What Is A Swift Code?

Swift codes or BIC codes are alphanumeric codes that banks use to identify themselves during international money transactions. These are the codes that banks use to execute international transfers, ensuring that your money reaches the intended recipient. Swift codes are used to send and receive money internationally.

Swift and BIC codes are frequently used interchangeably (Bank identifier code). Swift codes are all 11 or 8 characters in length. The 11-digit number identifies a particular bank branch, whereas the 8-digit code identifies the bank’s headquarters. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication manages and issues Swift codes (SWIFT).

Now that you understand what a swift code is, you know that it is used to identify your bank branch when initiating an international wire transfer. If you live in Canada and wish to transfer money to someone in the United States of America. You’ll need the receiver’s bank’s swift code. This will assist in identifying the account to which the funds are being sent.

Swift codes assist you in avoiding incorrect transfer destination information when performing an international wire transfer. It guarantees that your money is deposited in the appropriate account (gets to the right receiver). I hope I have satisfactorily addressed your question, “What is a Swift Code?”



How Does Swift Code Look?

The following is a detailed examination of what a swift code looks like. It has 11 characters, yet they are occasionally just 8 characters. I’ll use 11 characters as examples on this page. The following is an example swift code.


It is divided into the following sections:


Part 1: The first four characters “AAAA” denote the global presence of the bank (institution). This is consistent across all of their bank branches.

This portion of the swift code denotes the nation in which the bank is located.

Part 3: This section depicts the bank branch’s location.

Part 4: This component is unique to the bank branch that accepts the funds. No other bank will use the identical code in this section. It varies by bank.

Swift vs IBAN

You may be wondering why IBAN is required. Is it dissimilar to swift code? IBAN becomes relevant depending on the destination of the funds. Consider this: If you’re leading someone to a building, quick codes will act similarly to a footpath or road path. While IBAN will assist the location in securing an apartment within the complex.

IBAN is an abbreviation for international banking account number. It is used to designate a particular bank account inside a financial institution. It is not necessary by all nations; for example, IBAN is required for transfers to countries in Europe but not for payments to the United States.

Swift vs. BIC

I used the acronym BIC above to describe the meaning of swift code. I’m sure you’re wondering how they’re connected. Swift and BIC codes are identical. The abbreviation BIC refers to business identifying code.

Are a Bank’s Swift Codes Consistent Across All Locations?

“NO” is the answer to this question. Each bank branch is assigned a unique swift code. This quick code is unique and serves as a means of identifying the bank branch that will receive the funds you are transferring.

Prior to initiating an international wire transfer, it is critical to verify the code required by your bank.