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SWIFT BIC – mandatory registration and usage FAQ

Our banking partners require all Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to provide a FI-classified SWIFT BIC.

What is a SWIFT BIC?

A SWIFT BIC is a code that uniquely identifies a PSP within a payment transaction. Banks can automatically validate this code against a public directory provided by SWIFT. There are two types of SWIFT BIC:

1. Connected: organizations can be uniquely identified and submit payments via SWIFT.
2. Non-connected: organizations can be uniquely identified but are not able to submit payments via SWIFT.

You can use either to identify as a PSP.

Why is a SWIFT BIC needed?

Using a SWIFT BIC code offers the following advantages:

• Improves the speed of processing by increasing Straight Through Processing (STP);
• Automatically identifies the payer’s account location, supporting the Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2);
• Allows sanctions and anti money laundering transaction monitoring to run more efficiently;
• Reduces the number of payments that may be delayed as a result of manual repairing by banks.

How does this affect me?

Any PSPs wanting to make payments need to provide SWIFT BIC details to us. Once registered, please send your details through to your relationship manager.

The country code for the BIC you provide must correspond with the account location you provide to your clients.

How do I get a SWIFT BIC?

If you currently have a Non-Financial Institution classified SWIFT BIC, there is no cost or negative impact to change to a FI SWIFT BIC.

If you don’t have a SWIFT BIC, you can request a non-connected SWIFT BIC for free. The application is a two-stage process; you must first register your company, after which you will be contacted with credentials to access the application form.  This may take 7-10 working days.

A non-connected BIC is free of charge and the publication of the BIC is on the first weekend of a month. Should you require this earlier please review this page for emergency and high priority customer requests and request via the E2E-Reference-Data.Generic@swift.com team quoting your non-connected BIC request e-order form reference.

When is this happening?

Our banking partners are requesting this data with immediate effect. We ask all our clients to register ASAP to avoid potential payment delays.

For any further questions, please contact your relationship manager directly.

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