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What is SWIFT?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is the principal global financial messaging network transmitting electronic communiques between various financial institutions, including banks. SWIFT also provides software and services to financial institutions, primarily revolving around the SWIFT-Net Network as well as ISO 9362 bank identifier SWIFT codes (BICs). Founded in Brussels in 1973 and fully supported today by 239 banks in 15 countries it is the most ‘exclusive and lavish club’ that a financial institution can be a part of.

In today’s financial realm majority of international interbank messages use the SWIFT network, consisting of over 9,000 members in more than 200 countries. SWIFT membership allows the participants to transmit their financial messages in a highly secure way. Members can utilize the SWIFT terminal to send messages such as letters of credit (LCs), bank guarantees including MT 760 (BGs), regular wires, etc. to other participants in the system directly from their office or facility. In simple words this entails a direct transfer of financial data without having to confer with other financial institutions or banks.