ISIN stands for International Securities Identification Number and uniquely identifies a security. It is an ISO coding system to create a single global code for indentifying a security. Securities for which ISINs are issued include bonds, preference shares, ordinary shares and warrants. The ISIN code is a 12-character alpha-numerical code which serves for uniform identification of a security at trading and settlement.
An ISIN consists of three parts: Generally, a two letter country code, a nine character alpha-numeric national security identifier, and a single check digit . The country code is the ISO code for the country of issue, which is not necessarily the country in which the issuing company is domiciled. International securities cleared through Clearstream or Euroclear, which are Europe-wide, use “XS” as the country code.

The nine-digit security identifier is the National Securities Identifying Number, or NSIN, assigned by governing bodies in each country. In North America the NNA is the CUSIP organisation, meaning that CUSIPs can easily be converted into ISINs by adding the US or CA country code to the beginning of the existing CUSIP code and adding an additional check digit at the end. In the United Kingdom and Ireland the NNA is the London Stock Exchange and the NSIN is the SEDOL, converted in a similar fashion after padding the SEDOL number out with leading zeros. Most other countries use similar conversions, but if no country NNA exists then regional NNAs are used instead.

ISINs are slowly being introduced worldwide. At present, many countries have adopted ISINs as a secondary measure of identifying securities, but as of yet only some of those countries have moved to using ISINs as their primary means of identifying securities.

A Ticker is a short abbreviation used to uniquely identify publicly traded securities on a particular stock market. A stock symbol may consist of letters, numbers or a combination of both. “Ticker” refers to the symbols that were printed on the ticker tape of a ticker tape machine.

An “Epic” code is a stock exchange’s standard abbreviation of a security’s name. For example the EPIC for Barclays Bank Plc is “BARC”.