Swift Code is the standard format of Bank Identifier Codes. It is a unique form, of an identification code and each bank owns one, same for GTBank. The codes are essential when you want to transfer money from one account to another. This is even more so if you are involved in international money transfer. The foreign bank to which you are transferring the money will require the swift code to process the transaction.
Swift code also helps to quicken the rate at which such international transaction is done. If swift code is not provided, the transaction may not be impossible or it may be delayed and negatively impact your banking experience and your financial plans.
Aside from transferring money from one bank to another, the Swift Code is also being used by banks to send messages among themselves. Messages sent using the Swift Code is somewhat more secure than the one sent via any other means. The swift code also makes recognition of the source of the message very easy.
The Swift Code is made up of 8 to 11 characters. The primary office of the bank makes use of 8 digits. The Swift Code is written in a specific format. The first four digits are written together followed by a space. The next two characters are also written together followed by another space. The next two characters are written together followed by yet another space before the last three characters are written, bring the total to 11 characters.
The first 4 characters of the Swift Code stand for the bank code and they are only provided in form of letters. The next two characters, on the other hand, stand for the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code in which the bank is operating and it is represented only by letters.
The next two characters too represent the code for the location of the bank. This location code is represented by a mixture of digits and letters. If the bank is a passive participant, it will have “1” as its second character.
The last three characters in the Swift Code stand for the code for the branch or branch code. The code is however optional. This is why the Swift Code can either be 11 or 8 characters. This code representing the primary office of the bank can be represented by both digits and letters.
There are presently up to 40,000 “live” codes that are in partnership with the Swift network. There are still more than 50,000 extra codes that are being used for various manual transaction. These other extra codes are assigned only to passive participants in the Swift network.
SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and they are the ones that are responsible for the handling of the Swift Code registration.