SWIFT at a glance

 SWIFT at a glance


> Increase in International trade and commerce after World War-II

> Efficient Banking System for payment mechanism with Security, Reliability   and Confidentiality was needed.

> Computer and Telecommunication technology came to rescue

> Co-operative organization SWIFT was born

SWIFT is the industry-owned co-operative

  •          Established in 1973
  •          Head quarters at Brussels Belgium
  •         Common language for international financial transactions
  •         Secure, Standardised messaging services
  •         Provides interface software


  •         Payments
  •         Securities
  •         Treasury
  •         Trade
  •         SWIFT in figures


Advantages of SWIFT

>  It is Highly Secured

>   It is Highly Reliable

> It is very cost effective

>  It is Standardized – accepted globally


> Offer standardized web based trust service and e-payments to corporate

customers active in B2B E-commerce


SWIFT Security objectives


  •  Information is disclosed to authorized persons at authorized location only


  •  Information can be RELIED upon ABSOLUTE, ACCURATE and VALID.


  •  Information and the associated services is accessible and usable when needed


> Every individual authorized to use the system is accountable


> Key Authentication Mechanism

> Encryption

> Checksum


  • BIC stands for Bank Identifier Codes
  • It is the unique identification code of a particular Bank / Branch
  • SWIFT handles the registration of these codes

The code is 8 or 11 characters

  • 4 characters – bank code
  • 2 characters – country code
  • 2 characters – location code
  • 3 characters – branch code, optional ( ‘XXX’ for primary office)

Where an 8-digit code is given, you may assume that it refers to the primary office.

BIC is often called SWIFT addresses or code

Examples of BIC

BIC ICICINBB  is for ICICI Bank, Mumbai

ICIC  identifies  ICICI Bank

IN     identifies country code for India

BB    identifies Code for Mumbai

BIC ICICINBB011  is for ICICI Bank, Andheri

011   identifies Code for Andheri Branch



  • BKE stand for Bilateral Key Exchange
  • BKE is an essential part of the security of the S.W.I.F.T.  network.
  • Exchanges secret bilateral authentication keys
  • Automatically generates code while sending
  • It also decodes and confirm while receiving
  • Once BKE relation established within 2 banks they can send and receive authenticated messages between them.

If   BKE present then only MT 999 can be exchanged   (MT 999 Free format Unauthenticated Message)


–          Automatically verifies the authenticity of message

–          Smooth process without human intervention

–          Cost saved for processing

–          Processing time reduced


  • It is a written communication in a structured format
  • It is not a file
  • No Attachments can be sent
  • Message types (MT)‏
  • SWIFT message as identified by 3 digit number
  • Each MT have diff Structure / Use
  • Message categories   series of MTs relating to a particular class of transaction, as indicated by the first digit of the MT number.
  •  Message Blocks Header, Text , Trailer



  • Contains control information
  • Addressee, processing, priority and security.


  • Contains the substance of the message.
  • format and structure varies according to the MT


For control purposes, CHK Trailer, PDE Trailer

Category Details
1 Customer payments and cheques
2 Financial institution transfers
3 Treasury Markets-FX, Money Markets and Derivatives
4 Collection and cash letters
5 Securities Markets
6 Treasury Market- Precious Metals/ Syndications
7 Documentary Credits and Guarantees
8 Travellers Cheques
9 Cash Managements and Customers Status

Structured / Free Format Message

> X99 in each category are free format message

(799 is free format message for LC/BG)‏

> All other are structured MTs

> Structured as per Type and use of Message

> Except 999 all other free format MTs are authenticated

MT 110 Scope

>  Advise of Cheque(s)‏

> Sent by a drawer bank, or a bank acting on behalf of the drawer bank to the drawee bank

>  It is used to advise the drawee bank, or confirm to an enquiring bank, the details concerning the cheque(s) referred to in the message


MT 111 Scope

> Request for Stop Payment of a Cheque

> This single message type is sent by a drawer bank, or a bank acting on behalf of the drawer bank, to the drawee bank


Nostro and Currency must match

Ben bank correspondent SWIFT BIC

Ben bank SWIFT BIC or A/c No. with Correspondence

Beneficiary Full A/c No. given

Beneficiary Correct Name Given

Swift structure is strictly followed

Collection MT4xx messages

MT400 : Advice of Payment

MT410 : Acknowledgement

MT412 : Advice of Acceptance

MT 499 : Authenticated free format message for documents sent under collection basis.

