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How Does A Bank Wire Transfer Work?

8/2/2021

A bank wire transfer is a fast, reliable, and secure way to send money to someone. To start a wire transfer, you simply go to your bank and request a transfer from your account to a recipient’s account. Then, the bank processes the request and the recipient receives the money within a couple of hours to a few days. Luckily, you can easily do this from a bank’s website or mobile app, saving you the need to visit a physical location. 

But how exactly does a bank wire transfer work? To understand the process, we first have to know what a wire transfer is.

What Is A Wire Transfer?

A wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds between individuals or entities via a network of banks and transfer agencies. It is an efficient way to safely move money to people around the world. 

There is no physical transfer of money done in wire transfers. Instead, information about the sender, the recipient, and the amount to be transferred is sent across different financial institutions until a specified amount of money is subtracted from the sender’s account and added to the recipient’s account.

Wire transfers refer to both bank and non-bank wire transfers. Bank wire transfers involve sending money between two registered bank accounts. On the other hand, non-bank wire transfers can be processed via remittance centers or money transfer services.

How Does A Bank Wire Transfer Work?

Bank wire transfers are wire transfers that are processed bank-to-bank via a secure network. These transactions can only be done between registered bank accounts, but they can be processed regardless of the banks’ location. That means bank wire transfers are possible between different banks, whether local or international.

To initiate a wire transfer, the sender goes to a bank, fills out wire transfer forms (details of the sender, recipient, and money), and submits these to a teller for processing. You can also make wire transfers online if your bank has an online banking system.

Typically, banks debit the amount directly from the sender’s bank account. But you can also deposit the money to be wired. But keep in mind that there are likely to be transfer fees, so make sure it’s clear how much of the money you’re sending will be lost to cover the fees.

The bank sends the transfer details to the recipient’s bank through a system such as FedWire or SWIFT to clear the funds. Once the money is cleared, the recipient’s bank receives the details and deposits the amount to the recipient’s bank account. Some banks are unable to transact directly with another bank, especially in international wire transfers. When this happens, an intermediary bank acts as a bridge between the sender’s bank and the recipient’s bank to securely wire funds.

Domestic bank wire transfers usually take 30 minutes to 24 hours, and international bank wire transfers typically take two to five days. The speed relies on several factors, such as the time of the transaction, type of wire transfer (if it’s expedited), and bank locations. All these factors can also impact the amount of fees your transfer will carry.

Summary

Bank wire transfers are typically easy to initiate and most banks now offer the option to start a wire transfer through the website or app. But the downside is that oftentimes the transfer can take a number of days to process, especially when sending money internationally. If you’re looking for a way to make instant transfers around the world, then the instant transfer service we offer here at Cashero may be just what you need. We offer free, instant transfers between Cashero users in more than 160 countries.

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