A wire transfer involves the electronic transmission of money between financial institutions or money transmittal businesses. Typically, funds from an incoming domestic wire should appear in your checking account on the same day the transfer occurs. However, wire processing rules vary between banks and a number of factors can delay the transfer.
Depending on the financial institution, wire transfers sent within the United States can be made available as soon as the same day the wire was sent.
What Is Fedwire?
How Transfers Work
In order to receive wire transfers, your bank must have a federal wire routing number. Some small rural banks and credit unions do not have routing numbers and instead partner with larger institutions that act as intermediaries. In such instances, the intermediary receives the incoming wire before passing the money on to your bank as an automated clearinghouse electronic item. The involvement of an intermediary can add a day to the entire wire transfer process. Additionally, since an extra party is involved there is more chance of an error causing a further delay.
Foreign Wire Transfers
In order to send and receive international wire transfers a bank must have an International Bank Account Number, or IBAN. While multi-national banks have IBANs, many smaller rural banks do not. Such banks use mutli-national banks as intermediaries when sending international wires. The involvement of one or more intermediaries on either side of the transaction may cause the process to take a few days. Also, time differences between nations can cause further delays.
Certain nations are regarded as slow pay countries and wires from these nations can take several weeks to process. Additionally, incoming wires from some economically sanctioned nations are subject to scrutiny, delay or even rejection.