KeyTotalTreasury logo
Tools & Resources

Section 9

Glossary of Terms

ABA Number – The routing number is intended to enable transactions to be processed quickly and efficiently with minimal manual intervention.

The routing number is a 9-digit number consisting of the three following components for U.S. Banks:


XXXX = Federal Reserve Routing Symbol, the first two digits correspond to the 12 Federal Reserve Banks

YYYY = ABA Institution Identifier

C = Check Digit

Many larger banks have more than one ABA number. In addition, many banks have merged, so older ABA numbers used in the past may not be valid anymore. The ABA routing number on a check is not necessarily the routing number that will be used to process wire transfer requests. Before you initiate a wire transfer, please verify the ABA routing number with the receiving financial institution or use the ABA lookup function available on Key Total Treasury.

Beneficiary – The recipient of the wire funds. Key can only guarantee delivery to the beneficiary bank on the value date, not to the beneficiary. It is the responsibility of the receiving bank to credit the beneficiary’s account in a timely manner.

Beneficiary Bank – The bank that ultimately receives the wire credit.

CHIPS – The Clearing House Interbank Payments System is similar to SWIFT in that it is utilized to transfer funds. Key does not participate in CHIPS at this time.

CLABE – The CLABE (Clave Bancaria Estandarizada) is an 18-digit code for bank accounts in Mexico. The CLABE has been required for sending and receiving international payments since June 1, 2004.

Components of a CLABE:


000 111 01234567890 1


A = Three-digit bank code assigned by the Mexican Bankers Association (ABM)

B = Three-digit location code is the city or region where the account is held

(Determined by the ABM’s Location Catalog)

C = 11-digit customer account number used by each bank

D = Control digit used to verify the bank, location code, and account number

Domestic Wire Transfer – A wire transfer sent within the U.S.

Drawdown – A request sent to initiate a wire transfer from an account. The party being debited must have appropriate agreements on file with their financial institution allowing drawdowns.

Drafts – Foreign drafts are legal, physical instruments that can be presented and paid at foreign banks in either U.S. or foreign currencies.

Foreign Wire Transfer – A wire transfer sent outside the U.S. Foreign wire transfers may be sent in either U.S. dollars or foreign currency.

Fedwire – The fedwire system is an electronic funds transfer service. It links the 12 Federal Reserve Banks to depository institutions nationwide. Fedwires are used to transfer funds domestically. Fedwires can also be sent to correspondent banks for international transactions.

IBAN – This European Standard provides an international standard account identifier for identifying an account held by a financial institution in order to facilitate automated processing of cross-border transactions through:

  • Automatic processing of foreign bank account information
  • Uniform validation of foreign bank account identifications
  • Easy routing of transactions

IBAN format – Up to 34 alphanumeric characters containing:

  • Country code – 2 letter country code
  • Check digits – 2 digits (calculated from the country code)
  • Basic Bank Account Number (BBAN – Up to 30 alphanumeric characters, which is derived from, but cannot always be relied on to be the actual domestic account number. The check digits are used for the validation of the complete IBAN.

How to Obtain an IBAN:

  • Only the bank servicing an account can provide the correct International Bank Account Number (IBAN) of that account and the related Bank Identifier Code (BIC).
  • If you need an IBAN, you need to contact the owner of the account. If you attempt to generate the IBANs of your suppliers or other business partners, you risk having incorrect IBANs.
  • If you use an incorrect IBAN in your cross-border payment instructions, you risk making payment to the wrong account or incurring a delay in payment and higher processing fees.

For more information, please visit:

Incoming Wire Transfer – A Credit. Funds received electronically into an account.

Incoming Drawdowns – A message received by Key requesting that an account be debited and funds sent to another Financial Institution. Key requires that you have the necessary agreements in place allowing other parties to debit your account.

Intermediary Bank – Bank that receives funds for those banks that are unable to directly receive payments.

Internal Wire Transfer – A wire transfer sent from one Key account to another Key account.

Investigations – Investigations include:

  • Inquiries initiated by the Wire Transfer Department on your behalf to locate wires, originating from Key that have not arrived at their destinations

    After the initial inquiry is sent:

    • Tracers (international) are sent every five days if no reply is received from the beneficiary bank
    • Services (domestic) are sent every three days if no reply is received
  • Amendments to wire instructions (i.e. beneficiary account should be 1234 not 1233)
  • Attempts to recall/return funds

MTS – The Money Transfer System is an AIX system used to transmit both Domestic and International payments for all Key wire transfer clients.

Outgoing Drawdowns – A message requesting a debit from an account held at another Financial Institution. This function requires the recipient of the request to have a drawdown agreement on file with their Financial Institution allowing drawdown requests.

Outgoing Wire Transfer – A Debit. Funds transferred electronically out of an account.

Repeat Code – A code assigned by the wire department to identify and initiate repetitive payments for which certain information remains constant. The message contains information including the destination bank, the transaction type, and the method of payment.

Returned Domestic Wires – If a wire is returned because of incorrect information, the Wire Transfer Department will credit your account for the amount of the wire, and phones the initiator, explaining the reason for the return. Charges for incoming wires still apply.

Returned Foreign Currency Wires - If a foreign wire is returned for less than the original amount due to an error by the initiator, the Wire Transfer Department will not make up the difference. The wire room will contact the initiator for better instructions and will attempt to resend a foreign currency wire at the same rate. In the event that the wire cannot be resent, exchange rates used by the foreign bank can result in a significant difference in the amount that is returned to you. Also, foreign banks can take a percentage of the wire or a set amount as their processing fee and will not refund that amount if a wire is returned.

NOTE: Key’s Wire Transfer Department cannot determine in advance whether such a processing fee will be taken by a foreign bank.

S.W.I.F.T. – The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is utilized by banks and other financial institutions to securely exchange messages. Key utilizes SWIFT to transmit payment messages internationally.

SWIFT BIC – The Bank Identifier Code was developed by SWIFT to identify financial institutions involved in financial transactions. 

Components of a BIC: 


  • BANK = The four-digit Bank Code. This code is unique to each financial institution.
  • CC = The two-digit ISO country code identifies the country in which the financial institution is located.
  • LL = The two-digit location code provides a geographical distinction within a country.

Bank Code – A three-character code at the end of a BIC, called the Branch Code. It identifies a specific branch within the country. This code may be alphabetical or numerical. The Branch code is optional for SWIFT users.

For more information on obtaining BICs, please visit:

Key Total Treasury also enables users to look up SWIFT codes based on country, currency, bank name, and city.