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What is an MT103?

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An MT103 is a standard SWIFT message used to make international transfers and it is recognized by international banks around the world. All banks can provide an MT103 after an international transfer is made. Furthermore, once payment is made on the instructions contained in an MT103, it is irrevocable.

When you send payments internationally, these payments are typically processed through the SWIFT network. This article will explain what the MT103 document is, why it is essential for banks and financial institutions and how you can find your MT103 in a Statrys account. 

What is an MT103?

An MT103 is a standardized document used by banks or financial institutions that makes a wire transfer through the SWIFT network. Typically, the banks and financial institutions which make payments via SWIFT will have an MT103 but they must be requested. Furthermore, it is recognized proof of payment by institutions worldwide.

Now that we know what an MT103 is, let us understand more about SWIFT payments as well. In order for a SWIFT payment order to be issued, the system uses what is called a SWIFT code. The SWIFT network actually standardized the formats for BIC (bank identifier codes) and IBAN (international bank account numbers).

Because SWIFT owns the BIC system, it can identify a bank in merely a few seconds. SWIFT codes are 8 to 11 characters and are unique to each bank.

The SWIFT code will have the following details:

  • Institute code
  • Country code
  • Location or city code
  • Individual branch codes – these are technically optional, but most institutions use them

The process of sending a SWIFT transaction is very simple despite being one of the most secure ways to transfer money internationally.

You simply need the account number and the branch’s specific SWIFT code in order to set one up. Banks can enclose payment instructions, but they can also process security requests and other varying system transactions. All banks that work within the network use Nostro and Vostro accounts to carry out the payment transfer.

These accounts are used as a way to record the movement of the money and are a mirrored ledger of each other. Nostro accounts are where the bank holds the money and Vostro accounts are the ones used for opening it in the bank’s books.

If both banks involved in the transaction use Nostro and Vostro accounts, the SWIFT payment that was initiated will happen instantly.

If these accounts aren’t involved on both sides, the SWIFT transaction could have to go through a third party or another intermediary account.

A typical SWIFT transaction takes about 2-5 business days to be completed.

multi-currency business account

MT103 Message Format

With the MT103, there is a standard format that includes specific information to ensure the validity of the document. This information includes the sender and recipient's information, the payment amount, and any additional information or instructions. It's important that the message is accurate and complete to ensure the payment is processed correctly.

a screenshot example of a mt103 document

Why is the MT103 Important?

The MT103 is important because it serves as proof of payment, much like a transaction receipt. Once a recipient bank received the MT103, instructions are given to credit the relevant accounts with the appropriate funds, ensuring secure and reliable international telegraphic transfers

In addition, the MT103 provides comprehensive and transparent information that can reduce delays and frustrations, particularly with international transfers. It also simplifies payment tracking and offers visibility to all parties involved.

How to find an MT103 with your Statrys Business Account

To find out the MT103 of your international transfer via a Statrys business account, please reach out to our customer support and we will get back to you with your MT103. With a Statrys business account, you'll have access to 11 different currencies with which you can send and receive payments internationally through SWIFT payments.


What is an MT103 Payment

An MT103 is a standardized SWIFT message that is used by banks and financial institutions to make international transfers between accounts.

How to use an MT103?


Who has to send an MT103?


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