A SWIFT code is an identification code for an international bank, regardless of its location in the world. This code is also known as BIC or Bank Identifier Code as it helps in identifying the location of the international bank. SWIFT code is used by commercial banks while sending money to the banks of other countries. A SWIFT code contains 8-11 characters including numerals and alphabets.
For instance if the SWIFT code of a bank is AAAA BB CC DDD then
First four letters AAAA show the name of the bank which should be in A-Z
Next two digits BB show the name of the country which should also be in A-Z
Next two digits CC show the location code of the head office of the bank which can be in 0-9 or A-Z
Last three digits DDD show the code of particular branch of the bank which can be in 0-9 or A-Z
How to get a registered SWIFT code?
If you want to get money transferred from a foreign country then you must have a registered SWIFT code so that the sender bank can send money to the right address of your bank. Swift codes are registered by S.W.I.F.T. SCRL or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The headquarters of this society is located at Avenue AdÃ¨le 1, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium. SWIFT is the registered trademarks of S.W.I.F.T. SCRL.
How to get SWIFT code of a bank through online banking?
You can find the SWIFT code of your bank through Online Banking, simply by logging in on the website of your bank. Now you can choose the destination where you want to send the money. Now enter the account number and amount from where you want to pay the money. Now enter the bank details of the recipient. You can search for the SWIFT code of the bank of the recipient just by entering the name of the city where the bank is located.
While using this code you should keep in mind that you will have to use an International Bank Account Number or IBAN while sending all payments in Euro currency to the UK and Europe or sending payments in any currency to Kuwait and Lebanon.
Difference between an IBAN number and a SWIFT code
An International Bank Account Number or IBAN is a sequence of numbers and letters recognised all over the world and used while processing certain particular types of payment to other countries. Originally it was used by the member states of European Union but later on it was also accepted by various other countries. You need a valid IBAN while sending payment to the countries that recognise IBAN.
SWIFT code on the other hand is recognised by the banks of almost all the countries in the world. Normally these codes are used banks to transfer payments safely to the right bank account specifically while transferring international payments through wire. But sometimes these codes are also used by the banks for swapping other types of messages between them.
SWIFT identifies the payment beneficiary’s bank; the bank designated to receive the funds transfer. It usually consists of 8 to 11 characters that adds bank identification to the details provided by the Basic Bank Account Number or IBAN. SWIFT has been renamed BIC which stands for Bank Identifier Code, however most banks still refer to SWIFT codes, SWIFT numbers or SWIFT addresses.
Please note SWIFT codes does not contain a check sum for automatic validation unlike the modern IBAN.