A standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) that defines alpha codes and numeric codes for the representation of currencies and provides information about the relationships between individual currencies and their minor units
The first edition of ISO 4217 was published in 1978. They are used by banks and businesses all over the world. It is common for people to be more familiar with the ISO 4217 alpha codes that exchanges rates are actually printed using these.
We see the tables broken down as follows:
- Table A.1 – Current currency & funds code list
- Table A.2 – Current funds codes
- Table A.3 – List of codes for historic denominations of currencies & funds
The first two letters of the code are for the country. For example, Canada is CA. The last is the currency, like dollar, peso, or lira. For the Canadian dollar we get a code of CAD. For the Japanese Yen, we get JPY.
By using the country code, it eliminates confusion when the same name is used by multiple countries.