How Long Does An E-Transfer Take?


E-transfers make it possible for individuals and entities to transfer money between accounts immediately. That said it’s not always instant. Though some e-transfers are completed right after the sender initiates it, most e-transfers, specifically bank-to-bank wire transfers, can take anywhere between 30 minutes to five days.

What Is An E-Transfer?

An e-transfer is the process of transferring funds electronically through a secure network of banks, transfer agencies, and financial systems. There is no movement of physical cash during e-transfers. Instead, information is sent between institutions to complete transactions. All the money is moved between accounts and can only be converted into cash when withdrawn from a bank or ATM.

An e-transfer is a fast, convenient, and secure way to move funds between accounts. It can be done through banks (including online banking), remittance centers, and online financial services. Bank-to-bank e-transfers require that the sender and the recipient have registered bank accounts; though the accounts do not have to be in the same bank. Non-bank e-transfers can be done with an ID or even just a verified email address in the financial service’s database, but both the sender and receiver will need an account with the service.

How Does An E-Transfer Work?

E-transfers traditionally work through an exchange of information via secured networks. These include details about the sender and the recipient (e.g. their names and account numbers) and the amount of money to be transferred.

The sender provides the transfer information to the bank, remittance center, or financial service to which their account belongs. The transfer agency then sends the information to the bank, remittance center, or financial service where the funds will be deposited. Once the money is cleared, the amount is subtracted from the sender’s account and added to the recipient’s account.

What Is The Time Frame For E-Transfers?

Several online banking and financial services can credit and debit transfer amounts instantly. But this mostly occurs only when the transaction happens within the same system, e.g. between accounts in the same bank.

On the other hand, domestic e-transfers that occur between different banks or financial services (such as bank-to-remittance center transfers or financial service-to-bank transfers) can take a little longer, from one to three days.

Moreover, e-transfers done internationally can take up to five or seven days. This is because international e-transfers typically need more clearance, plus it may have to go through several intermediaries before it arrives in the recipient’s destination account.

There are other factors that can affect the speed of e-transfers such as the type of transfer (whether it is an expedited transfer or not) and the network that the bank, remittance center, or financial service operates in. All of these are important aspects to take into account when you’re looking to make an e-transfer, especially if you need to send or receive money quickly due to an emergency.

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