What is a BIC code?

In the world of banking, you will hear words such as IBAN, SWIFT, and BIC. A Bank Identifier Code is known as a BIC code. Another name for the same function is SWIFT, which stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The terms are interchangeable, and a BIC or SWIFT code is an 8 to 11 character number, which identifies a specific bank anywhere in the world. It is a form of registration, and B2B Pay also has a BIC or SWIFT code in accordance with regulations of banking.

IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number, which can be verified worldwide to ensure the security and legitimacy of your virtual bank account and transactions coming in and out of it. It is easy to look up the IBAN of a person with whom you may wish to do business, and ensure that the payment you receive is legitimate. There are many calculators and software tools which will allow you to convert a customer or supplier's bank account number into an IBAN. BIC can tell you the bank and origin of the country of its account.

When performing international exports and imports, these numbers are important to the financial transactions surrounding them, as well as adding a layer of security to each transaction. Here is how a BIC code is translated into numbers:

  • The first 4 digits of the number will be the Bank Code which is issued by SWIFT.
  • The next 2 digits in the numeric sequence refer to the Country Code.
  • The 7th and 8th digits provide the Location Code.

After this, an optional 3 digit number may be provided. This is the Branch Code which is set by the individual bank of issue.

Traditionally, BIC codes have been used by banks during wire transfer of funds. With new technology, this function can be performed quickly and easily via a secured Internet connection. Rather than going to a bank and filling out forms and waiting in line, a virtual bank account allows you to conduct wire transfer transactions from your own business, without leaving the building and expending valuable time in bank buildings. The savings which you can achieve with a virtual banking service such as B2B Pay can add up to as much as 80%, as technology takes over where the expense of paperwork, time, and paying for a building with employees to complete the transaction disappears.