SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and IBAN is short for International Bank Account Number. The vast majority of all international fund transfers are made via the SWIFT messaging system which allows banks to exchange financial data i.e. data regarding money transfers, account status, account debit and credit and so on. The BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is a common substitute for a SWIFT code and both codes are usually eight to eleven characters long, containing both letters and numbers. The eight character SWIFT code identifies the bank, while the code containing eleven characters identifies a specific branch of this particular bank. At present, more than 9,000 financial institutions are using the SWIFT system in over 209 countries worldwide. A SIWFT or BIC code must always be accompanied by a bank account number (or IBAN) to identify the bank account of the beneficiary. The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) originated in the European Union (EU) and identifies the bank’s country, the account number and check digits to verify it correctness. The IBAN code is used by all banks within the EU and in most European countries excluding Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Armenia. Outside Europe, financial institutions in Israel, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Turkey also use the IBAN code to identify their accounts. The U.S. and Canadian banks do not provide IBAN account numbers but accept and recognise payments made from such accounts. Recently, some experts in the United States suggested the IBAN to be adopted at federal level but the process is still at the very outset. What is important for a money sender is that a bank cannot identify a payment or a transfer without the above mentioned codes. Every bank teller will ideally ask you to provide the SWIFT or the IBAN code of a recipient so be prepared and ask for it in advance. You can still make a money transfer without SWIFT or IBAN but you will have to use the services of a non-banking provider such as a money transfer company. A money transfer company can use its internal transaction system to transfer your funds; however, you must provide a valid ID and the recipient will be asked to provide a valid ID as well. Before travelling abroad or sending money overseas familiarise yourself with the specifics of the local banking system of the country which you are heading to. This will help you avoid common mistakes and confusions related to the SWIFT, the BIC and the IBAN codes. It would be best to consult your money transfer specialist or to look for a money transfer expert to obtain detailed information on the money transfer options available for this country and all other relevant information.