Swift Code vs IBAN: Which is Better for International Transfers?

3 min read

Introduction between Swift Codes and IBAN for International Wire Transfers?

When it comes to international money transfers, you have probably come across terms such as Swift Code and IBAN. These are two commonly used codes that facilitate the process of transferring money between banks globally. However, many people are still unsure about the differences between Swift Code and IBAN and which one is better to use for international transactions. In this article, we will explain the differences and help you decide which one to use.

What is a Swift Code?

A Swift Code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a unique code used to identify a specific bank or financial institution in international transactions. This code is used to transfer money between banks across borders and is made up of 8-11 characters.

The Swift Code is used for:

  • Transferring funds between banks in different countries
  • Sending and receiving money from overseas
  • Payment orders


What is an IBAN?

An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is another unique code used for international transactions, but it is more specific than the Swift Code. The IBAN is made up of up to 34 characters, including the country code, bank code, branch code, and account number. This code helps ensure that the funds are transferred to the correct bank account and prevents any errors that may occur during the transfer process.

The IBAN is used for:

  • Sending and receiving international payments
  • Facilitating direct debit transactions
  • Identifying the recipient’s bank account details


Swift Code vs IBAN: Which is Better for International Transfers?

When it comes to choosing between Swift Code and IBAN for international transactions, it really depends on the nature of the transfer and the countries involved.

Swift Code Advantages:

  • Swift Codes are widely accepted across the globe, making it easy to transfer funds to almost any country in the world.
  • Swift Codes are easy to obtain and do not require any additional information other than the recipient’s bank details.

IBAN Advantages:

  • IBAN codes are more specific than Swift Codes and help to ensure that the funds are transferred to the correct bank account.
  • IBAN codes are mandatory in some countries, including the European Union, making it necessary to use them for transactions in those regions.
  • IBAN codes may also include additional information, such as the recipient’s name, making it easier to confirm the correct recipient.


How can Veem help?

We use Multi-Rail Technology, a sophisticated payment routing model that optimizes delivery, gives control back to businesses and provides them with an unprecedented payment experience. Payment Rails are chosen based on a combination of things, such as sending and receiving country, currency, amount and speed. Our goal is to find the most effective and efficient way for businesses to send money.

Because of this the information needed from you could differ depending on your location. Whether we need a Swift Code or an IBAN, Veem takes the guesswork out of it for you. When creating your account, we will always make sure that the correct bank information is collected, depending on your banking country!


In conclusion, both Swift Codes and IBANs are essential for facilitating international transactions. While Swift Codes are widely accepted globally, IBANs are mandatory in some regions, including the EU. The choice between Swift Code and IBAN ultimately depends on the nature of the transfer and the countries involved. To ensure a smooth and secure transfer, it is important to double-check the codes before initiating the transaction and ensure that all the necessary information is provided. Ready to let Veem help you with all of your international payments? Sign up today!



* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.