SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, which provides a network that enables banks anywhere in the world to send and receive information in a standardised and secure environment.

In practical terms, the SWIFT code is a standard format of Business Identifier Codes (BIC), which are used by banks when transferring money between them. The SWIFT code is usually required when you conduct an international money transfer.

*It’s important to keep in mind when having a discussion at the bank that the SWIFT code is the same thing as the SWIFT-BIC, BIC, BIC code, or SWIFT ID. All of these acronyms refer to the same code.

How Does SWIFT Help Me?

If your bank is affiliated with SWIFT, it can use the network to make very quick and secure money transfers. This helps clients move money around without any hassle.

What Does It Look Like?

The SWIFT code consists of either eight or 11 characters and is formatted as follows:


  • The first 4 characters are the bank code (only letters);
  • The next 2 characters are the country code (only letters);
  • Next 2 characters are the location code (letters and digits);
  • The last 3 characters represent the branch code (letters and digits).