When you open a current account, there are many terms that you are not well acquainted with and this is totally normal. One of the most frequently asked questions when opening a current account is: What is the IBAN and SWIFT or BIC of an account? If you are also asking yourself this question, you are in the right place. Let’s get it out of the way!
When you open a current account, you will have access to an IBAN number as well as a SWIFT or BIC code. The purpose of these two numbers is to identify a customer (IBAN) or a financial institution (SWIFT/BIC) worldwide. This referencing allows you to make transactions abroad securely and quickly. Indeed, if you want to send money to your family in your home country, these two numbers will be essential for this operation. But how are they structured and where can you find them?
What is the SWIFT (BIC) code of a current account?
The SWIFT code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), also known as the BIC (Bank Identifier Code), is a number that allows financial institutions that are members of this cooperative to be referenced. Currently, more than 9,000 financial institutions, including a majority of banks, are members. But what is the purpose of this number? It allows money transfers to be made in complete security thanks to an encrypted system, while ensuring that it is sent to the right recipient.
The code can be 8 to 11 digits long and is constructed as follows:
- The financial institution code: first 4 letters.
- The country code: the next 2.
- The location: the next 2 characters.
- Branch code (not always present): next 3 characters.
This code is essential for international transfers. However, this is a costly process because of the high commission charged for each transfer.
How can I find out the SWIFT number of my current account?
Your SWIFT code can be found on your bank details (RIB). If you do not have this, you can simply visit the website of the financial institution in question, or ask your advisor directly. In addition, some websites allow you to find your SWIFT code by simply entering the location and name of the financial institution you belong to.
What is the IBAN?
The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is the identification code for your current account, in other words, its number plate. The IBAN has between 14 and 34 digits, depending on the country of origin, and is used for secure international banking transactions.
It too has a codified structure:
- The country code: first 2 letters (e.g. FR for France).
- The control key: the next 2 digits.
- The account number: specific to each bank account.
Just like your SWIFT code, you can find this number on your bank account statement (RIB) as well as on your cheque book and your account statements.
Indeed, this number allows you to transfer money in a secure way. In fact, for an account that is the beneficiary of a transfer, the combination of its IBAN and BIC defines its international banking identity.
All about the IBAN of the Smile Account
More and more residents of foreign origin have joined the Smile revolution by opening the current account that really takes them into account: the Smile Account. Let’s talk about the IBAN of the Smile Account!
Moneytrans is licensed by the National Bank of Belgium. So, the IBAN of the Smile Account is a Belgian IBAN, therefore beginning with the letters “BE”. The number will be referenced in Belgium but you will be able to use your account without any problems whether in Belgium, France or Spain. With this number, you will be able to transfer money abroad in a simple, fast and secure way.
Indeed, it is the same process if you are located in Spain or in France even if your IBAN is Belgian. To this end, you should know that it is illegal for any entity (bank, gym, internet provider etc.) to require a “local account” in order to benefit from their services. If you face this type of situation, you should know that you can report it.
If you want to know more about IBAN discrimination or about the Smile Account (opening a Smile account, getting and activating my free MasterCard etc), go to the FAQ of our website. At Moneytrans, we value transparency and honesty with our customers!