People can find a SWIFT code, also known as a bank identification code, by using the BIC search on the official Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication website at Swift.com. Customers who need this information to transfer money can also call a representative of the bank.
Banks use SWIFT codes to wire money to other banks on behalf of their customers. International banks typically use SWIFT codes, and not all banks have a SWIFT code. Banks and other financial institutions in the United States may use an American Banking Association routing number instead. However, many of these banks can still receive international wires through a U.S. correspondent bank.
SWIFT codes are eight to 11 digits long, The first four digits are letters that represent individual bank codes. The second two digits, which are also letters, are the country code. The next two digits are numbers and are a code to indicate the location of the bank. The last three digits are optional and specify the correct branch of the bank.
SWIFT created a messaging system that over 10,800 international banks use to communicate with one another, automate payments and standardize other transactions. The company registers international banks and assigns them their BIC number.