Can a Wire Transfer Bounce?

Can a Wire Transfer Bounce?
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A wire transfer is a fast, secure way to send money between two parties. You can use this method to send money to someone in the same city, in your state, across the country or internationally. Since the funds must be available before the payment can be sent, a wire transfer can’t bounce or come back “NSF” (Insufficient Funds) in the same way that a check can.


  • Since the funds for a wire transfer must be available at the time of authorization, it isn't possible for the transfer to bounce.

Types of Wire Transfers

There is more than one way to make a wire transfer. The person who wishes to transfer the funds can transfer the money through a bank account. The second method is to transfer the funds through a service, such as Western Union. To transfer money in this manner, the sender will need to know some specific information about where the funds will be deposited. If the wire transfer is being handled through a service, the recipient will pick up the funds at a cash office or outlet. He will not be required to provide any bank account information.

Safe Way to Send Funds

Wire transfers are a safe way to send money to family, friends and business associates. If you’re sending the funds through your bank, the other person will need to provide their bank account information.

You have the option of going into a branch to send a wire transfer or sending one from your online banking application. If you go into a branch, the staff will check to ensure that you have filled out the form correctly and that nothing has been left out. The branch will also confirm you have the funds available to before sending the wire for you. This method greatly reduces the likelihood of wire transfer errors.

If you’re sending the wire from your online banking app, there are measures built into the software to ensure that you have filled out the form correctly as well. You'll get a wire transfer failure message if anything is amiss, and you'll need to check to ensure that all the required information has been typed in correctly. The wire transfer won't send if you don't have enough funds in your account to cover the amount of the wire transfer.

Secure Way to Receive Money

If you are the person waiting to receive a wire transfer, you can rest assured that the funds are taken from the sender’s account immediately once the wire is sent. If the funds are being sent domestically, the money can often be available the same day. For international wire transfers, it can take two to four business days (or longer) for the money to be transferred to the recipient.

If you have more questions about sending or receiving wire transfers, contact your bank or a wire transfer service. They will be able to provide answers about the specific services they provide.