Most companies and businesses worldwide conduct financial transactions on a daily basis.

With local and international bank accounts in use, it’s important for companies to fully understand the terms relating to these transactions and how they are conducted. It’s therefore crucial for FCOs and signatories to understand some of the basic banking terminology.

When transferring funds, there are two main terms that are commonly used, IBAN and SWIFT numbers. It’s very important for businesses to understand the definitions of these terms.

IBAN
An IBAN, or International Bank Account Number, is a number that helps international banks identify a business’s account. Your IBAN is used when making or receiving international payments. It’s important to note that your IBAN is not the same number as your account number or sort code. It’s mainly used for identification purposes relating to overseas financial transactions.
The IBAN makes it easier to conduct international transactions by identifying the target account and country in which the bank is located. In all EU countries and in many other European countries the IBAN also ensures and checks that all of the transfer details are accurate.
In order to complete a SEPA Credit Transfer, an IBAN is required.  Some countries call for you to provide an IBAN number during the payment process.To find your account’s IBAN, you can usually see it on your banking statement or online account.
The IBAN is very important to companies that work globally as those companies send and receive funds from all over the world. The IBAN is very important to companies that work globally as those companies send and receive funds from all over the world. Bank accounts for Hi-tech companies or startups should have an IBAN for each account.

SWIFT
A Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication or SWIFT code is an international code that can identify a bank anywhere in the world. Also known as a BIC (Bank Identifier Code), the SWIFT consists of eight to eleven characters and is used to send and receive international payments.
The SWIFT code system has been around longer than the IBAN system and is the main method used in international money transfers. The SWIFT system is used more because it allows more data to be shared during transfers. Some of the financial data that can be shared with the SWIFT system includes account status, debit/credit balance, and additional details relating to the transactions.

IBAN vs. SWIFT: What is the Main Difference?
The main difference between an IBAN and a SWIFT code is that they identify different things. An IBAN focuses more on the identification of the target account in a transaction while the SWIFT checker identifies the specific bank in the transaction. Both of these codes have a major part in completing efficient international financial transactions.
Regarding which code you will need to conduct a specific transaction depends on the sender’s bank and country as well as the recipient’s bank and country. Having quick access to both the IBAN and SWIFT is necessary for completing any international money transfer.

The Importance of IBAN and SWIFT Codes
The IBAN and the SWIFT code were the first standardized identification systems for sending and receiving international fund transfers. Before these methods were introduced, the way the sending bank identified accounts could be very different from the way the receiving bank identified accounts. This could often lead to incorrect information, delayed payments, and money being sent to the wrong destinations. Transaction mistakes would often lead to penalty costs for delayed and missed payments. The standardization that the IBAN and SWIFT systems created allowed for more efficient international money transfers.

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