ISIN vs CUSIP: Difference and Comparison

ISIN and CUSIP codes are two of the world’s most famous checkpoints for securities and are especially important for trade, selling, and purchasing of shares.

Key Takeaways

  1. ISIN is an international security identification number, while CUSIP is a security identification number used in the United States and Canada.
  2. ISIN has a 12-character code, while CUSIP has a 9-character code.
  3. ISIN is used for global securities, including bonds, equities, and derivatives, while CUSIP is used for US and Canadian securities.


ISIN stands for International Securities Identification Number and is a code that is used to identify securities issued by companies or governments. It’s a 12-character alphanumeric code. CUSIP stands for Committee on Uniform Security Identification Procedures and is a code that is used to identify securities issued in the United States and Canada. CUSIP is a nine-character alphanumeric code.


ISIN stands for International Securities Identification Number, and it is a 12-character alphanumeric identifier that identifies securities globally.

The Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP) is an organization that works to standardize the process of identifying securities.


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Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison ISINCUSIP
Full formInternational Security Identification NumberCommittee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures
Locations of Usage Used across the world.Used only in the US and Canada
Operated byInternational Organization for StandardizationAmerican Bankers Association
Code’s Digit12-Digit Code9- Digit Code
Country CodeIncludes a two-character country code.CUSIP doesn’t include any country code.

What is ISIN?

An ISIN (International Securities Identification Number) is a 12-digit alphanumeric identifier that defines particular security. The National Numbering Agency of each country is responsible for allocating ISINs (NNA).

ISINs are used for a variety of purposes, such as trading and settlement. The figures maintain a standard structure, allowing institutional investors’ holdings to be tracked similarly throughout markets around the world.

The ISIN numbering system was created in 1981 and is still in use today.

But, it wasn’t extensively utilized until 1989, when the Group of 30 (G30) nations demanded that all of their participants use the numbering system to differentiate between different investment tools.

The ISIN numbering scheme must be used by anyone who trades securities worldwide. In this way, the ISIN numbering system can be thought of as the de facto standard for trading securities.

What is CUSIP?

The Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures (CUSIP), which administers the whole CUSIP system, is referred to as CUSIP.

The American Bankers Association, in collaboration with Standard & Poor’s, owns the CUSIP system. The technology was set up to make the settlement procedure and the acceptance of related securities easier.

A CUSIP number is identical to a serial number in that it identifies a specific item. The base, or CUSIP-6, is made up of the first six alphanumeric characters and is used to identify the issuer.

Main Differences Between ISIN and CUSIP

  1. ISIN contains a two-character country code given by the ISO, whereas CUSIP does not.
  2. The ISIN is a nine-character code that is known for national security identification, whereas the CUSIP is made up of six characters that verify the issuer and two characters that find the issue.

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