Bank Wire Transfer Procedures

A bank wire is a fairly straight-forward technical process. The user provides personal account information, and once the information is entered in the system, a transaction record is created and the requisite debit value is moved from the sender's account to the bank's batching queue. When the record hits the top of the queue, the record is moved to a third-party clearing account, where it waits for the record to reach to the top of this secondary queue. At that time, the record is moved to the receiver's bank, and consequently credited in the receiver's account.

First Line Element

Typically, each bank provides a forms template to ensure that all the appropriate information is applied accurately. For example, the form would read: Today's Date: (this is self-explanatory) Sending Date: (this is the date that the wire is to be triggered)

This second element is important because each bank operates on what is referred to as a wire batch processing schedule. If a bank's processing rules call for termination of transactions by 1:00 pacific standard time, the user needs to be sure to get the wire done prior to that time, otherwise the wire will post the following day.

Second Elements

Senders Name: Phone Number: E-mail Address:

Third Elements

Senders Address: City: State: Zip:

Fourth Element

At this point the Domestic versus International wire requirements diverge. To successfully complete an offshore wire, the following elements must be included:

Name of Authorized Representative: (the personal who will "manage" the transaction) Pass Codes (the sending bank and the receiving bank must match to credit the receiver's account)

Fifth Element

This element describes the purpose of the wire in the same way that a customs card has to be completed in order to send or receive material in and out of the country. In the particular case of large sums moving offshore, the 2002 Patriot Act mandates that all financial services companies require the formal validation and tracking of these kinds of transactions. These records are also available for audit by the U.S. Treasury Department in support of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) program.


In the case of wire transfers, transaction security is paramount at commercial banks. There have been attempts to break various wire encryption algorithms.