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ABA, IBAN, SWIFT, and CHIP - Understanding Money Transfer Codes

Wire Transfer written on board

Most banks transfer money from your account to that of another in a foreign country for a small fee. For this wire transfer to take effect, you’ll need to provide the bank with information that includes the name and address of the account holder, information about the financial institution the money is being sent to and the ABA, SWIFT, CHIPS or IBAN of the recipient bank. It is vitally important to get this information correct as domestic transfers cost around $25, with international charging around $43.

ABA Routing Number

Used within the United States, the American Banking Association (ABA) Routing number may also be called the Routing Transfer Number (RTN). It is the identification code of your bank, is nine digits long and is composed of numbers only.

When making a direct deposit or direct payment of consumer bills, you can find it on your check as the first nine numbers preceded by your bank account number.

The ABA is also used for wires and electronic automatic clearing house (ACH) transactions such as electronic funds transfer, echecks, and tax payments, among others. In this case, it may be different than the routing number printed on your bank checks, so please contact your bank for the appropriate ABA number. Use the ABA with the account number to perform the transaction.

IBAN

IBAN stands for The International Bank Account Number and is a 34-digit long code that carries all the identifying information about your bank, its branch, its location and your account number in both digit and letter form. Its purpose is to improve cross border money transactions and to reduce the risk of transcription errors, where processors misread the font or content. T

The IBAN is used in most European countries as well as in many parts of the Middle East and the Caribbean. As of 2016, 69 countries use this code to make or rely on transactions.

BIC (or SWIFT)

The Bank Identifier Code (sometimes called SWIFT) contains information about the receiving country, bank and branch. It contains numbers and letters and is eight to 11 digits long.

The acronym SWIFT refers to the Belgian Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication that developed the code as part of its mission to help global financial institutions send and receive information about financial transactions in a secure, standardized and reliable manner.

CHIPS

CHIPS stands for the Clearing House Interbank Payments System Universal Identifier. The CHIPS Uid is a six-digit code that contains all the information that is necessary to identify the person who is wiring the money. Thus your name, address, routing number, account number, and so forth are all contained in this CHIPS code. The Clearing House Interbank Payments System confidentially stores the code, or information, as it does that of all individuals.

Your safety is of utmost importance to banks when it comes to wiring your money. They, therefore, resort to invincible codes that contain all the information of your bank, the branch of your bank, your identity, account and so forth. All codes are both developed and stored by authoritative and safe agencies such as the Clearing House Interbank Payments System. Codes that include your bank’s identifying details are recognized not only nationally, but also internationally and are used to process domestic and international transactions while moving money around the world.

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