Fisnik Latifi


In 2010 a conference held under the title “Kosovo in Internet”, funded by the Foreign Policy Club in Prishtina, brought to light a severe problem that Kosovo faces in its international representation on the web. Unlike the United Kingdom (.uk), or Germany (.de), Kosovo cannot use .ks for directing to websites hosted in the territory of Kosovo. These two-letter addressing codes are called country code Top Level Domains (ccTLD), which are assigned by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Under ICANN rules, to be eligible to receive a two-letter ccTLD a country must first have been assigned a two-letter statistical code by the International Standards organization (ISO). The problem is that Kosovo does not meet the ISO pre-requisites to b eligible for the assignment of two-letter code by ISO. This is because Kosovo is neither a member state of the United Nations, nor recognized by the United Nations Statistical Division as a distinct geographical entity for purposes of statistical collection and reporting. As a result, Kosovo is ineligible to be included in the list of global country and other geographic entity names and their abbreviations. This list is called ISO-3166 and is essentially an internationally agreed standard for short forms of countries, which is used everywhere, from the Olympic Games to Facebook. In financial transactions the ccTLD code is used for routing money transfers among bank institutions worldwide. The European Union has established a fully automated system, called IBAN, which routes payment orders from sender bank directly to the receiver bank in another country, without the intervention of intermediary banks, or straight-through processing. The IBAN addressing system depends on the use of the ISO-3166 two-letter codes. This paper discusses the possibility to use this payment instrument in Kosovo and delivers a plan on introducing IBAN to the Central Bank of Kosovo and all retail banks. It recognizes that, to be implemented, Kosovo must receive a ccTLD, or the IBAN system must agree to a solution that includes Kosovo on an interim basis until the code is assigned. It delivers a proposed design for a format structure, which is in compliance with international standards and which responds to the currently applied account format by banks in Kosovo. Realization of this idea requires coordinated actions performed by the main stakeholders: Government of Kosovo, Central Bank of Kosovo and the commercial banks operating there. The paper provides a road map to implement IBAN in Kosovo by listing the key requirements for implementation, and by distributing the responsibilities among the stakeholders to fulfill the stated requirements.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Department, Program, or Center

Professional Studies (CAST)


Bowen, Brian


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American University in Kosovo