SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and mainly it is important for international fund transfer through messaging system which offers banks to exchange data. Financial data like account debit, account credit, data regarding money transfer and account status can be easily exchanges in banks. SWIFT Codes are unique for every bank and they are standard format of The Bank Identifier Codes (BIC). The SWIFT Code comprised of 8-11 alphanumeric characters. International Organization of Standardization (IOS) was the authoritative body that approved the creation of SWIFT codes.


  • Primary 4 characters are letters and represent bank code.
  • Next 2 characters are letters and represent ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code.
  • Next 2 characters are combination of letters and digits which shows location code.
  • Last 3 characters are alphanumeric which represent branch code.


The SWIFT network is too wide and we can estimate it with the currently running SWIFT Codes, which have a count of approximately 40,000. This huge network links banks and makes them partners in the international funding process. Apart from SWIFT codes, there are about 50,000 additional passive codes that are used for manual transactions.  Passive code is unique for each passive participant. SWIFT codes are assigned by Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ("SWIFT").

The introduction of online banking services was made possible by the introduction of IFSC codes, SWIFT codes and RTGS. All of these are useful in online money transaction easily without visiting the bank branch. IFSC code is useful in online transactions nationwide but, the SWIFT code covers some important aspects. SWIFT codes are assigned to both financial and non-financial. SWIFT codes are considered internationally important when transferring funds between banks, as well as countries. Foreign banks also use this code for financing and online communication.