Bank Wire Transfer Instructions

A bank wire transfer occurs when you send or receive money electronically from one bank account to another bank account of third-party bank account, meaning you are not transferring the money to an account that has your name on it. A wire transfer may be involved when you are closing on the purchase of a piece of real estate or in a business situation, where you are paying a supplier or vendor for products received or services rendered. Using a bank wire transfer allows you to send or receive the money faster, which ultimately allows you to speed up the completion of the transaction.

To Receive

Identify the wire transfer routing number for your account. You can obtain this number by contacting your bank. If you are using your checking account, you can also pull this number from your checks. The wire transfer number is also known as the bank routing number, and is the first set of numbers on the bottom of your checks. The routing number on your checks is set apart from the second set of numbers on the bottom of the check, which is your bank account number.

Write down the bank name, address, city and state of the bank. You can identify this information from your bank checks. Some banks have one main address they use for wire transfers.

Identify the bank account number. You can pull this number from your bank statement or from your checks. It is the second set of numbers that run along the bottom of your checks.

List the name as it appears on the account. This may be your full name or the name of the business on a business account.

Send this information to the person sending you the money. They will contact their bank with this information in order to complete the wire transfer.

To Send

Obtain the bank account information for the recipient of the transfer. This includes the bank wire transfer number, name of the bank, city and state where the bank is, the bank account number and the name as it appears on the account.

Contact your bank or visit a bank branch location. Most wire transfers have to be initiated in person because a signature and picture identification is required. Call your bank or visit a local branch to speak with a bank representative.

Provide the wire transfer information, including the amount you want to transfer.

Sign the agreement form and pay the wire transfer fee. Some banks may give you the option to deduct this from your account.


  • While these are general instructions for completing or receiving a wire transfer, the banks involved in the transactions may have slightly different requirements or steps. It is best to contact the banks to verify the process and information you need to collect.

    International bank wire transfers may require additional or different information, such as SWIFT Bank Identifier Code and an International Routing Code , which are numbers used by foreign banking institutions.