What Is a SWIFT Code Anyway?
The SWIFT code is a format of your BIC (Bank Identification Code), and the two terms are used interchangeably. SWIFTs or BICs are unique identification codes for the particular bank that holds your account. The SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) system allows banks and financial institutions to send and receive secure messages regarding payment instructions. These 8-11 digit codes are often used for sending money overseas.
Established in 1973, SWIFT was the only way banks could communicate with each other securely, and it became popular due to its heightened security. These days, SWIFT normally takes between 2-3 business days to complete an overseas transfer and costs around $4 per delivery.
At OFX, we use our network of 115 global bank accounts to tap into the power of local payment processing networks. We call it Global By Local (GBL). Our GBL network typically takes 24 business hours and costs under $1. That’s part of why our rates are so competitive and why our transfers often arrive faster.