We have come a long way from the first wire transfer in 1872. Now, with just a few taps on your phone, it is possible to send money to your family and friends anywhere in the world.
But International money transfers are still more complicated than local transfers, especially when you have to use banks. Typically, if you need to make a bank transfer to another country, you are required to present the SWIFT/BIC code, an IBAN number, or even both. But what do these numbers mean?
What are SWIFT and IBAN numbers?
Most people confuse the SWIFT and IBAN numbers, but they are different. A SWIFT code is an 8-11 character code used to identify a recipient’s country, bank and location.
For example, the SWIFT code for the Central Bank of Nigeria is CBNINGLA where CBNI is the Bank’s code, NG is the country code, and LA is the Location code.
An International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is a 32 alphanumeric code that contains the recipient’s country code, check digit to ensure its security, bank code, sort code, and account number.
The length and format of an IBAN depend on the recipient’s country. You can validate an IBAN here.
The difference between IBAN and SWIFT numbers
IBAN and SWIFT numbers are both used by banks for international money transfers, but they convey different information.
A SWIFT code identifies the name of a recipient’s bank while an IBAN identifies the recipient’s bank account. Also, SWIFT is the default system used by banks and other financial institutions outside the EU.
Most Nigerian Banks use the SWIFT system for international transfers. The best way to get a Nigerian Bank’s IBAN number is by contacting the bank through its help channels or by visiting one of its physical branches.
SWIFT codes for Nigerian banks
Here is a list of the SWIFT codes for 38 Commercial, Merchant, Payment Service, and non-interest banks in Nigeria.