Founded in Brussels in 1973, the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a co-operative organization dedicated to the promotion and development of standardized global interactivity for financial transactions. It stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications.
- Banks and financial institute,
- Money brokers and security broker-dealers,
- Clearing systems,
- Corporate, non-bank financial institutions and more.
SWIFT’s original mandate was to establish a global communications link for data processing and a common language for international financial transactions. The Society operates a messaging service for financial messages, such as letters of credit, payments, and securities transactions, between member banks worldwide. It is a messaging network that financial institutions use to securely convey information and instructions through a consistent system of codes. It does not facilitate funds transfer: rather, it sends payment orders. SWIFT’s essential function is to deliver these messages quickly and securely, both of which are prime considerations for financial matters. Member organizations create formatted messages that are then forwarded to SWIFT for delivery to the recipient member organization. SWIFT operates out of its Brussels headquarters and processes data at centers in Belgium and the United States. It provides a secure network that allows more than 10,000 financial institutions in 212 dissimilar countries to send and receive information about financial transactions to each other.