SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is the means by which the international financial community conducts its business operations. A member-owned cooperative headquartered in Belgium, its services are used more than 8000 banking organisations in over 200 countries, who exchange millions of financial messages every day.
SWIFT is solely a carrier of messages, using a proprietary communications platform to carry messages, and does not hold funds nor does it manage accounts on behalf of customers. However, it plays a broader role in helping to bring together the financial community to collaborate in shaping market practice and defining standards.
The benefits of using SWIFT for payments
SWIFT provides a secure, reliable and quick platform for financial messaging services. The SWIFT system provides an established global network with internationally recognised standards. With the proper use of these standards, there is no risk of loss of messages, as opposed to cheques that could be lost, stolen or damaged during the collection process.
Payment by cheque can also be expensive in that the collecting bank’s charges could be very high to the extent that the proceeds to the beneficiary would be considerably reduced. SWIFT is a cheaper means of financial messaging and funds transfer considering the advantages to the end user. SWIFT is committed to work on price reductions in order to attract more customers.
Both corporate customers and the general public utilise SWIFT services through their bankers on request.