How Do I Transfer Money to Someone Else's Bank Account?

Sending money has never been easier. If you want to transfer money to someone else’s bank account, there’s a wide range of methods that you can use. Some traditional payment methods require the recipient’s full name, account number, and routing number, while alternative options only require an email address.

The banking industry has changed significantly in the last decade. To meet the needs of modern consumers, these financial institutions have had to embrace modern solutions such as online banking, mobile apps, and online payment tools. Here, we’ll delve into traditional and modern money transfer solutions to help you make well-informed banking decisions.

Bank-to-Bank Money Transfer

 

A wire transfer is a safe way to transfer money from one bank to another. Traditional bank wire transfers are often used for domestic bank-to-bank transactions. They are fast, but their fees can be costly. If you want minimal costs, you can do Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers. It takes over three business days for the funds to become available in the recipient’s bank account. But if speed is your concern, there are other methods you can use to transfer money.

Here are different types of wire transfers:

  • In-person bank transfers
    You drop by your bank, pay the cashier, and provide the required information. This usually depends on your bank, so it’s always best to check beforehand. For domestic wire transfers using JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, you’ll need the recipient’s name, address, account number, and bank routing number. You’ll need a SWIFT/BIC for international wire transfers in addition to the recipient’s account details.
  • Telephone
    Some banks allow money transfers via telephone. You just have to call their telephone banking service to begin your transaction. Depending on your bank, you might speak to a customer service representative or an automated recording. Either way, you’ll be guided throughout the process for a hassle-free transaction.
  • Online payment systems
    Another way to send money electronically is through an online payment system like PayPal. You can send money from your PayPal account, checking account, debit card, or credit card. Plus, you won’t need to provide the recipient’s bank details. You just need their PayPal email address to carry out a transaction.
  • Online banking
    Most banks offer online banking solutions, which enable account holders to complete transactions from the comfort of their homes. If you want to send money to someone’s bank account online, you’ll have to sign up for the bank’s online banking service or app. For example, Wells Fargo requires you to provide your ATM/debit or credit card number or your Wells Fargo account. You’ll also need to give your Social Security or Tax ID number and your email address.

Fees: Wire transfer fees can range from $10 to $50. ACH transfers usually cost nothing, while peer-to-peer payments cost less than in-person bank transfers. PayPal, for instance, won’t charge you anything for transferring money within the US using your PayPal balance or bank account. However, PayPal has extra fees if you use your debit or credit card.

Processing time: You’re probably wondering, “How long does it take to transfer money from bank to bank?” The truth is that it varies depending on your preferred transfer method, your bank, as well as your transaction. Domestic wire transfers are instantaneous. The recipient will be able to access the funds you send on the same business day. If you use ACH transfers, it can take an extra day or two for the funds to appear on the receiver’s checking account number.

As for international wire transfers, it can take anywhere from one to five business days.

Pros Cons
Safe and secure compared to other methods Might be costly depending on the transaction or the bank
Same-day processing Has additional costs for international wires
Bank details aren’t necessary for money transfers via nonbank providers Wire transfers can’t be canceled

 

Money Transfer Apps

 

Using money transfer apps, you can send money to someone else’s bank account using the funds from your bank account, debit card, or credit card. You don’t need to know the recipient’s personal or bank account details to make a transaction. Google Pay, for example, only requires an email address.

Here are some of the best money transfer apps:

  • BOSS Revolution
    Available in 58 countries including Australia, France, and Germany, BOSS Revolution offers a safe and secure way to send money internationally. You can transfer funds to another person’s bank account or mobile wallet across the globe. Boss Revolution has competitive and transparent exchange rates. On your first transaction with the service, you can transfer up to $300 without any fees. After that, you’ll have fees as low as $1.99.
  • Google Pay
    Google’s online payment system enables you to make payments using a myriad of Android devices, including smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches. Right from the app, you can plan and split group payments. You can even sync various bank accounts.
  • Cash App
    Cash App lets you request, receive, and transfer money to friends and loved ones for free. Even if they don’t have an account, you can send money from your Cash App balance to their bank account in a matter of minutes. You can even get a free and customizable Visa debit card when you sign up with this service.

Fees: If you want a cost-efficient way to send funds, money transfer apps are always a great option. They are inexpensive or totally free, especially for domestic money transfers.

Processing time: Transaction speeds may vary from app to app. Most of these mobile payment systems offer instant transfer speeds. That means the recipient will receive the funds immediately after you send it.

Pros Cons
Doesn’t require a recipient’s personal or bank details Some apps limit the amount of money you can send at once
Instant transfer speeds Apps may have weekly or monthly caps
Free or inexpensive fees  

Online Payment Tools

 

Similar to mobile transfer apps, online payment systems are quick, easy, and inexpensive. They offer hassle-free alternatives to traditional banking transactions.

