Banking

Difference Between SWIFT Code and IBAN Code

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Main Difference

The main difference SWIFT Code and IBAN Code is that the SWIFT Code identifies a specific bank in an international transaction, whereas the IBAN Code identifies a specific account that is involved in an international transaction.

SWIFT Code vs. IBAN Code

In SWIFt code, SWIFT is an abbreviation for the “Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. In the IBAN code, IBAN is the contraction of “International Bank Account Number.” SWIFT code spots a specific bank in an international transaction. IBAN code identifies an account that is involved in an international transaction. SWIFT code is used to spot a distinct branch of a bank or a financial institution. IBAN code is implied to identify an individual account in an international money transaction or transfer.

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The banks use SWIFT code for the trade of money and no money related exchanges. IBAN code is used by the clients for sending cash to another country. SWIFT code is implied by the banks to send messages and communicate with each other. Due to this code, the banks facilitate a quick and effortless transfer of funds across different international borders. An IBAN code makes it easy to identify the account number of the recipient and the country where the bank is located.

Through the SWIFT code, the transfer of international funds is made. Through IBAN code, it is checked that if the transaction details are correct. SWIFT code refers to a particular bank only while the IBAN code identifies numerous specific bank accounts. SWIFT code serves for both financial and non-financial purposes. IBAN code serves for the electronic transfer of money. SWIFT code is used for the exchange of secure and reliable messages between financial institutions around the world. IBAN code is mainly used among European banks.

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Comparison Chart

SWIFT CodeIBAN Code
A code that identifies a specific bank in an international transactionA code that identifies an individual account which is involved in the international transaction
Abbreviation
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial TelecommunicationInternational Bank Account Number
Characters/Digits
8 or 11 alphanumeric charactersUp to 34 alphanumeric characters
Scope
Used between all the financial institutions around the worldUsed mainly between European banks.
Identifies
Particular bank onlyNumerous specific bank accounts
Purpose
Financial and non-financial purposesElectronic transfer of money from one account to the other

What is SWIFT Code?

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial. Telecommunication) code is a worldwide bank I.D. It refers to only a particular bank, and its function is to spot a specific bank in an international transaction. Almost 40,000 banks and offices come under the SWIFT network. A SWIFT code is an alphanumeric number that contains information about a specific bank and branch. This code contains 8 to 11 digits depending on the bank officials that it is referring to.

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You can find your SWIFT code (in case you live in a country that participates in SWIFT) by finding your SWIFT number on your bank statement, or by signing in to your online banking system. You can also ask for it by calling your bank. You can send money internationally by using the SWIFT code if only you have the SWIFT number of the respective bank of the recipient.

There is another system of SWIFT code, and that is SWIFT messaging. This system makes it possible for banks to share a significant amount of financial data. The things included in this data are; status of the account, debit, money transfer details, and credit amounts. An alternate for SWIFT code in banks is “Bank identifier code (BIC).” The use of the SWIFT code developed in 1973. It was used as an identifier code in Brussels.

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An example of SWIFT code is the SWIFT code of Capital One in New York City: NFBKUS33 NFBKUS33. This code can be broken down to discover: 4-letter bank code, 2-letter location code, 2-letter country code, 2-digit branch code.

What is IBAN Code?

IBAN (International Bank Account Number) code is a specific number that is assigned to respective bank accounts in international business. IBAN code was developed by the “European Committee for Banking Standards.” It took International recognition later. Though IBAN code is not exclusive to Europe, it is used by most of the European countries. However, some nations in the Middle East and the Caribbean are also using it.

The IBAN code is composed of almost 34 alphanumeric characters. The first two of them denote the ISO-denominated country code. The next two digits are known to be the check digits. These digits can detect any inconsistencies in identification numbers. The next four digits are placed to identify the particular bank. The six digits next to it represent the specific branch. The rest of the numbers represent the account number

You can find your IBAN code (in case your bank uses the IBAN system); you can find it on your bank statement. It can also be found by signing in to one’s bank’s online banking system, or by asking a customer service representative. There are two formats of IBAN. These are electronic format and written representation. The electronic format is without blanks, whereas the written representation is having groups of 4 characters that are separated by blanks.

An example of IBAN code is the IBAN code for the Czech Republic: “CZkk BBBB CCCC CCCC CCCC CCCC.” In which C.Z.; country code for the Czech Republic, B; the bank code, C; the domestic account number.

Key Differences

  1. SWIFT code is used to spot a distinct branch of a bank, whereas the IBAN code is implied to identify an individual account in international money transfers.
  2. SWIFT is an abbreviation for “Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication”; on the other hand, IBAN stands for “International Bank Account Number.”
  3. The banks use SWIFT code for the trade of monetary and no-money related exchanges; in contrast, IBAN code is used by the clients for sending cash to another country.
  4. SWIFT code identifies or spots the branch of the bank; on the contrary, IBAN code is the account number.
  5. SWIFT code is used for the exchange of secure and reliable messages between financial institutions around the world, while the IBAN code is mainly used primarily between European banks.
  6. SWIFT code identifies a specific bank in an international transaction; on the flip side, IBAN code identifies an individual account that is involved in the international transaction.
  7. SWIFT code can identify the branch of the bank; on the contrary, IBAN code is the account number.
  8. International funds are transferred through the SWIFT code; inversely, through IBAN code, it is checked that if the transaction details are correct.
  9. SWIFT code is used both for financial and non-financial purposes on the converse IBAN code is mainly used for the electronic transfer of money from one account to the other.
  10. SWIFT code is an 8 or 11 digit alphanumeric code; on the other side, IBAN code can have up to 34 alphanumeric characters.
  11. SWIFT code refers to a particular bank only; inversely, IBAN code identifies numerous specific bank accounts.

Conclusion

SWIFT code and IBAN code are the two distinct codes that are primarily used worldwide. These codes are typically used for international money transactions. Both are different from each other based on their format and properties.

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