What are BIC and SWIFT codes?

What are BIC and SWIFT codes?

What do I need a BIC or SWIFT code for?

A BIC (or SWIFT code) is used for processing an international payment using the SWIFT system. BIC stands for Bank Identifier Code, while every bank is assigned one. There is sometimes confusion over the difference between a BIC code and a SWIFT code, as well as where they can be found.

 

Is BIC the same as SWIFT?

A BIC code is the same as a SWIFT code, they are simply given different names by different banks and financial institutions, which can cause confusion for customers. It’s worth noting that the country from which you make a payment may refer to the code by one of the names while the recipient bank in another country may refer to it by the other name.

 

How many digits are there in a BIC / SWIFT code?

How to find my BIC / SWIFT code

All SWIFT/BIC codes consist of 8-11 characters, depending on the country and bank you hold an account in. These are typically arranged in the following format:

4 digit bank code – 2 digit country code – 2 digit location code – 3 digit branch code (optional)

Some banks won’t feature the 3 digit branch code, meaning they’ll have a shorter BIC/SWIFT code.

 

How to find my BIC / SWIFT code

You will need to find the BIC/SWIFT code of the recipient of your international payment, just as anyone sending money to you from abroad will need your code as well. If you are unable to find out the code from the recipient, then your bank will be able to help you identify the SWIFT or BIC code of the foreign bank.

 

When will I need a BIC / SWIFT code?

You will need a BIC (SWIFT) code to make any payment to a bank account that is in a different country to your bank. Most banks will require a fee to process your international payment, with some high-street banks charging as much as £40 per transaction.

Fortunately, with an international payments account from moneycorp, you can enjoy competitive exchange rates and low fees on all of your overseas payments. In addition, there are no fees on payments you make online.

Sign up for a free account today or speak to one of our currency exchange specialists.

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