What are SWIFT Codes

2 min read

Introduction to swift codes

SWIFT is an acronym that’s often used in banking — but what exactly does it mean? SWIFT stands for Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a network developed in 1977 for financial institutions around the world to securely exchange information about transactions over computer networks.

But what exactly are SWIFT/BIC codes?

SWIFT codes are a type of Bank Identification Code (BIC) used to identify financial institutions during an international wire transfer. These 8-11 character-long codes allow banks to determine where the funds are coming from to complete transactions securely. Not to be confused with an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), as they serve two different purposes in overseas transfers.

Each SWIFT code is composed of a bank’s country code (4 letters representing the country), branch code (3 digits specifying a particular branch), location code (2 characters made up of letters or numbers) and IBAN number (used for domestic transactions).

SWIFT/BIC number structure: An 8-11 character code that identifies your country, city, bank, and branch.


What happens if you enter the wrong number?

The SWIFT code for each bank is unique, so it’s important that you provide the correct one when making a transfer. When the wrong SWIFT code is provided, the payment could be interrupted, delayed or worse, fail. It’s important to verify the recipient’s SWIFT code before initiating a transfer to minimize the risk of a delayed or rejected transaction. Check out these common mistakes to avoid when using SWIFT codes to ensure the transaction is successful.

Some tips for sending international money transfers without SWIFT codes

If you’re looking for a way to send money internationally without the hassle of remembering complicated bank information like SWIFT codes, look no further than Veem. Designed with security and privacy in mind, Veem allows businesses from around the world to send funds safely and securely to over 100 countries with as little as an email address–no bank account required. Check out how Veem works to learn more about uncomplicating your payment processes.


SWIFT codes are a type of bank identification number that helps banks send money around the world. They are also known as BICs (Bank Identifier Codes) but should not be confused for IBANs (International Bank Account Numbers). If you’re sending money internationally and don’t know what your SWIFT code is, it can be a costly mistake should you submit the wrong one. However, there are some ways around this problem like sending your international payments with Veem and eliminating the need to manually enter SWIFT codes entirely. Ready to learn more about simplifying your payment experience? Book a demo with Veem to get started.



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