Here are a few payment tools that you can use:

  • BOSS Revolution
    You can access BOSS Revolution right from your computer. Aside from sending money directly to someone’s bank account or mobile wallet, it lets you set up other types of international money transfers, including cash pickups and home deliveries.
  • PayPal
    PayPal lets you send money instantly to anywhere in the world. It doesn’t require a membership fee or monthly service fees. If you want to use PayPal, just make sure your recipient has an account with the service. There is no cost to send money in the US using your PayPal Cash or PayPal Cash Plus balance.
  • Skrill
    Skrill lets you send, deposit, and withdraw money for free. It supports up to 40 currencies. Using Skrill money transfer, you can also send funds overseas. You can even send money to someone’s email address if you don’t know their bank details.

Fees: Online payment tools may have zero or inexpensive transaction fees. Whether you’re sending money domestically or internationally, you won’t have to spend as much to transfer funds to another person’s bank account or digital wallet.

Processing time: Like the apps, these online payment systems allow instant cash transfers. Your recipient will see the funds shortly after you send it to them.

Pros Cons
Free or inexpensive fees Might have a limit on money transfers
Instant transfers Some services may have inactivity fees
Unclaimed payments can be canceled Security depends on the online payment tool

Cash

 

You can send a money transfer the traditional way by dropping by the bank and depositing the funds into a bank account. If you want the same level of assurance but with added convenience, you can use self-service ATMs.

Bank of America has self-service kiosks where you can send money to another account. However, these ATMs only let you transfer funds between linked accounts. You won’t be able to send cash to another person’s bank account.

If you want to send cash directly to a bank account, you can drop by BOSS Revolution’s retail partners. From there, you can send cash directly to a bank account across the world.

Fees: Banks may have different policies for self-service ATMs. If you have a Bank of America account, you won’t be charged with a fee for doing an ATM transfer.

Processing time: Most banks can process your transfer funds on the same day, especially if you complete the transaction early in the day. Some banks, however, may need two to three business days to process it.

Pros Cons
Self-service kiosks may accept cash, checks, and debit Some banks impose limits on ATM transfers
Secure compared to many online payment systems Not all ATMs or banks support money transfers
Faster than teller transactions Might take frequent trips to deposit cash

Checks

 

If you’re not in a rush to send money, you can write someone a check. To this day, people still send checks in the mail. However, if you’re transferring a large amount of money, writing a check and handing it over personally is safer than sending it by mail.

Fees: Banks will charge a fee for cashing a check. The fee depends on the bank, but it is usually a small percentage of the check amount. It may range from one to five percent. If a recipient wants the funds to be available immediately, banks, for example, might take $150 from a $500 check.

Processing time: Depending on your bank or the amount of the check, it might take about two business days for a check to clear. The hold time may also depend on your banking activity, as well as your relationship with the bank. If a bank determines unusual account activity, it might choose to hold a check longer.

Since banks have to verify the checks, it usually takes longer for international transactions compared to domestic ones.

Pros Cons
Not as costly as wire transfers Banks and financial institutions charge fees for cashing checks
You can request a stop payment if a check gets lost  
Suitable for large deposits  

Money Orders

 

If you don’t want a personal check to bounce or don’t want to give out personal details, a money order is a good alternative to transfer money. It is as inexpensive as a cashier’s check, but it isn’t always as safe. You can get money orders at banks, convenience stores, credit unions, and even post offices.

A money order is prepaid with cash or other funds. If you get one from a bank, you can pay with the funds from your checking or savings account. You can use debit or credit payments if you’re getting a money order from a retailer.

Fees: The fees depend on where you’re getting a money order. USPS only charges $1.25 for a money order up to $500. If it’s anywhere from $500 to $1,000, they charge $1.75. If you’re getting a money order at a retail location, the fees can reach up to $5.

Take note that cashing a money order may also come with a fee.

Processing time: As money orders don’t require bank accounts, you and your recipient won’t have to wait a day or two for the transaction to be completed. However, if a money order is cashed at a bank instead of the issuer, there can be a delay in processing.

Pros Cons
No need to provide personal details Not suitable for sending large amounts of money
Safer than cash Difficult to track Maximum limit of $1,000
Doesn’t require bank accounts  

 

Key Takeaways

  1. The best way to send money internationally is through mobile apps and online payment systems like BOSS Revolution, PayPal, and Google Pay. 
  2. Mobile apps and online payment systems can transfer money instantly from your bank account or digital wallet to someone else’s bank account or digital wallet instantly.
  3. Transferring money through these modern banking solutions also costs less compared to traditional methods. 
  4. Traditional banking methods, however, are still the most secure way to transfer large amounts of money.

Sources: all third party information obtained from applicable website as of December 10, 2020

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.