How to find and check SWIFT codes?

Written by
Zachary Pestana
Last Modified on
December 19, 2023

When it comes to conducting business on an international scale, the SWIFT code takes centre stage. It plays a crucial role in facilitating seamless and secure cross-border transactions. Acting as a universal identifier, the SWIFT code establishes connections with financial institutions worldwide while ensuring adherence to regulatory requirements. By utilising the bank SWIFT code correctly to make on-time payments, you not only cultivate trust with your global partners but also enhance your business's credibility.

Mapping your path to secure cross-border payments with SWIFT code

Let's explore a step-by-step guide on how individuals or businesses can get started by using the bank SWIFT code:

Step 1: Familiarise yourself with the concept of a SWIFT code

A SWIFT code (also referred to as a BIC or Bank Identifier Code) is a unique code that identifies a particular bank or financial institution globally. Check out our article to understand what is a SWIFT code and how it works.

Step 2: Determine if a SWIFT code is necessary

SWIFT codes mainly come into play for international wire transfers between banks. If you're involved in sending or receiving money across borders, you'll need a SWIFT code. However, a SWIFT code may not be necessary for domestic transactions within your country.

Step 3: Gather the necessary information

Before starting your search for a SWIFT code, it is crucial to gather the necessary information.  To initiate a SWIFT transaction, you will require:

  • Recipient's bank name, address, and country
  • Complete legal name, current address, and account number of the recipient
  • SWIFT code of the recipient's bank account
  • Your Government-issued ID, like Unique Entity Number (UEN) or National Registration Identity Card (NRIC), for verification purposes
  • Purpose of sending funds to the recipient
  • Any other information required by your bank

Step 4: Acquire the correct SWIFT code

In the next section of this article, we will discuss different methods available to help you find the correct SWIFT code.

Step 5: Verify the obtained SWIFT code

Once you have the SWIFT code, it's essential to double-check its accuracy to ensure that you have the correct information. 

How to find the correct SWIFT code for a specific financial institution

Wondering how to find SWIFT Code? Here are some methods to help you find the correct SWIFT code:

When searching for a SWIFT code to send funds:

Ask the recipient directly: 

If you need the SWIFT code of the individual or business you're sending money to, it's recommended to contact them and inquire. Information from the source itself is always the most reliable.

Official websites or mobile app: 

Many financial service providers provide their SWIFT code information on their websites or mobile apps, which can typically be found under sections such as FAQ, Bank Branches, or SWIFT Code Checker.

For example, at Aspire, we provide extensive support and address all the FAQs relating to transferring to or from Aspire business accounts using SWIFT codes. 

Online SWIFT code directories: 

Utilising online directories or search engines dedicated to SWIFT codes allows you to enter the bank's name, location, or other relevant details to search for the code you need. Swift code checker platforms compile extensive databases of SWIFT codes worldwide. Remember to use reputable directories to ensure accurate and up-to-date information.

When searching for a SWIFT code to receive funds:

Check bank statements or banking mobile apps:

When searching for a SWIFT code to provide to your client for receiving funds, a helpful approach is to check your bank statements or utilise your banking mobile apps. These sources often display the necessary banking information, including the SWIFT code.

Contacting the bank directly: 

To obtain your SWIFT code, contacting the bank's customer service directly is one of the most reliable methods. Locate their contact information on the official website and provide them with essential details like the bank's name, branch location (if applicable), and country. The bank's customer support will provide you with an accurate SWIFT code, minimising the chances of errors.

And now, that you know why you need a bank SWIFT code, where to find SWIFT code and how to find the correct SWIFT code, there's one final step remaining: verifying the SWIFT code before using it.

Importance of verifying the SWIFT Code

Ensuring the accuracy of the bank SWIFT code is of utmost importance to prevent any payment complications. Checking the SWIFT code you entered is the key to avoiding problems. If the code doesn't exist, your bank should reverse the payment and return your money. However, there might be fees and a wait before you get it back. As soon as you realise your mistake, contact your bank right away. They could cancel the transaction and fix it. 

If you want to avoid this situation, ensure your details are up-to-date, and always double-check the bank SWIFT code before sending funds.  By being careful, you'll breeze through your international money transfer smoothly!

However, while searching online for a SWIFT code or making transactions, you might still come across some challenges. Don't worry! We have provided some of the common errors that occur while making a SWIFT transaction and tips to prevent them.

Tips to prevent common mistakes when searching for SWIFT codes:

  • Rely on reliable sources: Trust official bank websites recognised financial institutions, or reputable SWIFT code directories for accurate information. Avoid unfamiliar or unverified websites to ensure you have reliable data.
  • Be cautious with online searches: Exercise caution when using search engines or third-party websites. Sponsored ads or unreliable sources may provide inaccurate information. Stick to trusted sources to minimise the risk of errors.
  • Confirm the country: When searching via bank details, enter the accurate country where the bank is located. International banks may operate in various countries, and searching with the wrong country can give incorrect results.
  • Re-confirm the bank name: When searching for a SWIFT code, it is crucial to select the correct bank. As some banks may have similar names, it is important to verify the specific bank name before conducting the search.
  • Include branch or location details: If the bank has multiple branches, specify the branch or location in your search. Some banks have different SWIFT codes for each branch, so providing specific information will help you find the correct code.
  • Use the correct format: When searching via SWIFT code, pay attention to the proper format of SWIFT codes. Spaces between characters are common errors that render the code invalid. Ensure there are no spaces when entering the code.

Tips to prevent common mistakes when using SWIFT codes for transactions:

  • Avoid typing errors: When manually entering SWIFT codes or any other information, mistakes are easy, especially when rushing. To minimise errors, cross-verify the entered digits once before making the transaction. 

  • Verify the bank details: When using a SWIFT code, make sure you have the correct and complete name of the bank. Avoid entering the wrong account number, misspelling the account holder's name, or specifying an account that is no longer valid.
  • Use proper SWIFT code format: The SWIFT code has a specific structure and using the wrong format can lead to issues with the transaction. 
  • Avoid invalid or expired codes: SWIFT codes can change due to mergers, acquisitions, or branch closures. Before initiating any transactions, check SWIFT code directly with the bank or financial institution to ensure you have the most recent information.
  • Provide complete & accurate payment instructions: When you're initiating a transaction, make sure to provide complete and accurate payment instructions. Take care not to leave out important details like the purpose of payment or the required reference information.

Now that you know of all the common pitfalls, we are sure you will be able to find, verify and use SWIFT codes in your international transactions more efficiently. 

Make global payments & transfers without breaking the bank with Aspire!

You can now embark on a borderless growth journey with Aspire! Tap into new markets and expand your business horizons. With multi-currency accounts, you can effortlessly receive, hold, and send money. It is seamlessly integrated with your existing workflows and can sync with your accounting software.

Go beyond borders and make global payments and international transfers at significantly lower fees, up to 3 times cheaper than traditional banks. Streamline your operations, make smarter decisions, and fuel your business growth. 

So, unleash the potential of global commerce and take your business to new heights with Aspire by your side.

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About the author
Zachary Pestana
is a seasoned writer in market trends and business thought leadership. With a writing history at Incorp Global, MOQdigital, and AIESEC Australia, Zachary leverages his broad range of experiences to stimulate industry conversations and engage audiences.
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