When someone wires money into your bank account, you normally have access to that money within 24 hours of your bank receiving the funds. However, several factors can cause a delay, such as the time of day that the sender initiates the transfer, the volume of wires received that day and your bank's deposit-posting policies.
Federal Regulation D limits the amount of time that banks can hold different types of deposits, including funds from wire transfers. Electronic transfers, like wired money, are classified as next-day availability items, which means your bank must make the money available on the business day after the funds are received. However, many banks have a cut-off time of 2 p.m., which means that any deposits received after that time are classified as having been received on the next business day. Therefore, under Regulation D, your bank could receive a wire after 2 p.m. on Monday, count it as a Tuesday deposit and make it available on Wednesday.
Federal Reserve Funds Transfer System
Wire transfers in the United States are facilitated by the Federal Reserve Funds Transfer System. Depending on the volume of wires received by the Funds Transfer System on a single day, transfers initiated late in the day may not get processed until the following business day. As a rule, most banks do not guarantee that wire transfer requests received after 3 p.m. will get processed on the same business day. Therefore, if someone sends you a wire after 3 p.m. on Friday, the transfer may go through sometime on Monday. If it arrives at your bank after the cut-off time then you may not get access to the funds until Wednesday, under Regulation CC rules.
Issues or Errors
Banks have to record detailed information related to wire transfers, such as personal information that identifies the sender as well as the name, account number, bank name and bank routing number of the recipient. The sending bank uses that information to send the wire to the Federal Reserve, and the Federal Reserve passes on the details and the money to the receiving bank. Any errors or omissions can cause the receiving bank to reject the transfer, in which case the sending bank must contact the person who initiated the transfer to verify the information before resending it. Therefore, an error could cause a delay of several days.
While federal law does not require banks to make funds from wires available until the following business day, most banks make wired funds immediately available for use. Banks use wire transfers to send and receive money related to mortgage closings, and therefore stand to gain from facilitating the processing of wired funds in an efficient manner. However, if you need the funds in a hurry, then you should check with your bank on its deposit-posting policy and ensure that the sender has your correct account information.