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What are BIC and SWIFT bank codes?

Though BIC and SWIFT codes could seem complicated, they’re important for anybody who must ship worldwide funds. So, for companies with a worldwide presence, they’re one thing it’s possible you’ll must find out about. We’ll clarify all the pieces it is advisable find out about BIC and SWIFT codes, together with what they’re, what they appear like, how one can discover them, and how one can use them.

BIC codes defined

BIC means Financial institution Identification Code, or Financial institution Identifier Code. It’s an 8 to 11-character code that’s used to determine a particular financial institution whenever you make a world transaction. It’s virtually like a postcode in your financial institution, guaranteeing that your cash goes to the fitting place. So, what’s a SWIFT code? SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Monetary Telecommunication, which is a worldwide community that processes funds between totally different international locations.

See more: How to find bic code

Is there any distinction between BIC codes and SWIFT codes?

Brief reply: no. The phrases are used interchangeably and imply precisely the identical factor – they’re merely given totally different names by totally different banks and monetary organisations. It’s additionally price noting that these codes could also be known as SWIFT/BIC codes, BIC/SWIFT codes, SWIFT ID or SWIFT identifiers, however once more, in apply there isn’t a distinction between any of the phrases.

What do BIC/SWIFT codes appear like?

All BIC and SWIFT codes observe the identical format. They’re between 8 and 11 characters lengthy and they’re organized as follows:


  • AAAA – 4-character financial institution code that appears like a shortened model of the financial institution’s title

  • BB – 2-character nation code telling you which of them nation the financial institution is in

  • CC – 2-character location code telling you the place the financial institution’s head workplace is situated

  • DDD – 3-character department code (non-compulsory) telling you the place the particular department is situated

As a result of some banks don’t use the 3-character department code, they’ll have a shorter (8-character) BIC code. For these banks, the department code could also be changed by a triple X (i.e. MIDLGB22XXX) or left off totally.

How do I discover my BIC code?

In case you’re receiving a world cost, you’ll must know your BIC quantity. You’ll be able to often discover it in your financial institution statements, however in case you don’t have any handy, you may additionally log into your on-line banking account or simply name into your native department.

In case you’re making a world cost and wish to seek out the BIC variety of the recipient, you may merely use a BIC/SWIFT finder – similar to this on-line instrument from bnok.vn – that permits you to seek for the codes of explicit branches or validate SWIFT numbers for additional safety.

Lastly, it’s necessary to double-check together with your supposed recipient that the BIC code you’ve been given is right earlier than you authorize a cost. An incorrect code might imply that your cost is distributed again, delayed, and even goes into the incorrect account.

Is there a payment for utilizing BIC/SWIFT numbers?

Sure, most banks would require a payment to course of worldwide funds, so it’s possible you’ll must pay as much as $40-50 whenever you use a BIC quantity in your cost. It’s additionally attainable that when your switch is in transit, you’ll incur a dealing with payment from corresponding banks. As financial institution transfers utilizing SWIFT numbers typically undergo 1-3 corresponding banks, these charges can add up. As well as, info on dealing with charges is commonly hidden within the small print, so it could be troublesome to know the way a lot you’ll be charged whenever you make the switch.

How do BIC/SWIFT codes really work?

When banks ship worldwide funds, they depend on a community of correspondent banks. These correspondent banks work collectively to maneuver your cash from one place to a different, earlier than it lastly reaches your recipient. BIC codes are used to make sure that your cost goes to the fitting financial institution. On the shopper facet, it’s a easy course of. When you’ve received your recipient’s SWIFT quantity and confirmed that it’s right, you merely head into your native department and ask to make a world cost. Alternatively, you should utilize your on-line banking account to make the cost.

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