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What is a Bank Identifier Code (BIC)?

A BIC is a system of codes that is used to identify a particular bank. The most famous Bank Identifier Code that is used today is the SWIFT code. It is possible to use the terms BIC and SWIFT code interchangeably. So if you are looking to find out the SWIFT code of your bank, you could call up your bank and ask for the BIC code or SWIFT code and you are still going to get the same code.

The BIC or the SWIFT code is used to help you identify your bank. Obviously, you know which your bank is. In most cases you know how to transfer funds from one account of your bank to another account in your own country. In most cases, you will not really need to know the SWIFT code at all! However, sometimes you may need to do transactions that are not limited to individuals that are not within your own country. In such scenarios, it is mandatory that you have the SWIFT code or the BIC code of your bank.

Without the BIC code of your bank, it is impossible for anyone outside your country to actually send you any money. The SWIFT code is a standard that has been accepted by banks all over the world. Banks everywhere use these unique numbers that are made up of eight or eleven characters, to transact with each other. The SWIFT system is a secure and reliable network that allows banks to message one another to allow for these financial transactions to take place.
The reason why such a system is in place is an interesting question. Money is what drives this world and we have been living in a global world for quite some time now. There are lot of instances where in one may need to receive and send funds across nations. You could be sending money home for upcoming festival. You could be sending money with respect to some goods that being purchased from a seller in another country. There are a lot of situations when you have to transact over the border.

Obviously, there was a need for an established network that all banks could use to carry out their financial communications. That communication was made possible by the SWIFT organization and the BIC codes were assigned to identify each bank uniquely.

What is a SWIFT Code?

SWIFT codes or Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) are unique identification codes for a particular bank. SWIFT or BIC codes are widely used to transfer messages and money between financial institutions, and mainly between banks.

How can you read / understand a SWIFT code?

Every SWIFT code consists of 8 or 11 characters. When a8-digits code is given, it refers to the primary bank office.

With a 8-digit SWIFT code, you can assume that it refers to the primary office.

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