There are many ways to send money today, such as electronic payment (e.g., ACH Transfer), check, cash, or wire money through an app on your mobile phone. All thanks to greater accessibility to modern financial technologies. One popular, reliable, and fast method people use to send money daily is wire transfers.
A wire transfer is an electronic money transmission method used to send funds between people or businesses. With a wire transfer, no physical money is exchanged unless made in cash at an agency branch or authorized agent location.
You simply provide the wire transfer information or requirements, such as the recipient’s name, bank name, bank account number, amount, and, if applicable, a pickup location. Then pay using a debit card, credit card, or another acceptable payment source. Hundreds of money transfer service providers and banks around the world administer wire transfers.
How Does A Wire Transfer Work?
Money is moved from one individual to another electronically. You have to pay for the transaction upfront, provide the wire transfer details and all necessary recipient information before the provider processes the wire.
So, what do you need for a wire transfer?
We'll go over international and domestic wire transfers next.
What Information Is Needed for A Domestic Wire Transfer?
For domestic wire transfers, you need the following basic information.
- The recipient's full name and physical address are necessary to ensure the money is going to the right person.
- You'll need the recipient's bank account and ABA or routing number if the funds are going directly to the recipients’ bank.
- You must specify the amount of money being sent.
- You must provide the funding source for the money transfer. If your bank is conducting the transaction, the funds will most likely come from your checking or savings account. However, typical funding source options are cash, debit, or credit if using an independent or nonbank wire transfer service.
Other things to know include:
- If picking up cash at an authorized branch, the recipient may be asked to provide legal identification for validation.
- Some service providers will require the receiving bank’s address as well.
- Some bank and nonbank organizations have a wire transfer limit for every single day or transaction. Such restrictions are typically due to government regulations aimed at preventing fraud or money laundering.
- Rules vary by country as it relates to funding. For example, in some countries, credit cards are not accepted as a source of funds. So, determine the options available to you before initiating a wire transfer.
How to Wire Money Internationally?
As previously noted, you can conduct wire transfers via banks and nonbank entities, which applies to international and domestic wire transfers. While service fees vary by agency, in most cases, you’ll pay lower rates and get your money delivered faster through a licensed money transfer company.
Additionally, sending cash overseas can be challenging to navigate – not all money transfer services have a wide range of supported countries, competitive exchange rates, low fees and enough cash pickup locations. But BOSS Revolution has all that and more. Our option is cost-effective, and you can send funds in US dollars or the destination country’s currency. You can also wire transfer money online via a web browser or the BOSS Revolution app.
What Information Is Needed for International Wire Transfer?
Like domestic transfers, you'll need to provide information about the recipient’s bank account. Some institutions may also ask for a social insurance number (SIN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) when wiring money internationally. Specific details may vary depending on the recipient’s country and bank, but the following is typically required.
- The receiver’s full name.
- The recipient’s physical address.
- Bank name and address.
- The bank account number and type (e.g., checking, savings, etc.) for the recipient.
- The bank routing number.
- The amount of money being transferred.
- The reason you're transferring the funds.
- If applicable, the bank BIC (Business Identifier Code) or SWIFT code.
- If applicable, the bank IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
Worth noting is that the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications or SWIFT network is the global standard for international transactions. Therefore, most banks and countries will have a unique SWIFT code.
However, several European nations use the IBAN system, which identifies individual bank accounts, not financial institutions. Further, the USA and Canada do not use the IBAN system, but both countries recognize IBAN and process payments accordingly.
Once you have all the applicable information above, you’ll need to visit your nonbank or bank wire transfer service to initiate the transaction – be it electronically or in person. You don’t necessarily need a bank account number for international wire transfers made via a nonbank provider like BOSS Revolution. That’s because the recipient can usually pick up the funds at an authorized branch.
Does A Wire Transfer Happen Immediately?
A wire transfer is quick, though not immediate, and the delivery speed depends on the service provider. In general, domestic wire transfers conducted through a bank take one to three business days to complete. If you and the recipient have bank accounts from the same financial institution, wires can take less than 24 hours. International transfers may take three to five business days or much longer to conclude.
Nonbank service providers can typically process domestic wire transfers within minutes. International transfers via nonbank entities can take up to five days or more.
Some banks or service providers offer options to expedite the time it takes to complete a wire transfer, so check with the given organization. Also, some countries are slow to pay out money, such as Cuba and Afghanistan. If sending to such countries, the time your wire transfer takes will increase.
Further, avoid errors when wiring money since wire transfers aren't typically reversible. The most commonly reported errors by customers include:
- The sender enters an incorrect city or country name.
- The sender forgets to specify the bank address along with the name.
- The sender specified an incorrect SWIFT or IBAN code.
- The person sends the money in a foreign currency that isn’t supported by the receiving bank or nonbank service provider.
These errors can cause processing delays or worse; you may send your money to the wrong recipient. That’s why you and the recipient must be certain about all wire transfer details. Consider taking the extra step of contacting your service provider to clarify wire transfer instructions and requirements.
Now you know what details are needed to transfer money into a bank account domestically or overseas. Remember to ensure the information you provide to the bank or wire transfer service provider is valid and correct. That's because, as previously noted, you can’t cancel wire transfers; transactions are final.
Other considerations to keep in mind include:
- Make sure you’re familiar with the fee associated with your wire transfer. The cost to wire money varies by provider, and other factors, such as the destination, the amount of money being sent, and mode of transfer, can affect cost. If sending in the destination’s currency, pay attention to the exchange rate because that also varies by provider.
- Besides following the bank instructions, keep the following in mind if you decide to use your bank to wire money. Generally, outgoing wire transfer fees are between $25 and $30 if the recipient’s bank account is within the USA. For international transfers, the cost is usually between $45 and $50 – maybe more. The recipient may also have to pay fees for receiving the money.
- A nonbank service like BOSS Revolution can save you money on costs, especially when sending overseas. Plus, nonbank services are often faster.
- Several countries have unique additional requirements. For example, you may need the 18-digit CLABE (Clave Bancaria Esandarizada) number for the recipient's bank account when sending money to Mexico. It's always wise to directly contact the recipient or the destination bank to clarify bank wiring instructions for sending or receiving.
Wire transfer is an easy and convenient way of transmitting funds domestically and internationally. Check rates with BOSS Revolution now.
Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of April 21, 2021
This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to address every aspect of the matters discussed herein. The information in this article is not intended as specific personal advice. The information in this article does not constitute legal, tax, regulatory or other professional advice from IDT Payment Services, Inc. and its affiliates (collectively, “IDT”), and should not be taken or used as such by any individual. IDT makes no representation, warranty or guaranty, whether express or implied, that the content in this article is current, accurate, or complete. You should obtain professional or other substantive advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the information in this article.