Every day we pursue our passion to find or create unique tools which provide business owners, and those striving for individual success, a competitive advantage. Below we introduce just such an item and offer you our perspective on its significance. We hope you find it to be useful and very much appreciate your taking a moment to read our comments

What is SWIFT?

Established in 1973, with its headquarters in Belgium, SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Inter-bank Financial Telecommunication) is a global provider of secure financial messaging services. This service is considered one of the most proficient and economical methods to send payment instructions to correspondent banks. A member-owned cooperative, SWIFT allows financial organizations to conduct business operations promptly and with confidence. More than 9,000 financial institutions in 209 countries trust it every day to exchange millions of standardized financial messages. Thus, SWIFT provides the framework for an international communication system between major financial institutions via bank-to-bank transfers. To that end, a SWIFT number which represents membership to this cooperative has historically only been issued to commercial banks and security firms preserving its considerable prestige. In recent years, however, membership has also been extended to other Non-Banking Financial Institutions that have the ability to meet a very strict qualification process.

Similar Organizations: Euroclear, Clearstream & ACH


This organization was founded in 1968 as part of J.P. Morgan & Co. Euroclear is a user owned and governed Brussels, Belgium based financial services company that specializes in the settlement of securities transactions as well as the safekeeping and asset servicing of these securities. Euroclear settles domestic and international securities transactions, covering bonds, equities, derivatives and investment funds in more than 90 countries.


Clearstream is a European clearing house that supports over 2500 different companies in 80 locations worldwide. Similar to Euroclear, Clearstream is a leading European supplier of post-trading services. The wholly owned subsidiary of Deutsche Börse ensures that cash and securities are promptly and effectively delivered between trading parties. Clearstream International was formed in January 2000 through the merger of Cedel International and Deutsche Börse Clearing.

Automated Clearing House (ACH)

ACH is an electronic network for financial transactions in the United States. This service processes large volumes of credit and debit transactions in batches. Examples of ACH credit transfers include vendor payments and direct deposits. Federal Reserve Banks are collectively the nation’s largest automated clearinghouse operator.

Benefits of Swift: Prestige, Cost Reduction, Speed & Profit

Increase Profile and Cut Costs

Seeking more corporate visibility and less cost to manage transactions? A SWIFT membership might be the business tool you need to lower cost through a reusable communication infrastructure. SWIFT enables its customers to automate and standardize financial transactions, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating inefficiencies from their operations.


Transferring funds internationally has become synonymous with delays. This can result in lost business opportunity not to mention the aggravation of addressing a laundry list of questions from your banker who is now required to police their clientele. A SWIFT membership brings the due-diligence in-house and can make transfers instantaneous.


SWIFT member customers can also create new business opportunities and revenue streams.

Gaining Membership via a Trust Company

In terms of currency transfer, SWIFT is the 2,000 pound gorilla. Given that banks make up the vast majority of membership into this network, most business owners rely on these same institutions in order to access services. In the past a select group of private trust companies and fiduciary companies, however, have gained membership to SWIFT and consequently brought services in-house. The application process is challenging and subsequent operation of membership requires an experienced administrator plus obtaining ownership of an older Trust Company. In most cases, the Trust Company needs to be a minimum of ten years old. This course of action usually takes three to four months with a cost of approximately $50,000 which covers application fees and setup of a processing site. A systems operator will also need to be hired at additional cost. Targeting and acquiring ownership of a Trust Company will also require an additional investment. While this may seem like a lot of work – keep in mind that – you are setting up a business which will likely have a strong resale value.

Alternative methods for Gaining Membership

If SWIFT sounds like a business tool you could use and you do not have or do not want to own a captive financial entity we may have an alternative for you to consider. It is far less expensive and much quicker.

For details please call us at 310-601-3115

Posted in: Business Tools, Miscellaneous, Uncategorized on December 14, 2013

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