You may have been prompted for a SWIFT or IFSC code in the past, depending on the requirements of your overseas transfer, but when is this information needed? We investigate.
What is a SWIFT/IFSC code?
SWIFT codes are alphanumeric codes used by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network, when identifying the bank location, country, and branch number of an international transfer.
What is the format of a SWIFT/IFSC code?
The format of SWIFT codes can range from 8 to 11 alphanumeric characters and they are divided into 4 categories to separate each of the different details they refer to: address, country and branch number of the bank.
An example of a SWIFT Code: AAAABBCCDDD
AAAA: Bank code. These 4 letters usually look like a shortened version of the bank name
BB: Country code. These two letters represent the country the bank is in
CC: Location code. These two characters will indicate where the bank’s head office is located
DDD: Branch code. The last three characters will indicate the specific branch of the bank
How does a SWIFT/IFSC code work?
The SWIFT network facilitates the sending and receiving of secure messages between banks and financial institutions in order to complete payment instructions. Funds are not physically transported using the SWIFT network, the codes simply convey payment instructions.
Who uses SWIFT/IFSC codes?
The SWIFT network is utilised by over 200 countries around the world, and more than 11,000 financial institutions use SWIFT codes to initiate international payments. These institutions include banks, foreign exchange brokers, clearing houses, depositories, brokering institutes, trading houses and asset management companies.
Where can I find a SWIFT/IFSC code?
SWIFT codes can be accessed via bank statements, online banking accounts or by contacting the specific bank directly and ask for the SWIFT code.
When will I need a SWIFT/IFSC code?
SWIFT codes are needed to process international money transfers as they are used to verify the financial institution(s) involved.
We hope this guide has cleared up any confusion you may have had when dealing with SWIFT or IFSC codes. At MoneyTransfers.com we do our best to impart advice and information so our users have everything they need to make a swift and successful international money transfer. To summarise: SWIFT/BIC codes are required almost any time money is transferred internationally to a bank account; whereas IFSC codes are only needed when sending money from one bank to another in India or sending money from overseas to an account in India.Are you sending money to India? Check out our guide here