Founded in Brussels in 1973, the Society for the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) is a co-operative organization dedicated to the promotion and development of standardized global interactivity for financial transactions. SWIFT's original mandate was to establish a global communications link for data processing and a common language for international financial transactions. The Society operates a messaging service for financial messages, such as letters of credit, payments, and securities transactions, between member banks worldwide. SWIFT's essential function is to deliver these messages quickly and securely -- both of which are prime considerations for financial matters. Member organizations create formatted messages that are then forwarded to SWIFT for delivery to the recipient member organization. SWIFT operates out of its Brussels headquarters and processes data at centers in Belgium and the United States.
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In 2012, the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security advised all banks to consider the PC systems of their users being infected by malware by default and therefore use security processes where the user can cross-check the transaction data against manipulations like for example (provided the security of the mobile phone holds up) SMS TAN where the transaction data is sent along with the TAN number or standalone smartcard readers with an own screen including the transaction data into the TAN generation process while displaying it beforehand to the user (see chipTAN ) to counter man-in-the-middle attacks .