Details about money transfers through the SWIFT system

Details about money transfers through the SWIFT system

Every year, more and more service providers move online and, sometimes, to pay for something, we need to make transfers rather than card payments. The SWIFT system is the most widely used network for sending and receiving funds worldwide. And in today’s blog post, we at Genome will explain how it works and how to make SWIFT money transfers. 

What is the SWIFT system?

It’s an international messaging ecosystem for sharing information. This network is currently used for processing cross-border multi-currency transfers. The participants of the SWIFT system exchange messages with the required information on the amount, date, and currency of the payment instead of moving funds around. This guarantees higher security but also a longer processing time. SWIFT safe transfers take between 1-5 business days, not including public holidays. Additionally, all payments must pass AML (Anti-Money Laundering) checks to ensure that money will end up in the correct bank account. 

All security guarantees are in place due to the well-established network of banks in almost every country. A money transfer will be quicker if two banks are in direct commercial relationships. However, if more banks are involved, all the participants need to do AML checks, and the timeframes increase accordingly. 


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Another factor that has a significant impact on the timeframes of SWIFT safe transfers is the currencies. With a few dozen supported currencies, the SWIFT system is the most popular network for sending cross-border payments. Remember that if the currency is rare, it’ll also take longer to establish the connection with the intermediary banks. As a result, the timeframes extend too. Therefore, it’s always best to make transfers a little bit in advance, so the funds are settled in time. 

When it comes to fees, SWIFT transfers are the most expensive ones – charges may reach up to $50. What’s more, the exchange rates for cross-currency payments are usually not very favorable, so it’s always best to send money in the same currency the receiver needs. The charges will be higher even if you’re ordering transfers within the SWIFT system in such common pairs as USD-GBP, EUR-GBP, and EUR-USD.

How to make a money transfer in the SWIFT system

One can easily instruct SWIFT payments from their web or mobile banking application. To make payments within this network, you will need a BIC number that deciphers as a Bank Identifier Code. The name SWIFT code comes from the name of the messaging system itself. 

This number includes from 8 to 11 characters, both letters and numbers. LOYDGB2LXXX – that’s how a typical SWIFT code looks. Some crucial pieces of information such as bank code, its branch, country, and the city are encoded in this number. SWIFT code serves as the precise coordinates from which to which bank account the funds are sent. You can find all this information in your bank account details. 

SWIFT: safe transfers with Genome 

Genome’s business wallet clients can also send and accept international money transfers, including SWIFT, using our platform and access other transfer options. Our team is constantly working on product updates to make your financial experience smooth, secure, and effortless.  

Recently, we introduced the Genome token, a tiny device that protects our business users even better. With the help of this tool, one can verify or block any outgoing transaction from the account. Stay tuned, more features are coming! Click here to open an account with us and learn more about our financial services. 


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What is the SWIFT method of payment?

SWIFT system, or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a global messaging network. For more than 40 years now, it’s been used to exchange messages between countries. The SWIFT system is also one of the most secure ways to make cross-border money transfers in a currency of choice. The network is currently the largest one in the world and connects the majority of banks and countries. 

How do I do a bank transfer with SWIFT?

The best way to make a money transfer within the SWIFT system is to use your mobile banking application. Most financial services providers are connected to this network so that their clients can send and receive safe transfers. To move funds, you will need the receiver’s first and last name, SWIFT/BIC numbers, and the amount to be sent. Check the exchange rates beforehand if you’re making a cross-currency payment like USD-GBP, EUR-GBP, EUR-USD, etc. It is done to avoid transaction cancellation due to the lack of funds in the account. 

What is SWIFT/wire transfer?

The wire is a generic name for electronic money transfers. Such transactions can be done online from a bank account to a bank account or ordered in a cash office. Wires are processed with the help of different messaging networks such as SWIFT and SEPA. The SEPA system, for example, works only in the EU area in countries like Italy or France. The SWIFT system covers the majority of banks worldwide and, in such a way, ensures secure and convenient payment processing. Consequently, SWIFT money transfers are only possible within this network, while wires can be sent and received via other networks too.   

How long does a SWIFT transfer take? 

The timeframes for money transfers in the SWIFT system are 1-5 business days. The timing increases with the number of intermediary banks involved. If you’re sending some not-so-common currency, it can also take more time, while safe transfers in the same currencies are usually processed faster. The SWIFT network only exchanges the necessary messages between banks and financial services providers rather than actually moving funds around. That is why numerous checks (such as AML Anti-Money Laundering) are in place to maintain security. However, all these procedures require some time that prolongs transfer timeframes.