Can I Use a SWIFT/BIC Code for a Recurring Payment?

Can I use a SWIFT/BIC code for a recurring payment?

Can I Use a SWIFT/BIC Code for a Recurring Payment?


In today's global economy, recurring payments have become a common way to manage bills, subscriptions, and other financial obligations. While SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and BIC (Bank Identifier Code) codes are essential for international wire transfers, many wonder if they can be used for recurring payments. In this blog post, we'll explore whether SWIFT/BIC codes are suitable for recurring payments and provide insights into alternative methods for setting up these types of transactions.

Understanding SWIFT/BIC Codes

SWIFT and BIC codes are alphanumeric identifiers used in international banking to identify specific financial institutions. They play a crucial role in ensuring that international wire transfers are routed accurately to the correct recipient bank.

Recurring Payments: The Basics

Recurring payments involve making regular, automated payments for services, subscriptions, or bills. They can include:

Monthly utility bills
Subscription services (e.g., streaming platforms, gym memberships)
Loan repayments
Insurance premiums
Rent payments

The setup for recurring payments typically involves providing the service provider with your bank account information. They use this information to initiate automatic deductions from your account at specified intervals (e.g., monthly, quarterly).

Can You Use SWIFT/BIC Codes for Recurring Payments?

In most cases, SWIFT/BIC codes are not suitable for setting up recurring payments. Here's why:

Manual Initiation: SWIFT/BIC codes are used for one-time, manual international wire transfers initiated by individuals or businesses. They require you to initiate each transaction separately, making them impractical for recurring payments.

Lack of Automation: SWIFT/BIC code transactions do not support the automation required for recurring payments. You would need to manually input the recipient's bank details and send funds each time a payment is due.

Risk of Error: Using SWIFT/BIC codes for recurring payments increases the risk of manual errors, potentially leading to missed payments or incorrect transfers.

Alternative Methods for Recurring Payments

To set up recurring payments effectively, consider the following alternative methods:

Direct Debit: Many countries offer direct debit systems that allow service providers to deduct payments directly from your bank account. You provide authorization to the service provider, and they handle the payment scheduling and processing.

Online Bill Pay: Most banks offer online bill pay services, allowing you to schedule recurring payments through your bank's website or mobile app. You can set up payments to various service providers using their account information.

Credit Card Payments: If your service provider accepts credit card payments, you can set up automatic recurring payments using your credit card details. This option is convenient for services like subscription platforms and utility bills.

Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): Some service providers may offer EFT options, allowing you to authorize them to withdraw funds directly from your bank account at regular intervals.


While SWIFT/BIC codes are invaluable for international wire transfers, they are not designed for recurring payments. To automate and simplify recurring payments, explore alternative methods such as direct debit, online bill pay, credit card payments, and electronic funds transfers. These options provide convenience, reliability, and efficiency, ensuring that your regular financial obligations are met without the need for manual intervention.

Are there any alternatives to SWIFT/BIC codes for international transfers?

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