Friday, 22 July 2016

What is a Bank Identification Code (BIC) / SWIFT code and its Uses????

In one of my previous posts,  i explained in details How to Send and Receive Money Anywhere in the World. It's very important for you to know that before you can receive any payments/money into your Bank Account (e.g in Nigeria, Ghana, U.S.A, etc), from someone in another country (e.g France, Germany, England, U.K, etc), your bank SWIFT Code will be needed from the person paying the money into your account. In this post i will explain in full details on what a SWIFT Code is, were to get it and how to make use of it.

Note: SWIFT code is different from SORT code
Read one of my previous post on Different between Bank SWIFT code & Bank SORT code.

What is a Bank Identification Code (BIC) / SWIFT code??

The full meaning of the SWIFT acronym is Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication which is the body/organization that handles & monitors transaction between International Banks. Again, SWIFT Code is a standard format of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) which is also a unique Identification Code for a Particular Bank.
SWIFT code is an alphanumeric international code that you use in order for you to send money to another country. It identifies the country and bank of your recipient’s account.

Read also:  

How does SWIFT Code looks
The Swift code consists of 11 or 8 characters. To break it down for your understanding:
- when it is 11 characters, it refers to the branch office of that particular Bank and
- When 8-digits code is given, it refers to the primary office (i.e headquarter).
The code formatted as below;

                                                AAAA BB CC DDD


  • First 4 characters - bank code (only letters)
  • Next 2 characters - ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code (only letters)
  • Next 2 characters - location code (letters and digits) (passive participant will have "1" in the second character)
  • Last 3 characters - branch code, optional ('XXX' for primary office) (letters and digits)
The registrations of Swift Codes are handled by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (“SWIFT”) and their headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium. SWIFT is the registered trademarks of S.W.I.F.T. SCRL with a registered address at Avenue Adèle 1, B-1310 La Hulpe, Belgium.

How or When can i use SWIFT Code?
SWIFT Codes can only be used when transferring money between banks, particularly for International Wire Transfers. In Banks, their staff also use the codes for exchanging messages between themselves.

Now you have known What is a Bank Identification Code (BIC) / SWIFT code and its Uses, Read The Full List of SWIFT Codes of ALL Banks in Nigeria

If you found anything above confusing, no need to worry, that’s why we have the comment box below for you. Also, please feel free to ask any questions, if any.

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