What Should You Know About SWIFT System Transfers?

. 2 min read

If you’ve been doing any digging into the behind-the-scenes processes of money transfer, chances are you’ve stumbled across something called the SWIFT system. While you won’t engage directly with the SWIFT system during your money transfer, it’s natural to be curious about something that affects your money’s movement.

The SWIFT system is the driving force behind many transfers around the world. It helps banks and other financial institutions to facilitate and communicate their transfers. But here’s the thing: not every transfer utilizes the SWIFT system.

Unlike your local bank, an Xe money transfer will not run through the SWIFT system. Let’s look at what that means—and why it’s a good thing for you and your money transfer.

What does the SWIFT system do?

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) system is a messaging network that securely transmits information and instructions through a specialized code system.

In simple terms, if you’re transferring from bank to bank, your bank will send a SWIFT message to the receiving bank with details about the payment. This is how the banks know what changes to make to your respective accounts.

Are there benefits to not using the SWIFT system?

Yes, there are! The implementation of the SWIFT system greatly improved the speed and security of bank-to-bank transfer, but it came at a cost—literally.

In order to use the SWIFT system, banks and other institutions pay:

  • A one-time membership fee
  • Additional annual charges
  • Fees for messaging—these vary depending on the details of the message and transfer.

So, what does that mean? If you make a transfer through a bank or any other organization that does use the SWIFT system, then the bank is paying for it—and so will you. A SWIFT fee will be added to your transfer, along with potential additional fees for the transaction.

At Xe, due to our experience and expertise in the currency and financial exchange business, we handle the communication and transfer facilitation process ourselves. There is no additional assistance from the SWIFT network or any other outside parties.

This means that you:

  • Will get a fast transfer
  • Will get a secure transfer
  • Will not be charged any additional fees for your transfer.

Ready to hear more about your transfer? Here's everything you need to get started.