SWIFT is an acronym for ‘Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications’. Formed in 1973, SWIFT started in Belgium, with its main headquarters still currently in Belgium. SWIFT was formed as a solution to a growing need for an internationally acceptable communications network that could facilitate business transactions internationally in a quick, secure and effective manor. Originally SWIFT linked 239 banks in fifteen countries worldwide. SWIFT as an organization has been around since 1973 although not its current form. SWIFT has gone through many changes since its inceptions and now SWIFT has become a worldwide organization that facilitates communications between banks, corporations, and securities institutions. SWIFT transactions are now the global standard for international banking communications, and are utilized on a daily basis. SWIFT messaging is now utilized by thousands of banks in almost over nation worldwide.
Why did SWIFT grow so fast? SWIFT’s success has mainly been the result of understanding and responding to the unique requirements of a global market. SWIFT has adapted to the financial environments since the early 70‘s and their versatility is what has helped them grow. The SWIFT system messages are completely standardized, providing increased efficiency that is completely automated, meaning that lost messages are virtually unheard of. Major financial with high dollar amounts and risk; rely on enhanced security and accuracy that the SWIFT system supplies for financial institutions worldwide.
In addition to this, SWIFT also opens up other opportunities to build substantial revenue streams for corporations and institutions while offering a variety of services outside of simply providing messages. These services include but are not limited to market information and solutions.