Difference Between SWIFT Code and Sort Code

SWIFT Code vs Sort Code

Seeing that transferring money between accounts is a common act that is carried out all over the world in modern times, it is very beneficial to know the difference between SWIFT code and sort code. SWIFT code and sort code are two terms that are related to banking, especially when it comes to transferring money. SWIFT code and sort code are two ways used to transfer money. Moreover, these two codes serve as helpful methods in transferring money conveniently and securely. If they are both used for transferring money, what is the difference between the SWIFT code and sort code? This article will explain you that clearly.

What is SWIFT Code?

The SWIFT, short for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, code is a unique identification code for financial and non-financial institutions when it comes to executing international wire transfers and for the exchange of messages between banks. So, whenever money needs to be transferred to a person living in another country, along with the relevant account details the SWIFT code of the bank that carries out the transaction, should be obtained.

Difference Between SWIFT code and sort code

What is Sort Code?

The sort code is the UK and Irish version of the routing number and is used to route money transfers between financial institutions within their respective countries through their respective clearing houses. It is a six-digit number, usually formatted in three pairs, and identifies both the bank and the branch where the account is. It is used only for domestic transfers.

Sort Code | Difference Between

What is the difference between SWIFT Code and Sort Code?

SWIFT Code and Sort Code are two numbers that are used when it comes to transferring money. Although they may be mistaken for one another at times, there exist certain differences between them that can be used to tell them apart. The main difference between the SWIFT code and the sort code is where they are used. If one is living in the United Kingdom or Ireland, the sort code of the recipient’s account needs to be obtained in order to transfer money domestically into their accounts. If money needs to be transferred between the two countries or anywhere else internationally, the SWIFT code and other required account details need to be obtained.

While the sort code is a six digit number in three pairs identifying a UK bank and its branch, a SWIFT code is an alphanumeric code identifying the bank and the country. In general, to transfer money internationally, the SWIFT code is required. But, for British or Irish citizens who are transferring money within the country, the sort code is needed.


SWIFT Code vs Sort Code

• The SWIFT code is an alphanumeric international code that you use in order for you to send money to another country. It identifies the country and bank of your recipient’s account.

• The sort code is a six digit code in three pairs (i.e. 12-34-56) that is used by British and Irish banks for domestic money transfers. Take note that a transfer from a British account to and Irish account is considered as an international transfer.


Photos By: Cheon Fong Liew (CC BY-SA 2.0), Martinvl (CC BY- SA 3.0)

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between IFSC Code and Swift Code
  2. Difference Between Swift Code and IBAN Code
  3. Difference Between MICR and Swift Code
  4. Difference Between ABA Routing Numbers and ACH Routing Numbers
  • http://swift-codes.blogspot.com Swift Code

    Also as far as I know, swift code is about international wires.