The IT Law Wiki


Based in Belgium, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a nonprofit organization, created in 1973, that maintains a network for the international exchange of payment instructions between banks and other institutions.

It 'provid[es] electronic instructions on how to transfer money among 7,800 financial institutions worldwide.' Although SWIFT provides a messaging service and is not a bank, it is nonetheless considered the 'nerve center of the global banking industry,' routing more than 11 million transactions each day 'between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions.'[1]

Frequently, the SWIFT message is only part of an international payment process which might also employ a system such as CHIPS to fully implement the transaction.

The SWIFT network allows the transmission of financial information in a standard and securitized way between institutions.


  1. Amidax Trading Grp. v. S.W.I.F.T. SCRL, 671 F.3d 140, 143 (2d Cir. 2011) (full-text) (citations omitted).