DEFINITION of 'Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - SWIFT'

A member-owned cooperative that provides safe and secure financial transactions for its members. Established in 1973, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) uses a standardized proprietary communications platform to facilitate the transmission of information about financial transactions. This information, including payment instructions, is securely exchanged between financial institutions.

BREAKING DOWN 'Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications - SWIFT'

SWIFT neither holds funds nor manages client accounts. It began operating in 15 countries in 1973 and now operates in 210 countries. By April 2012, the co-op was delivering an average of 18,306,753 messages a day - up from 12,265,837 messages per day in January 2007.

SWIFT is headquartered in Belgium and has offices in the United States, Brazil, Australia, India, Japan, Korea, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, UAE and Russian Federation.

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