SWIFT Code/BIC Code for Overseas Money Transfer

Australia By Western Union May 28, 2024

When sending money across international borders, knowing the essentials isn’t just helpful—it’s crucial for ensuring your funds navigate the global banking network safely and efficiently.

What is a SWIFT Code/BIC Code?

SWIFT/BIC codes are the global standard for identifying banks and financial institutions, ensuring that your international money transfers are executed flawlessly and land precisely where intended. The terms SWIFT code (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code) refer to the same essential identifiers, each uniquely coding a bank down to its country, city, and specific branch with an 8 or 11-character alphanumeric sequence. This pinpoint accuracy not only guarantees the security of each transaction but also streamlines the process, allowing funds to traverse the complex networks of global finance swiftly and without error.

How Do I Find My SWIFT Code/BIC Code?

Locating a SWIFT/BIC code is simpler than you might think:

  1. Check the Bank’s Website: Most banks provide their SWIFT codes on their websites.
  2. Bank Statements: Look on your paper or online statements where the SWIFT code may be listed.
  3. Contact Your Bank: If in doubt, call your bank directly to ask for the SWIFT/BIC code.

Is a SWIFT Code the Same as a BIC Code?

Yes, SWIFT and BIC codes are interchangeable terms used to identify banks during international transactions. However, it’s crucial to understand how these differ from domestic financial codes:

Is a SWIFT Code the Same as a BSB?

Used primarily in Australia, a BSB code is a six-digit number that identifies the individual branch of a bank within Australia for domestic transactions. It’s necessary for transactions within the country but not suitable for international transfers.

Is a SWIFT Code the Same as a Routing Number?

Commonly used in the United States, a routing number is a nine-digit code that identifies a financial institution in a transaction. It appears on the bottom of checks and is also essential for domestic electronic transfers like direct deposits and bill payments. Unlike SWIFT/BIC codes, routing numbers are not used for international transfers.

Is a SWIFT Code the Same as an IBAN?

While not a direct equivalent, IBAN is often mentioned in discussions about international banking formats. Used primarily in Europe and many other countries, the IBAN includes a country code, check digits, and a bank and account number in a standardised format, facilitating international transfers by reducing the risk of errors.

Importance of Accurate SWIFT/BIC Codes

Using the correct SWIFT/BIC code is critical. Incorrect codes can lead to delayed transactions, additional fees, or the funds being returned to the sender. Always double-check the BIC/SWIFT code with your recipient and confirm it during the transaction process to ensure successful transfer.

Security Measures for SWIFT/BIC Codes

Western Union takes the security of your international transfers seriously. All information, including SWIFT/BIC codes, is protected through advanced encryption and security protocols. These measures ensure that your money and personal data remain safe from unauthorised access throughout the transaction process.

SWIFT/BIC Codes for International Money Transfer with Western Union

SWIFT/BIC codes are vital for Western Union’s overseas money transfer services, allowing quick and accurate processing of international transactions. Whether you are supporting family abroad, paying for services, or managing overseas investments, using the correct BIC/SWIFT codes ensures your money arrives safely and efficiently.

Understanding and using SWIFT/BIC codes correctly enhances your experience with Western Union, making global money transfers smoother and more secure. Start your transfer today, and send money overseas with confidence.

Need to send money to a country that uses a different currency? Check out our currency converter.


Can I use Western Union for international money transfers without a SWIFT/BIC code?

No. For international bank transfers, a SWIFT/BIC code is essential to ensure the money reaches the correct bank and branch.

Are SWIFT/BIC codes the same for all banks worldwide?

No, each bank branch has its own unique bank SWIFT code or BIC code. However, the main office or head branch codes may be used for general transactions.

What happens if I provide the wrong SWIFT/BIC code for my recipient?

Using an incorrect SWIFT/BIC code can lead to delays, the transfer being returned to the sender, or, in rare cases, the funds being deposited into the wrong account.

Do I need to provide a SWIFT/BIC code for every international transfer with Western Union?

Yes, for international bank transfers, Western Union requires a SWIFT/BIC code to accurately process and direct funds to the correct bank and branch.

Is my SWIFT/BIC code information secure when using Western Union for money transfers?

Yes, Western Union employs robust encryption and security measures to protect all transfer details, including your SWIFT/BIC code information.

Are there any fees associated with using SWIFT/BIC codes for international transfers with Western Union?

Western Union does not charge a separate fee for using SWIFT/BIC codes, but overall transfer fees do apply, which vary by transaction.

Can I use a SWIFT/BIC code for transfers within my own country?

Typically, SWIFT/BIC codes are used for international transfers. Domestic transfers usually require different types of bank codes.

How can I ensure the accuracy of the SWIFT/BIC code when sending money internationally?

Always double-check the SWIFT/BIC code with your recipient or their bank, and verify it during the transaction process on Western Union’s website or app to avoid errors.