SWIFT International Wire Transfers
What is SWIFT or International wire transfer?
SWIFT is basically a messaging system for banks. It works by linking up banks using standardised codes for payments. It is how banks transfer money internationally.
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) has been around since the 1970s. SWIFT is owned by its member financial institutions.
Today, it consists of a network of 11,000 financial institutions located in over 200 countries.
How long does a SWIFT transfer take?
A SWIFT payment generally takes 1-4 working days. The time taken varies based on the destination, time zones and different banking procedures.
SWIFT transfers aren’t instant.
Before your funds are credited to the recipient, they will undergo anti-fraud and anti-money laundering checks, which takes time.
Some banks may also route your money via an intermediary bank if there is no direct relationship between your bank and the destination bank. This can also make the process slower.
What information do you need for a SWIFT transfer?
To send money abroad using SWIFT, you need the following information:
Name of the person receiving the money.
Name and address of the bank receiving the money.
SWIFT code of the bank (also known as a BIC).
Recipient’s account number or IBAN.
The SWIFT code just identifies the bank.
The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is longer and identifies a specific bank account.
How to find a SWIFT code?
The SWIFT code, also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC), can be found by searching online. It is not personal information, so it is widely available. Some banks automatically show the SWIFT code on their statements, but this is not always the case.
For security reasons, it is best to get it directly from a bank’s website. Note that you are providing the SWIFT code for the bank receiving your money, not the bank you’re sending it from.
An IBAN is longer than a SWIFT code because it also includes specific account information. IBAN’s vary in length depending on the country. They can be anything from 16 to 32 characters long.
There are IBAN generators online that show you the structure of an IBAN for each country. While it might sound complicated, an IBAN can be broken down into logical parts, so it’s a case of piecing it together.
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