Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) Law and Legal Definition

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a financial messaging network exchanging messages between banks and other financial institutions. The SWIFT is an industry owned non-profit co-operative supplying secure messaging services. It was established in 1973 with a mission of creating a shared worldwide data processing and communications link, and a common language for international financial transactions. SWIFT headquarters is located in La Hulpe, Belgium and encompasses about 7,000 financial institutions in 192 countries.

SWIFT transports financial messages in a highly secure way. However, SWIFT does not hold accounts for its members and does not perform any form of clearing. In order to exchange banking transactions, member financial institutions must have a banking relationship. SWIFT standards messages is read and processed by financial processing systems. SWIFT cooperates with international organizations for defining standards for message format and content. SWIFT is also registration authority for the many ISO standards. For example: ISO 9362(Bank identifier codes)