MT 734 Scope

> This message is sent by the issuing bank to the bank from which it has received documents related to a documentary credit. It may also be sent by the bank nominated to pay/accept/negotiate/incur a deferred payment undertaking to the bank from which it has received documents.

>  It is used to advise the Receiver that the Sender considers the documents, as they appear on their face, not to be in accordance with the terms and conditions of the credit and that, consequently, it refuses them for the discrepancies stated. The Sender also states that it is holding the documents at the disposal of, or returning them to the Receiver.

MT 740 Scope

>  This message is sent by the issuing bank to the reimbursing bank.

>  It is used to request the Receiver to honour claims for reimbursement of payment(s) or negotiation(s) under a documentary credit.

> The MT 740 authorises the reimbursing bank to debit the account of the Sender, or one of the Sender’s branches if so indicated, for reimbursements effected in accordance with the instructions in the MT 740.

MT 742 Scope

> This message is sent by the paying/negotiating bank to the bank authorised to reimburse the Sender for its payments/negotiations.

> It is used to claim reimbursement of payment(s) or negotiation(s) under a documentary credit, as relevant to the reimbursing bank.

Reimbursement Payment

MT 747 Scope

>  It is an ammendment to MT740. This message is sent by the bank which has issued an authorisation to reimburse (issuing bank) to the reimbursing bank.

>  It is used to inform the Receiver about amendments to the terms and conditions of the credit relevant to the authorisation to reimburse.

> The amendment is to be considered as part of the authorisation to reimburse.

MT 754 Advice of Payment/Acceptance/Negotiation

>  This message is sent by the paying, accepting or negotiating bank, or the bank incurring a deferred payment undertaking, to the issuing bank. It may also be sent by the bank to which documents have been presented to a bank that has been nominated to pay/accept.

>  It is used to advise the Receiver that documents were presented in accordance with the credit terms and are being forwarded as instructed.

MT 756 Advice of Reimbursement or Payment

>  This message is sent by the issuing bank to the bank from which it has received documents or by the reimbursing bank to the bank from which it has received a reimbursement claim

>   It is used to advise the Receiver about reimbursement or payment, to that bank, for a drawing under a documentary credit for which no specific reimbursement instructions or payment provisions were provided.

MT 799 Free Format Message

These are authenticated free format messages typically used for L/c and BG cases.

Any messages to be sent under L/C/ BG which are general in nature, or which is used to convey a discrepancy, a MT799 can be sent.

Swift for Bank Guarantees

 Below MTs are used for BG

            MT Purpose
760 Issue or request the issue of BG
767 Amendment of BG
768 Acknowledgement of a BG Message
769 Advice of Reduction or Release

MT 760 Guarantee Format Specifications

Status Tag Field Name
M 27 Sequence of Total
M 20 Transactions of Reference Number
M 23 Further Identification
O 30 Date
M 40C Applicable Rules
M 77C Details of guarantee
O 72 Sender to Receiver information

MT 700 LC Format Specifications

Status Tag Field Name
M 27 Sequence of Total
M 40A Form of Documentary Credit
M 20 D/C Number
M 31C Date of Issue
M 40E Applicable Rules
M 31D Date and Place of Expiry
M 50 Applicant
M 59 Beneficiary
M 32B Currency Code , Amount
M 39C Additional Amount Covered
M 41D Available with…
M 42C Drafts at….
M 42D Drawee Bank – Name & Address
M 43P Partial Shipments
M 43T Transhipment
M 44E Port of Loading / Airport of Dep.
M 44F Port of Discharge / Airport of Desti.
M 44C Latest Date of Shipment
M 45A Description of Goods / Services
M 46A Documents Required
M 47A Additional Conditions
M 71B Charges
M 48 Period of Presentation
M 49 Confirmation Instructions
M 53A Reimbursing Bank
M 78 Instruction to Pay/Acceptance/ Negotiating Bank

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