How do I Find my Swift BIC Code – Before making transactions of any kind, we need to have the necessary requirements to authenticate our transactions. There are major requisites for successful international transfers and one of such is the use of Swift BIC Code. In this read, we will dive deep into the description, and importance of the Swift code as well as how to identify or find it for use.
What are Swift / BIC Code
Before talking about how to identify or find one’s swift code, we would like to explain what it is about. SWIFT is an acrostic for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It is sometimes used interchangeably with the BIC which stands for Business Identifier Codes (BIC). Therefore, SWIFT / BIC Code is the global identity of foreign banks and other financial institutions stating who and where they are.
Swift BIC Code is made up of the bank name, the country code, location code, and the specific branch code. These are the components of a swift bic code.
Who uses the SWIFT and BIC code system?
Many countries and institutions of the world numbering over 200 and 11,000 respectively, use the SWIFT / BIC system for transactions. Actually, it has been rated the largest international payment network globally for its ability to identify and authenticate transactions effortlessly.
Wondering how the system is able to detect where transfer should be sent to? then here’s how it is done. The system processes the codes and checks the characters in the transfer in the global database then, the transfer destination is easily ascertained. Detailed explanations is provided in the illustration below in the examples.
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Example and Components of a SWIFT code
We believe that having an idea of what you are looking for makes the search easier because you would be able to identify it when you come by it. Below is what your swift code would look like:
A common example of a SWIFT code is AAAA-BB-CC-123. Here are detailed explanation of what each components of a SWIFT code represents:
- AAAA: Bank code, it usually represents a shortened version of the bank’s name. it could be the initials or the the first four letters.
- BB: Country code, it represents the country where the bank is situated.(Host country)
- CC: Location code, it represents the city or region where the bank is situated.
- 123: Branch code, it represents the specific branch of the bank where the account is located
When do you need a SWIFT/BIC code?
Sending or receiving money internationally between banks, particularly international wire transfers or SEPA payments, will require the use of a SWIFT code. It help banks to process transfers between countries. For the purpose of clarity, an international wire transfer is a bank service used to transfer funds electronically from one bank to another in a different country, here, the average transfer time is 1-2 business days. While the SEPA payments has to do with the cashless payments in euro currency that are processed through the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) network to facilitate cross-border transfers in 36 Eurozone and non-euro area countries.
The above mentioned transaction type are not the only importance of this code. Banks also use this code to send and receive messages within themselves for quick identification.
How do I Find my Swift BIC Code
There are 5 major ways to find or identify your swift code, you can use any of the following methods:
- Bank Statements: You can find your SWIFT/BIC code in your statements of account
- Online Banking Profile: Check your account details on your online banking profile, your swift code is embedded there.
- Bank’s Website: You can also get it by visiting your bank’s website to see if they have their SWIFT code listed
- Contact Your Bank: Call the bank and ask an employee for the SWIFT code
- SWIFT/BIC Finder: Use a digital SWIFT/BIC search tool by providing your country and bank location data to check for the BIC code.
Format of a swift code
Here’ a description of what the format of a swift code looks like, it is a group of 8 to 11 characters, and each character provides specific details that can be authenticated, such as the bank name, the country of origin, or the branch location. Once the bank is verified, a quick and secure overseas payment can be made. It comes in this format 4-2-2-3, see full details below.
1 – Bank code (4 letters)
The first four letters represent the bank and usually look like an abbreviated version of the bank name.
2 – Country code (2 letters)
These two letters indicate the country where the bank is situated.
3 – Location code (2 letters or numbers)
These two characters designate the location of the bank’s main office.
4 – Branch code (3 digits)
These 3 digits identify a specific branch. ‘XXX’ is used for a bank’s head office.
what is the difference between a swift and a bic code
There is a slight difference between these terms even though they are used interchangeably. SWIFT signifies the overall messaging system, while BIC is the code used for the system or the ‘Bank Identifier Code’. Both terms are used interchangeably to describe the code, or even the system. In other words, if you request your SWIFT or BIC code, you’ll receive the same 8-11 digit number for both codes.
In summary, if you must carry out an international banking transaction successfully, you need the Swift BIC Code without which, it may not be possible. There exist slight differences between the BIC and Swift code but individuals may receive the sale digits numbers when applying.