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Individual SWIFTs

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What does SWIFT stand for?

SWIFT is an acronym which stands for ‘Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications’. Formed in 1973, SWIFT is a Belgian creation, and its main offices are still in Belgium to this day. SWIFT was formed in response to a growing need for an internationally sound communications network that could facilitate business transactions across borders effectively, quickly, and securely. When SWIFT was first formed it linked 239 banks in fifteen different countries. Now in 2011, SWIFT has grown to be a world wide organization which facilitates communications between banks, corporations, and securities institutions. SWIFT communications are now the global standard for international banking transactions, and as such are utilized millions of times daily. It is estimated that more than eight thousand banking institutions currently use the SWIFT messaging system for their transactions, and SWIFT systems are now in place in two hundred and eight countries.

What has made SWIFT so very effective? SWIFT’s success has primarily been the result of understanding and responding to the unique demands of a global market. The SWIFT system utilizes standardized messages, which increase efficiency, and is fully automated, which means that the days of lost messages are all but over. International transactions depend on security, reliability, and accuracy. The SWIFT system provides all these elements.

In addition to providing a safe and secure messaging system for the financial world, SWIFT also provides opportunities for companies to build revenue streams, and offers a wide range of services outside the messaging field. Some of these services include directories, market information, and market solutions.

SWIFT Codes

SWIFT Codes are actually very easy to understand, in spite of their unfathomable appearance. The ‘MT’ at the beginning of the code stands for ‘Message Type’, and the number indicates one of the many standardized message formats which comprise the SWIFT messaging system.