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What is the difference between Swift and iban?

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SWIFT
A SWIFT code or more correctly a BIC is a formatted identifier used by parties in the SWIFT network - i.e the bank sending a message or the bank receiving a message. The format contains a country code and is unique to the institutions.

An example BIC would be something like BANKUS33 where US is the USA. The code can be a short 8 digit or longer 11 digit one.

IBAN - International Bank Account Number

The IBAN code is a standard aiming to create a way for the computer systems to check the correctness of the account numbers of bank customers. Whereas SWIFT BIC relates to financial institutions the IBAN relates to account holders from banks and corporations to individuals like you and me. There are several formats based on the countries where the account holder maintains their account. The format typically includes your account number, sort code, country code and check digits. Given the component parts a system can calculate the correct check digits and compare this to the quoted IBAN number. So a payment transfer request can reject what would end up with a payment being returned due to a wrong account number.

The bank who maintain the account are the ones who calculate the IBANs. And they should print the IBAN on the customer statement.

Example IBAN
GB49TEMN34567800040158 this can be pasted into online IBAN checkers and should validate though it is a fictitous one I created based on the UK style.


In short the BIC code just identifies the bank but the IBAN identifies your account with a bank.
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