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how long a wire transfer takes

How long a wire transfer takes

However, many banks and services like TransferWise, give you other options to pay. For example, a transfer paid for via debit card will be faster than a bank debit (ACH) or even domestic wire transfer on TransferWise.

And, if possible, request your transfer at the beginning of the work week so it has time to arrive and be processed in the recipient’s country before the weekend hits and holds the process up.
In order to make sure your international wire transfer arrives at its destination as quickly as possible, you’ll want to be aware of bank holidays both in your country and in the recipient’s country. Banks may be open in your country, but the recipient’s country may have different bank holidays.

If there was a fraudulent transfer, there’s little hope that the funds can be recovered once a transfer is completed. That’s why wire transfers – both domestic and international – are done in a series of steps that are often purposefully slowed down. And that’s why, in part, once you send an international wire transfer, it can take up to 5 business days, or in some cases even longer, for the funds to be available in the recipient’s account.
In an effort to fight global terrorism and fraud, banks and financial institutions have to follow strict regulations and laws set out by local and international governing bodies. Which means that, despite both you and your bank’s best efforts, there may be times where some payments may need to go through a few extra checks. Unfortunately, if that happens, there’s often little to no information that institutions can legally provide you during that process. Which not only causes confusion and frustration on the customer part, but can significantly slow down speed.
Speaking of fees, there are also generally fees associated with making SWIFT transfers. There will likely be an outgoing international transfer fee levied by your bank, and each of the intermediary banks is entitled to a fee deducted from the transfer amount. The recipient’s bank normally also levies an incoming international transfer fee.
Once the funds arrive at the recipient’s bank, there can still be processing time on that end of the transfer that holds things up. Which means it can take even longer for the transfer amount to actually appear as usable funds in the recipient’s bank account – even if the money’s already there.
How long it will take the bank to process and send out your transfer again depends on the bank and its specific policies. Generally, wire transfers will only be processed on business days if they are requested before the bank’s cut off time. Those cut off times will vary but, below, you can find the international wire cutoff times for some of the most popular US banks.

Some banks and transfer services are just faster than others. There’s not much you can do to change this, but before committing to a service, look for an estimate for how long your transfer will take.

Wondering how long it takes for an international wire to clear? And why it takes so long? You’ve come to the right place.

How long a wire transfer takes

Automated clearing house (ACH) transfers are also different. The money moves from bank to bank, but the transfer takes several days, and the payee won’t know for sure if the funds will arrive. ACH payments can be reversed, but only in limited circumstances.  

The term “wire transfer” is often used for various types of electronic transfers that typically aren’t as instant or as safe as bank wire transfers, as described above. In fact, almost all payments are electronic (even checks get digitized).
Wire transfers are useful because the money moves within one or two days. Within the United States, same-day transfers are possible, and international transfers take an extra day or two.  

However, some electronic payments can be reversed. Thieves like to take advantage of customer confusion by promising to send a wire transfer but actually sending money using a different (reversible) method.  
When you need to send or receive money quickly, a bank transfer or a wire transfer might be the right tool for the job. Wire transfers are immediate, reliable, and safe (as long as you’re not sending money to a thief).
Down payments and other wires to a title company are an attractive target for hackers. When buying a home, always verify where the money is supposed to be wired—especially if you get wire instructions by email. Hackers can alter emails (even from people you’ve been working with for several weeks) and instruct you to send money to the wrong place. To avoid problems, call the recipient to verify the wire instructions.  
It is difficult to bank anonymously within the U.S., which limits thieves’ ability to pull off a scam with a bank wire transfer. You can keep your identity from individuals and businesses to some degree, but law enforcement generally has the ability to find you. Even Swiss banks cooperate with U.S. law enforcement efforts.
Because the money moves quickly, the recipient should not have to wait for funds to clear before claiming or using the money. In other words, there is usually no hold placed on money received via wire transfer. For anybody selling merchandise or services, a wire transfer is safer than a check. Checks can bounce, and it can take several weeks (or more) to find out that a payment was bad.  

With a wire transfer, money goes from one bank to another, and then to the recipient’s account. Inside of the United States, that means each party to a wire transfer needs a bank account. To open an account, federal regulations require that banks verify your identity (among other things) and ask for a physical address where you can be found.  

A wire transfer is an electronic transfer from one bank or credit union to another. Learn about the speed, security, and costs of wiring money.