How to Check SWIFT Codes

How to Check SWIFT Codes

SWIFT codes are used for more efficient transactions, particularly for international wire transfers. To be able to utilize them, however, you must be able to find a specific SWIFT code. You may need to locate a SWIFT code for your bank or the recipients. You can find the best ways to do this, below.

Using SWIFT Codes

A SWIFT code can also be referred to as a Bank Identifier Code or BIC. This code is an identifier – it tells one bank what the country, bank, and branch that a transfer needs to be sent to. Using a SWIFT code ensures that your money is sent to the right place.

This method is traditionally relied upon during international bank transfers. A SWIFT code consists of either 8 or 11 characters. The code will be in this format – AAAABBCCDDD. It is broken down like this:

  • AAAA – identifies the bank name and always consists of letters
  • BB – the country code and is also always made up of letters
  • CC – this is the location code and may be made up of letters and numbers
  • DDD – this is an optional part of the code and represents the bank branch

Finding SWIFT Codes

Prior to sending money overseas, you will need to find out what the SWIFT code for the recipient’s bank is. If you are the one receiving the money, then you will have to learn the SWIFT code for your bank. There are several ways that you can accomplish this:

Calling the Bank

One of the more direct ways to find the SWIFT code is to simply call up the bank that you would like to send money to. In most instances, a bank employee will supply you with this code over the phone. They will also be able to inform you of any steps that you may need to take to complete the bank transfer.

Keep in mind that this tactic works best for local banks. It may be cheaper or simpler to use another method if you are trying to contact a bank in another country.

Accessing the Bank Website

Particularly if you are dealing with an overseas bank, it is better to access the bank’s website. In some instances, the banks will list these details on their site. If the site has a search feature, typing in “SWIFT code” should point you in the right direction.

Otherwise, you may have to peruse the website. The SWIFT code may be found under information regarding international payments. If not, look for links to similar topics. It is also possible to find the code in the FAQ section.

Asking the Recipient

If you are sending money to another account, it may be best to ask the recipient for this information. You can do this even if you are attempting to send money to a business’ bank account. This can reduce the risk of making an error with code.

If the recipient doesn’t know their SWIFT code, you can simply ask them to send you the bank name and perhaps the branch. Then, you can look up the SWIFT code by yourself.

Examine Your Bank Statement or Correspondence

If you are the one receiving the money, you should start by checking your bank statement. The SWIFT code may be present in this document. It may be available either on your online bank statement or one the physical paper one.

In the event you can’t access your bank statement, look through any other correspondence that you may have had with your bank. This could be letters, emails, documents, etc. There is a chance that the SWIFT code may have been mentioned there.

Check Online SWIFT Finder Websites

Still can’t find your SWIFT code? Or perhaps, you are looking for an easier avenue. In this case, head to an online SWIFT finder website. These act like databases for banks around the world. As such, you should be able to find the SWIFT code for any bank that you are looking for.

The process here is fairly simple. All you need to do is type in the country and the name of the bank that you are sending the money too. The website will then give you the code that you are looking for.

Verify the Swift Code

It is important to have the right SWIFT code. After all, this code will determine where the money is sent to. Thus, you will need to verify that the SWIFT code is correct, particularly if it was sent to you from the recipient.

For this purpose, head to a SWIFT code checker website. Once here, you can simply type in the code. The site will then let you know if it corresponds to the right country, bank, or branch.

These are all the ways that you can check – and verify – SWIFT codes. Then, you will be able to transfer or receive money more efficiently, particularly with international transfers.