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What is Swift Banking System - A Comprehensive Guidebook

By Sumaiya Simran Last Updated -- Thursday, 2023-08-31
what is swift banking system

Certainly, the banking industry is vast, and many departments are involved in this sector, for instance, online banking, corporate banking, foreign banking, swift banking system, remittance, investment banking, credit banking, retail banking and many more. 

However, this blog will be dedicated to find what is swift banking system is and will break down different areas related to the swift banking system, for instance swift code, swiftNet, and which  enterprise uses swift banking system most and many more.

The interpretation of “SWIFT” stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. 

But what is Swift's banking system? Is it actually a “messaging system"? or a “payment system”? 

Let Me Clear The Air For You!! 

Swift is neither any financial nor a banking system, and it’s just a telecommunication channel which doesn’t transfer money but instead transfers financial detail instructions. 

What Is Swift Banking System?

The meaning of the Swift banking system is itself described in its abbreviation Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, which means whenever any bank or any non-financial institution transfers money from the sender’s non/financial institution to another beneficiary non/financial institution. However, the swift banking system (swiftNet) it transfers detailed information, not money. 

Undoubtedly swift banking is secure, fast and accurate; it mainly sends and receives money transfer instructions. Moreover, globally, the swift banking system plays a very crucial role in the fintech industry. 

A secondary source,, mentioned that around 42 million messages per day had been sent using the swiftNet by the 11000 global swift institution members.

How Does the Swift Banking System Work?- Transfer Cycle

A swift banking system is a financial message transportation system between one bank to another; the sender bank will send the financial instruction to the receiver bank. 

A Brief Description Of the Transfer Cycle: 

  1. Verify your identity and address using your passport and bills 
  2. The sender will transfer money to the receiver's bank
  3. The receiver bank will send a “quote”, which will facilitate the transfer (accept or decline) 
  4. If you “accept the exchange rate”, the money will be transferred to the destination currency 
  5. The transfer of funds and financial institution is complete 

Information Required To Use Swift Banking System 

  • Recipient name 
  • Recipient address
  • Recipient’s bank’s name and address
  • Destination bank’s swift bank 
  • Recipient’s IBAN and account number

What Is A Swift Code?

Swift will generate a unique code, which will be 8 to 11 alphanumeric characters long and can be recognised as Business Identifier Code (BIC), Swift code, Swift ID, and ISO 9362 code.

  • The first 4 letters represent: Name of the bank or financial institution.
  • The second 2 letters represent: Country code 
  • The third 2 letters represent: Location code
  • The fourth 3 letters represent: Branch code  

What Is A Swift Code

What Is SwiftNet?

SwiftNet is a messaging platform which is being used while Swifting financial instructions from the sender bank to the receiver bank. And to make things more less complicated, SwiftNet introduces 4 different messaging platforms, hence allowing a seamless transaction.  


FIN is SwiftNet’s encrypted secure messaging system. They follow a specific format, for instance, the MT103-standardized SWIFT payment message system, which holds all the information about the sender, receiver and transaction details. Moreover, their special format helps to boost up efficiency and avoid human error.     

And after the fund has been successfully transferred, instantly a series of instructions will be sent to the sender’s bank, receiver’s bank, and correspondent bank.


InterAct is similar to FIN, hence allowing transfer of messages and also supports any kind of proprietary format between the market infrastructure and the customer. Moreover, it also enables the exchange of SWIFT’s Standards MX messaging type.

InterAct, is claimed to be more flexible than FIN, therefore, includes store-and-forward messaging, real-time messaging, and real-time query-and-response options.


Using this FileAct, the sender's bank can transfer a large batch of financial messages. For instance, payment instruction details, large reports and operational data. 


Through using WebAccess swiftNet, users get the full freedom to securely browse different financial websites enlisted in SwiftNet.

How Can The Swift Banking System Can Be Utilized?

Since the invention of the swift banking system, its intelligent messaging techniques have facilitated many applications. Swift may include complex high-volume financial instructed messages to less complicated financial messages, corporate entities, and cost-sensitive small financial institutions. Here is a list of products and services of Swift banking system.

  • Facilitated a range of access options 
  • Offers messaging management software packages 
  • Accomplish macro-economic analyses 
  • Enables back-office automation
  • Assist financial crime compliance and standards implementation 
  • Offers professional training
  • Enhance their security and resilience

Swift network offers some valuable access to some applications, for instance, real-time financial message instruction for treasury, and foreign exchange transactions, access to securities market infrastructure for the processing clearing house, and settlement infrastructure for payment, security, forex and derivatives transactions.

Moreover, the Swift banking system now comes up with an efficacious dashboard and automated generated report (trade flow, monthly/yearly transaction report). Besides, users can change their information by personalizing the location, message type, region, etc.  

List Of Enterprises That Use Swift Banking

Swift banking system offers an innovative network, which makes the whole financial messaging system faster and more secure between the treasury and correspondent transactions. 

But who actually uses the swift banking system? Below I’ve have mentioned the financial/non-financial institutions:

  • Banks
  • Corporate businesses
  • Foreign exchanges
  • Clearing systems
  • Asset management companies
  • Non-bank financial institutions
  • Depositories
  • Broker/Dealers
  • Investment Managers
  • Insurance companies
  • Fund Participants
  • Custodians

What Service Does Swift Banking Provide?

Swift banking system offers an ample number of services which facilitate different large enterprises, start-ups, and private businesses by providing a seamless business transaction. 

Below Mentioned Some Of The Service Of Swift Banking System:  


Swift banking system has facilitated a variety of applications, for instance, real-time instruction matches with treasury and forex transactions, banking market infrastructure so that it's getting easier for processing payment instructions between banks, securities market infrastructure so that it can process clearing, financial message instructions for payments, securities, forex, and derivatives transactions.  

Business Intelligence:

Because of the Swift intelligent dashboard and reporting facilities, clients get a dynamic experience of real-time monitoring during the financial message transaction, activity, trade flow etc. 

The report will be arranged based on the region, country, message types, and related parameters.

Compliance Services

Using the Swift reporting module, clients can now track various financial crime compliance, sanction and anti-money laundering. 

Messaging, Connectivity, and Software Solutions

Swift banking system is one of the fastest, most secure and most reliable networks for transferring financial messaging instructions. Using numerous messaging channels, software, and network connection, swift processes its operation of financial message transfer between financial institutions. 

Swift Banking And Sanction- Broadly Explained

Swift banking system is a financial messaging network which facilitates sending and receiving to transfer financial instructions. Swift banking system is one of the safe, fast and most seamless networks to transfer financial message instructions from the sender bank to the receiver bank.

The Swift banking system is also being overlooked by the central bank from a group of ten countries by benefiting swift members. 

Recently, a member of swift has shown some potential disagreement against the economic sanction. For instance, in the year 2012, the European Union proposed a sanction against Iran that pressured SWIFT to cut off every kind of economic sanction with Iranian banks.

Drawbacks Of Swift Banking System

Through the swift banking system, the whole cycle of transferring financial messaging instructions rotates around. Hence the whole system indeed provides the most secure and fast telecommunication system, but it charges a high cost and operational overhead. 

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Banking ERP solutions permit you an excellent opportunity to construct a banking application incorporated with the Core Banking System, Customer Relationship Management, Accounting Management System, Integrated Security System, Human Resource Management, Inventory Management System and many more.


For decades, the swift banking system has played a strong role in the fintech industry and has been a famous financial instruction message transfer network. Because of the innovative technology, it's now easier to send money instantly and get the assurance that “money has been transferred” from any part of the world.