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Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Learn what a SWIFT/BIC code is and how it allows you to make payments to international freelancers, vendors, and suppliers.

A SWIFT code — sometimes also called a SWIFT number — is a standard format for Business Identifier Codes (BIC). SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions and SWIFT codes are used to identify banks and financial institutions globally. It is a sort of international bank code or ID, providing information about who and where they are located.

These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers — and banks also use these codes to exchange messages between each other.

Format of a SWIFT/BIC code

A SWIFT/BIC is an 8-11 character code that identifies your country, city, bank, and branch as follows:

Bank code A-Z

4 letters representing the bank. Oftentimes, it looks like a shortened version of that bank’s name.

Country code A-Z

2 letters representing the country the bank is in.

Location code 0-9 A-Z

2 characters are made up of letters or numbers. This communicates where that bank’s head office is located.

Branch Code 0-9 A-Z

3 digits specifying a particular branch of that bank. ‘XXX’ represents the bank’s head office.

When do I need a SWIFT/BIC code?

If you’re sending or receiving money internationally between banks, particularly international wire transfers, you may be asked for a SWIFT code. SWIFT codes allow banks to process transfers from abroad.

Where can I find my SWIFT/BIC code?

You may be able to find your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code in your bank account statements. If it’s not listed there, call your bank’s customer service department or your personal banker to get your code.

Do I need a SWIFT code to receive payments in Liquid?

If you are a Vendor overseas, then you will need your bank SWIFT code to set up your international bank account in Liquid. Liquid supports payments to 175+ countries worldwide, in USD as well as select foreign currencies. 

Invoices in Liquid are in USD by default but can also be sent in select foreign currencies, allowing Vendors to receive payment in their local currencies instead of USD. In addition, Work orders / Project Proposals can also be agreed to in select foreign currencies in Liquid. 

Liquid charges Clients who initiate payments $3 per domestic invoice paid and $8 per international invoice paid.

Liquid never charges Vendors to receive payments, even when Vendors are requesting payments from Clients who are not current users of Liquid.

Ready to pay your international vendors, freelancers, and suppliers? Try Liquid today



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Q: What is a SWIFT/BIC Code?

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