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.
- Financial Web: How a Bank Wire Transfer Works
- Wire transfer - Wikipedia
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Your Mortgage Closing Checklist," Page 2. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "The Ins and Outs of Wire Transfers." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. "Appendix D - Fundamentals of the Funds Transfer Process," Pages 58–63. Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Wire Transfer?" Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Remittance Transfer?" Accessed May 18, 2020.
- American Express. "7 Answers About Wire Transfers Every CFO Should Know." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Capital One. "Checking That Goes Wherever Your Business Takes You." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Fidelity. "Transfer Money/Shares - Frequently Asked Questions." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Chase Bank. "Wire Transfers From Chase." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Teacher's Credit Union. "Wire Transfers." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Headway Capital. "ACH vs. Credit vs. EFT vs. Wire Transfer: Which Should You Use?" Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Don't Bank on That Check." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. "Rules for Banks." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Protect Your Mortgage Closing From Scammers." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Can I Cancel a Money Transfer?" Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Western Union. "When Will My Receiver Get the Money?" Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Western Union. "Send Money in Person." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Nacha. "Same Day ACH: Moving Payments Faster (Phase 1)." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Wells Fargo. "Six Things You May Not Know About the ACH Network." Accessed May 18, 2020.
- Popmoney. "Fees and Limits." Accessed May 18, 2020.
Jodee Redmond is a freelance writer, blogger and editor who has been working full-time for over 15 years. She is a graduate of Centennial College and has worked as a tax consultant and a legal assistant. Her previous experience and boundless curiosity is a distinct advantage when writing about such varied topics as income tax, insurance, commercial property, business, construction, addiction, freelance writing and more.