SWIFT codes are widespread to make international banking transactions through online channels. These codes play a significant role in smoothly conducting these financial transactions, but a majority of people are not aware of the use of SWIFT code in banking.
Therefore, DigitalCruch presents a thorough guide about what SWIFT code is in banking and how you can find SWIFT codes easily.
What is SWIFT Code in Banking?
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication system, referred to as SWIFT, is a messaging infrastructure that financial and banking entities utilize to pass on transaction data safely. This operation conventionally depends on the standard system of codes.
In simple words, the SWIFT payment system legally S.W.I.F.T. SC in banking is a structure that enables the payments and financial transactions between different banks of the world. Indeed, it allows individuals and banking entities to conduct international transactions.
This Belgium-headquartered society was founded in 1973, and around 200 countries of the world are associated with this financial system to make international payments online.
What are SWIFT Codes?
If we talk precisely about what SWIFT codes look like, we will have to discuss their core characteristics. The SWIFT code consists of 8 to 11 characters representing bank, branch, country, and city protocols for banking transactions.
What Does A SWIFT Code Look Like?
The format of SWIFT code could be divided into 4 parts. We are explaining each of them here:
Bank code is expressed by 4 alphabetic characters. Yes, they could be 4 A-Z characters that display the short name of your bank.
Likewise, the bank code of US Chase Bank is ‘CHAS’. Undoubtedly, it is the contraction of Chase.
The following two characters that add to the SWIFT code are taken from the country code. Typically, the SWIFT system only uses 2 alphabetic letters to present the country code.
Likewise, the country code of the United States is ‘US’. So, we can say that the bank and country code of Chase bank will look like ‘CHASUS’. Similarly, the country code of the United Kingdom is ‘GB’.
The location code part of SWIFT depends on 2 characters. These 2 characters could be numbers or alphabets or even the combo of both numbers and alphabets. This location code describes the locale of your bank’s headquarter.
For example, the location code of Chase Bank of Texas that is located at 1201 main street, Dallas, TX is ‘D1’. So, when it combines with bank and country code, it will look like ‘TCBKUSD1’.
The bank’s branch code in SWIFT consists of 3 alphabetic or numeric characters. Yes, they could be in 0–9 digits or A-Z alphabets or even the combo of both. These characters represent a specific branch of the bank from where your account belongs.
Typically, all branches of a bank don’t own SWIFT code, so you can seamlessly proceed with a head office’s code.
How Do I Find My SWIFT Code?
‘How can I find my SWIFT code’ or ‘how to get SWIFT code’ are frequently asked questions when it comes to exploring SWIFT code in banking. Here are the easiest and best ways to find SWIFT code:
1. Ask Your Bank or Use Customer Service
The safest and most straightforward method to find your SWIFT code for international transactions is your bank. You can call on the 24/7 helpline number of your bank, and they will guide you about your SWIFT code details. Yes, you can rapidly find the customer service number of your bank on Google or in your banking documents.
Similarly, you can also visit the branch, and staff will present the correct SWIFT code. It will only take a few of your minutes to visit the branch, talk with the branch manager or inquire about details through the helpline.
2. Bank’s Official Website or App
There are several banks in the world that allow account holders to find their SWIFT code through a website or mobile application. Likewise, Bank of America shares its SWIFT Code details in the FAQs section. Bank of America generally uses this SWIFT code ‘BOFAUS3N‘ for incoming wire transfers in USD. But for foreign currency wire transfers, you can proceed with this code ‘BOFAUS6S’.
3. Find SWIFT Code Online
If you want to find SWIFT or BIC spontaneously through an online means, then you should try TransferWise that is known as Wise. You just need to visit the ‘SWIFT/BIC codes’ page of Wise, and it will present two boxes in front of you. The first one is about ‘Check a SWIFT Code’ and the second one is for ‘Find a SWIFT Code’.
Find a SWIFT Code
You will have to go with this option and act upon the following instructions:
Select Your Country
Type the Name of Your Bank
Select the City Name
Then Click on ‘Find SWIFT Code’ a Tab in Blue
After this last step, Wise will show the complete name of your bank with a branch address with a green tick. You just need to click on this option if it is true. This source will navigate you toward the next page and will show an 11 digit SWIFT code. Just copy this SWIFT code and use it where you want to utilize it.
Check a SWIFT Code
The first option that we see on the Wise page is ‘Check a SWIFT Code’. You can paste that copied code in this box and click on the blue tab.
If your copied code is accurate, then it will come to a result like ‘your SWIFT looks right’. So, just use this SWIFT number without any worry.
If you still have confusion, then cross-check this code with the customer service representative of your bank.
Frequently Asked Questions About SWIFT Code in Banking
Why Do You Need SWIFT Code?
To send or receive money internationally in your bank account, you need a SWIFT code. That is vital to conduct a successful international interbank transaction. Many other payment methods like Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and wire transfers also ask for SWIFT codes to conduct transactions.
BIC & SWIFT Codes Are Same?
BIC, referred to as Business Identifier Number is also used to present SWIFT code. In short, both SWIFT and BIC codes have the same meaning, and their purpose is to conduct a secure money transfer between international banks.
SWIFT Codes & Routing Numbers Are Same?
Although the job of SWIFT code and routing number is similar, but they are entirely different.
SWIFT Code: SWIFT code is used to make international payments, wire transfers and SEPA transactions.
Routing Number: The routing number that is also known as routing transit number is basically a 9 digital number. Routing numbers are typically used to conduct domestic payments. This practice is most common in the United States to recognize the bank by branch.
Payment Through SWIFT System Is Safe?
No doubt, SWIFT is a common practice to transfer and receive payments from abroad and has the ability to manage 25+ million messages per day. But don’t forget to check your SWIFT code twice or thrice because a single digit mistake can distract your transaction.
Indeed, there are many chances of human error, mainly when you type the code number or even sometimes banking staff can also be wrong.
Therefore, before entering your SWIFT code anywhere, you should cross-check it twice or thrice.
Is It Safe to Share SWIFT Code with Anyone?
SWIFT code has nothing secret. You can share it with your business organizations and employers without any hesitation. Even people can quickly generate SWIFT or BIC codes online to make international payments.
Has West Cut Off Russia from SWIFT Payment System?
Due to the recent conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Western countries have decided to cut off Russia from SWIFT. After this ban, Russian banks will not be able to make global transactions by using SWIFT codes. Yes, the EU has banned around 7 Russian banks from SWIFT. But luckily, the two major banks of Russia Sberbank and Gazprombank are not on this ban list because they are major sources to pay for oil and gas.
SWIFT is a global payment system that financial organizations use for wire transfers, international transactions and SEPA payments. This article thoroughly discusses all details about SWIFT code in banking. Yes, you can find the SWIFT payment system here, meaning how to find SWIFT code in banking and FAQs about the SWIFT System.
If you have more questions about the SWIFT payment system or the SWIFT code in banking, then you can share them by commenting below!