What is Swift Code of Bank? Used For, Format, India

Swift Code

SWIFT Code Introduction: In the realm of international banking and financial transactions, SWIFT codes play a pivotal role, serving as unique identifiers for banks and financial institutions across the globe. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of SWIFT codes, exploring their structure, functions, and the significance they hold in facilitating secure and efficient cross-border transactions.

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Table of Content

What is a SWIFT Code?

A SWIFT-code, also known as a Business Identifier Code (BIC), is an alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies a particular bank or financial institution worldwide. It acts as a crucial component in the international banking system, facilitating the secure exchange of information and funds between institutions involved in cross-border transactions.

Format of India-Based Banks SWIFT Code

A SWIFT code typically consists of 8 to 11 characters, each providing specific information about the bank or institution. Let’s break down the components:

Bank Code4Represents the bank, often a shortened version of its nameABCD
Country Code2Represents the country where the bank is locatedUS
Location Code2Specifies the location of the bank’s head officeNY
Branch Code3Identifies a specific branch; ‘XXX’ for the main office123

Example: ABCDUSNY123

How SWIFT Codes Work

The primary function of SWIFT codes is to facilitate communication between banks and financial institutions, ensuring the accurate routing of funds during international transactions. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a SWIFT transaction works:

  1. Initiation by the Sender:
    • An individual or business initiates a money transfer at their bank, providing the recipient’s account number and the recipient bank’s SWIFT code.
    • The sender’s bank uses the SWIFT network to securely transmit payment details.
  2. Transmission through SWIFT Network:
    • The SWIFT network ensures the secure and standardized transmission of payment information between the sender’s and recipient’s banks.
  3. Processing by the Recipient’s Bank:
    • The recipient’s bank receives the SWIFT message, processes the payment instructions, and credits the funds to the recipient’s account.
  4. Crediting the Recipient’s Account:
    • The recipient now has access to the funds in their account, and the international transaction is successfully completed.

Why Are SWIFT Codes Important?

Certainly, let’s break down those points into shorter sentences for better readability:

  1. Ensuring Accuracy: SWIFT codes minimize the risk of errors in international transactions. They provide a standardized and unique identifier for each bank.
  2. Security Enhancement: The use of SWIFT codes increases security. It reduces the likelihood of fraud and ensures the safe transfer of funds.
  3. Efficiency in Transactions: SWIFT facilitates quick and efficient electronic transactions. This makes it easier for businesses and individuals to engage in international trade and financial activities.

Global Reach of SWIFT

While SWIFT operates as an extensive network, covering a vast number of countries and financial institutions, it doesn’t extend to every corner of the globe. Notably, the network removed all banks in Iran in 2012 due to geopolitical considerations.

Do I Need a SWIFT Code?

The necessity of a SWIFT code arises when engaging in international transactions, especially when sending or receiving money to or from a foreign country. Additionally, for transactions involving countries in the eurozone, an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) may also be required.

To ascertain whether you need a SWIFT codes, it’s advisable to check with your bank, which typically provides this information on account statements or through online banking platforms.

SWIFT Code Finder: Locating Your Code

To facilitate the ease of obtaining your SWIFT codes, many banks provide SWIFT code finders on their websites. You can also find this information on your bank account statements. Additionally, several online platforms offer SWIFT-code lookup services, allowing users to search for the correct code for their specific bank and branch.

Various Banks SWIFT Code in India

BankSWIFT/BIC CodeCity Differentiation
State Bank of IndiaSBININBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services
HDFC BankHDFCINBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services
ICICI BankICICINBBNRIDifferent codes for different banking services
Axis BankAXISINBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services
Bank Of BarodaBARBINBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services
Bank of IndiaBKIDINBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services
Kotak Mahindra BankKKBKINBBXXXDifferent codes for different banking services

Different Banking Services:

As highlighted earlier, banks may use different SWIFT codes for various services. For instance, there could be distinct codes for retail services, corporate services, or specific branches. Always check with your bank to ensure you use the correct code for your particular transaction.


In conclusion, SWIFT codes are integral to the seamless functioning of the global financial system. They provide a standardized and secure means of communication between banks, ensuring the accurate routing of funds during international transactions. Whether you are an individual sending money to family overseas or a business engaged in international trade, understanding and utilizing SWIFT codes is essential for the efficient and secure transfer of funds across borders. As the world of finance continues to evolve, SWIFT remains a cornerstone in facilitating the interconnectedness of global financial institutions.


Do all banks have a SWIFT code?

Not all banks have a SWIFT code, but most major banks and financial institutions globally use SWIFT codes for international transactions. If you are unsure, it’s recommended to check with your bank to confirm whether they have a SWIFT code.

How do I find my bank’s SWIFT code?

You can usually find your bank’s SWIFT code on your bank statements. Alternatively, many banks provide SWIFT code information on their official websites. There are also online lookup tools available for easy access.

Why do I need a SWIFT code?

A SWIFT code is required for international money transfers between banks. It ensures that funds are directed accurately to the intended recipient by providing a standardized identification code for the sender and recipient banks.

Is a SWIFT code the same as an IBAN?

No, a SWIFT code and an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) are different. While a SWIFT code identifies the bank, an IBAN provides additional information about the specific account. Some countries, particularly in Europe, use both SWIFT codes and IBANs for international transactions.

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