintaining the list of currencies and their codes.

The table below shows a selection of the codes that have been assigned to the currencies of various countries. It does not include the euro, which is represented by EUR because it uses a code reserved for lists that relate to the European Union.

ISO 4217 Alpha Code

The ISO 4217 Alpha Code identifies currencies worldwide. These codes are used in banking and business to avoid ambiguity in communication. The Alpha Code usually consists of a two-letter country code from the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 standard, followed by the first letter of the currency name. It is often written in lower-case, such as GBX for penny sterling or EUX for the euro cent.

These codes are widely accepted by businesses and individuals for use in international transactions. They also facilitate communication between different financial systems and reduce errors during translation.

Many financial software programs and services, including trading platforms and accounting software, rely on these standards to identify currencies. This makes it easier for them to process and report on foreign exchange transactions. The ISO 4217 list of codes is updated periodically, as new currencies are introduced and old ones are discontinued. Occasionally, the Alpha Codes for certain currencies may also change as a result of new government or treaty agreements, or the revaluation of a currency due to inflation.

ISO 4217 Numeric Code

The ISO 4217 is a universal system of currency codes that allows for seamless communication and accurate identification of currencies worldwide. The standard provides a list of currencies, their code and name, as well as the type of currency (minor unit or major unit).

As payments and fintech continue to evolve, it is critical for software product managers to understand how to handle these changes in a way that is consistent with the standard. This is particularly important when it comes to ISO 4217, which has evolved over time to include new currencies and incorporate changes to existing codes.

These currency codes are used in financial calculations and database entries, as well as on airline tickets and global newspapers. They allow for more precise financial processes and reduce error in cross-border transactions. In addition, numeric codes, such as 840 for the United States Dollar and 978 for the Euro, are handy for automated systems. The first letter of the alphabetic code is based on the ISO 3166 country codes, while the third is a mnemonic reference to the currency, such as USD for the US dollar and CHF for the Swiss franc.

ISO 4217 Exponent

The ISO 4217 Exponent Code expresses the decimal relationship between a currency and its minor unit. For example, the USD ISO code has an exponent of 2, because one US Dollar is equal to 100 of its minor unit, the cent. The currency exponent assumes a base of 10.

In many countries, the ISO codes for the more common currencies are so well-known, that exchange rates published in newspapers or posted in banks use only these to delineate different currencies, instead of using translated currency names or ambiguous currency symbols. Similarly, the ISO codes are used on airline tickets and international train tickets to remove any ambiguity about the price.

Some currencies have multiple subdivisions, for instance, the British pound was divided into 20 shillings, and each shilling into 12 pence before decimalization. These are represented by different ISO codes, and you can specify the correct code by using the iso_currency_code_list attribute in the API call.

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