Business identifier code
What is a business identifier code?
A business identifier code or BIC is a standardised code that helps identify a bank or a financial institution and its location in the international banking network. This code is essential while making cross-border payments.
BIC takes up 8 or 11 characters – letters and digits – unique for each bank. This code can also be called a SWIFT address or SWIFT code.
What is the format of BIC?
The business identifier code comprises four blocks with letters and numbers:
- “ABCD” – the first part comprises 4 letters from A to Z that stand for the bank code and usually look like the shortened name of the bank;
- “AB” – then go two letters that stand for the country code;
- “AC” or “11” – the third part may consist of letters and numbers that stand for the location of the bank’s head office;
- “111” – the last part may consist of numbers and letters which identify the specific branch of the bank.
How does it work?
While making any money transfer, banks communicate with each other to move the money from the sender to the recipient. BIC streamlines this process and ensures the money settles in the right place – i.e. the recipient’s account. That’s why providing the correct code for the procedure is essential.
What is BIC used for?
BIC is used to make international and interbank money transfers or SEPA transfers and communicate between banks. If the business identifier code was not specified when filling out the international transfer form, an error message will appear asking you to enter this code.
Business identifier codes help payments to be sent to the correct account. They make the whole process of transferring money seamless, and their structure also helps to minimise errors.
Where can I find my BIC?
The sender will ask for this code if you want to receive a money transfer from abroad. To find your bank’s SWIFT code or business identifier code, you can take the following steps:
- contact your bank and ask them to provide it;
- look through any of your paper bank statements;
- if you don’t use paper statements, use online banking and find the code there;
- one more option that may be relevant for you is online tools for BIC search.
Are business identifier codes and SWIFT codes the same?
It’s true, business identifier code and SWIFT code are used interchangeably. Both abbreviations mean the same – the combination of letters and digits necessary for sending money transfers.
Are BIC/SWIFT and IBAN the same?
No, these abbreviations mean different things. While a business identifier or SWIFT code signifies the information about a specific bank, IBAN signifies the information of the individual’s account.
We at Corefy provide our clients with a range of smart tools for accepting payments and making payouts and a unified dashboard to manage it all hassle-freely. If you need help in defining the strategy of online payments processing for your business, contact our team – we are ready to help.
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