SWIFT is the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, a member-owned cooperative through which the financial world conducts its business operations with speed, certainty and confidence. More than 9, 000 banking organisations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 209 countries trust us every day to exchange millions of standardised financial messages. Our role is two-fold. We provide the proprietary communications platform, products and services that allow our customers to connect and exchange financial information securely and reliably. We also act as the catalyst that brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and consider solutions to issues of mutual interest. SWIFT enables its customers to automate and standardise financial transactions, thereby lowering costs, reducing operational risk and eliminating inefficiencies from their operations. By using SWIFT customers can also create new business opportunities and revenue streams. SWIFT has its headquarters in Belgium and has offices in the world's major financial centres and developing markets. SWIFT provides additional products and associated services through Arkelis N.V., a wholly owned subsidiary of SWIFT, the assets of which were acquired from SunGard in 2010. SWIFT is solely a carrier of messages. It does not hold funds nor does it manage accounts on behalf of customers, nor does it store financial information on an on-going basis. As a data carrier, SWIFT transports messages between two financial institutions. This activity involves the secure exchange of proprietary data while ensuring its confidentiality and integrity.