SWIFT codes are usually made of 8 to 11 numbers and letters to identify a particular bank or financial organization. All SWIFT codes follow the same format with different pieces of information that direct an international payment. A SWIFT code has four different components, which include country code, bank code, location code, and branch code.
The first four characters represent the bank code, and it is usually a shortened version of a bank’s name. The next two characters represent country code, the nation the bank is in. The following two characters indicate the location code, which could be two numbers or letters, and they represent the head office of a bank. The last three digit pin is often optional and indicates a particular branch of a bank.
The branch code in a SWIFT code is usually optional. If you omit the branch code, your payment will still go through, but it will be directed to a bank’s head office.
Currently, the network of SWIFT has become too wide, and it has more than forty thousand SWIFT codes that are running. This vast network has linked banks, making them partners for international funds transfer. In addition to SWIFT codes, there are also many passive codes that are used during manual transactions.