Most of us are already familiar with IFSC Code. It is used for all the domestic bank transfers facilitating through NEFT, RTGS, or IMPS. But when we try to send or receive payment Internationally we are asked to enter SWIFT Code. Many people got confused with it and take it as IFSC Code. That's where they make errors leading to a failed transfer. If you don't know about SWIFT Code and looking to understand it then you are at the right place. Here, in this article I have everything about SWIFT Code, What is it, what are its use cases and most importantly the structure of any SWIFT Code. Let's get started.
SWIFT Code is not the only name being used worldwide. It is called a SWIFT Number sometimes. Most important SWIFT Code is a standard format for BIC Code. You might be interested in knowing the full form of SWIFT and BIC. Firstly, SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. BIC is a short form of Business Identifier Codes.
Whenever someone uses any of these names you can immediately understand what they are talking about. As evident SWIFT Codes are used for international money transfers. So, there should be a global body to assign the codes to different banks worldwide and manage them. The problem is addressed already and the organization managing SWIFT codes are built and headquartered in La Hulpe, Belgium.
Now let's come to the use of SWIFT Code. The first and foremost use is to identify banks and other banking-related institutions all around the world. There are hundreds if not thousands of banks in the world. Now in the age of the Internet whole world is more connected than ever. If someone wants to send money to a friend or employee living in another part of the world there should a reliable system. The system is called Wire Transfers.
SWIFT Codes help in identifying banks so wire transfers can be done without any hassle. You might have asked for SWIFT Code when sending or receiving money internationally through wire transfer. Other than sending or receiving money there is also one more use case of SWIFT Code. Let's suppose two banks of two different countries want to communicate with each other. In that scenario, they use SWIFT code to exchange their messages.
After understanding the usage now it's time to understand the structure of a SWIFT Code. It is an 8-11 character code. The first 4 characters represent the Bank Code. It looks like a standard name of a bank. The next two characters represent the Country Code. After it next to two codes indicates location code. The last three characters represent the branch code.
If your next question is how you can find the SWIFT Code of your bank account. My easiest answer is to look into the first page of your bank passbook. You can also find it in your bank statement. If you are not able to find it on the Passbook or the bank statement then you can simply contact your bank and ask for SWIFT Code. Alternatively, you can use our SWIFT Code finder to find SWIFT Code easily.
I would like to add a note here. Not every branch of a bank has SWIFT Code assigned to it. If you ask your branch manager and they say your branch doesn't have an IFSC Code in that case you can SWIFT Code of the nearest branch of your bank. I hope all your doubts around SWIFT Code would have been cleared now. If you still have any doubt don't forget to drop a comment and ask us.