How Long Does It Take For A Wire Transfer (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 24 Hours

Wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds via a network that is administered by hundreds of banks and transfer service agencies across the world. A wire transfer can be made from one bank account to another bank account, or through a transfer of cash at the cash office.

If a person has to send money immediately because of an emergency, he can do it via a wire transfer. One can send the money abroad too. Senders of wire transfers are required to pay for the transaction at the remitting bank and provide the recipient’s name, bank account, and the amount to be transferred. In this way, wire transfer enables one to send electronic funds to bank accounts located anywhere in the world.

How Long Does It Take For A Wire Transfer?

Condition Time
Same financial institution wire transfersless than or equal to 24 hours
Domestic wire transfers1 – 2 days
International wire transfers3 – 5 days

Wire transfer means transferring money from one bank to another. As this transfer happens electronically, wire transfers can be both domestic and international. Mostly, people use wire transfers to send money overseas.

The time taken for wire transfers depends on a lot of factors. Domestic wire transfers happen within a day or two. Bank processes wire transfers only on business days within the cut-off time. The normal time to complete the transfer is 24 working hours, however, one needs to confirm the duration with their respective banks. Nowadays as most banking processes happen online, the process of a wire transfer does not take a very long time.

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Wire transfer instructions pass through the SWIFT network. Intermediary banks may also get involved in the transfer process. The money can take few days to reach the recipient’s bank. Hence, international wire transfers may take up to five working days. In some cases, they may also take some more time.

Why Does It Take This Long For Wire Transfer To Take Place?

Most bank transfers happen through the SWIFT (Society For Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ) network. It is a messaging protocol used essentially to send information from one bank to another. Wire transfer instructions are also sent through SWIFT. This process may not happen directly and thus some intermediary banks may also be involved.

When a bank wires funds, it is not transferring actual cash from one institution to another. Thus, there is no physical transfer of money between banks or financial institutions. Instead, information is passed between banking institutions about the recipient, the bank receiving account number, and the amount to be transferred.

Since wire transfers are electronic, a bank can complete the transaction if it has specific and sufficient information regarding who the recipient is and how much money is to be transferred. The sender of a wire transfer first pays upfront at their bank. After the transfer takes place, the funds are available fairly quickly. The sender’s account is debited and the receiver’s account is credited with the amount.

Error in entering details and holidays are some factors that can affect wire transfer time. If erroneous account numbers or SWIFT codes are entered, this can inadvertently delay the transfer. Bank holidays also tend to delay the wire transfers. Different countries have different bank holidays. This, in addition to weekends, can delay the time it takes for a wire transfer. The number of intermediary banks involved in the transfer and also currency conversions may influence the speed of a wire transfer.

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International wire payments are monitored by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to ensure the money is not being wired to terrorist groups or for money laundering purposes.

Conclusion

Wire transfers provide a fast way of sending and receiving money electronically. Wire transfers use bank-to-bank connections to exchange funds securely, no matter the location. Many big businesses often use wire transfers for transactions that are large, critical, or international.

When a wire transfer is made, typically it will be processed and sent only on business days and before the financial institution’s wire transfer cut-off time. Business days are from Monday to Friday and wire transfer cut-off timings can vary from institution to institution. Thus, one can plan according and send money to people situated at any place in the world, provided that they have a bank account, through wire transfers.

References

  1. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/umem21&section=35
  2. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA17178868&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=00205745&p=AONE&sw=w
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