Understanding the SWIFT Code and Its Importance for International Transactions

Apr 3, 2023 | International Payments

When it comes to international money transfers, a SWIFT code is a crucial piece of information that ensures the funds are sent to the right bank or financial institution. SWIFT codes were first introduced in the 1970s by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) to create a secure and standardized messaging system for financial institutions worldwide. You need a SWIFT code to transfer money internationally, and Zil allows you to transfer money internationally easily. Keep reading to know more about the SWIFT code and How to wire using Zil internationally.

What Is a SWIFT Code?

A SWIFT code is a unique identification code for banks and financial institutions. It’s also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC). The code is made up of 8 or 11 characters and is used to identify the bank or institution that will receive the funds.

What Is BIC (Bank Identifier Code)?

The BIC, or Bank Identifier Code, is utilized to recognize banks when sending money globally. Banks can obtain a code from SWIFT, the organization that manages the network. The terms SWIFT code, BIC/SWIFT code, and SWIFT identifier are all interchangeable, and they are all used for international payments.

How Does SWIFT or BIC Code Look Like?

The SWIFT code is a string of 8 or 11 characters identifying the bank you send money to. The bank’s location, branch number, and the nation in which it is headquartered are all included in the code. The order of the code is as follows:

  • Firstly Bank code
  • Country code
  • Location code 
  • Branch code (Optional)

Why Is a SWIFT Code Important?

When transferring money internationally, the SWIFT code ensures the funds are sent to the correct bank or financial institution. With the SWIFT code, the transfer may be completed on time. Additionally, using an incorrect or outdated SWIFT code can send the funds to the wrong recipient.

How Do I Find a SWIFT Code?

You can find a SWIFT code in a few different ways. Firstly, you can ask the bank or financial institution that you’re sending the funds to. They should be able to provide you with the correct SWIFT code. Alternatively, you can search for the SWIFT code online using websites such as swiftcodes.org or the SWIFT website itself.

Do All Banks Have a SWIFT Code?

No, SWIFT codes and routing numbers are not the same. Banks uses routing numbers in the United States to identify the financial institution that a transaction is coming from or going to. On the other hand, SWIFT codes are used internationally to identify specific banks and their branches.

Are SWIFT Codes the Same as Routing Numbers?

No, SWIFT codes are not the same as routing numbers. Routing numbers are used for domestic transfers within the United States, whereas SWIFT codes are used for international transfers.

How Secure Are SWIFT Transfers?

SWIFT transfers are generally secure. The SWIFT network is highly encrypted and secure, and transfers are closely monitored to prevent fraud and unauthorized access.

SWIFT Code and IBAN Number

SWIFT code and IBAN number are used in international money transfers but serve different purposes.

A SWIFT code, or Bank Identifier Code (BIC), is a unique identification code consisting of 8 or 11 alphanumeric characters used to identify banks and financial institutions globally. To route the transaction accurately, it is required to complete international wire transfers by identifying the beneficiary bank and including information about the bank’s country, city, and branch.

The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is a standard format of up to 34 alphanumeric characters used mainly in European countries. It identifies an individual’s or company’s bank account and is used to ensure that the money is credited to the correct account and to facilitate cross-border transactions within the European Union.
The main difference between the SWIFT code and the IBAN number is that the former is used to identify banks and financial institutions, while the latter is used to identify individual bank accounts. While both are necessary for international money transfers, their purposes are distinct. With a valid SWIFT code, the transfer can be initiated, and with a valid IBAN number, the funds may be credited to the correct account.

How to Make International Money Transfer With Zil? 

  • Step 1: Log in to ZilBank.com and choose a business bank account. 
  • Step 2: Click on the Send Payment button. A drop-down menu will appear. From there, select the Wire transfer option from the menu. 
  • Step 3: Select the International Wire option and choose a payee. Enter the amount you want to transfer and the necessary details. Click SEND, and you will receive an OTP through email or SMS. 

 Wire transfer will start after you enter the OTP and is often processed within 1 to 5 business days. 

SWIFT codes play a significant role in facilitating international money transfers. They provide a standardized way of identifying banks and financial institutions worldwide, ensuring the funds are transferred to the intended recipient. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that the SWIFT code is accurate and up-to-date to avoid any delays or errors in the transfer process. Wire internationally using Zil for a reasonable cost and enjoy all other benefits without wasting your time.

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