How to Wire Money
For reasons ranging from offering financial assistance to a family member to paying the salary of an employee who works abroad, individuals and businesses wire money locally and internationally now and then. There are many methods to wire money domestically and internationally. But not all of them are fast, safe, and cheap. While you can wire money internationally through your physical bank, that method is cumbersome and expensive. What does it mean to wire money, and how best can you do it? Herein are our answers to the most common questions people ask about wire transfers.
What Is a Money Wire Transfer?
A wire transfer is a fast and secure electronic method for sending personal or business money from one account to another, whether locally or internationally. The sender’s account could be with a licensed physical bank or money transfer service provider.
Generally, wire transfers are made possible by a large and complex network of banks, money transfer service agents, and non-banking financial institutions globally. For example, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) performs most international bank wire transfers through its global network. So, whether through a bank or money transfer service provider, whenever you wire money from your location, the recipient’s financial institution receives electronic instructions directly from the financial institution through which you sent it or through one or more financial intermediaries.
Etymologically, the term “wire” was added to the term “transfer” to connect this kind of money transfer method with its original meaning. Formerly, a wire transfer was executed by a telegraphic means, that is, using telegram or “wire”. The use of this term was first known in 1878. Over a hundred and forty years, the execution of wire transfers has developed from the use of telegraphic systems to advanced electronic systems. It has gotten way faster and easier than before with the high rate of innovation and technological advancement in the development of mobile and desktop applications for money transfers.
Discover the Best Ways to Wire Money Internationally
From the era of the use of “wire” many decades ago to the contemporary use of advanced electronic systems for wire transfers, the global financial technology industry has seen tough competition among developers of electronic payment systems. Consumers’ quest for the best ways to send money locally and internationally has fueled this competition. Thankfully, there are now many options for sending money to your business associates, friends, family members, and loved ones home and abroad.
For your enlightenment and expert guidance, we have put together seven of the best ways to transfer money internationally in 2022. Basically, to send money with these options, you need to know the recipient’s account details (name and number), the amount you want to send, and the sending fee, if any. Feel free to use any of the following online money transfer service providers to make international wire transfers:
To make sending money locally and internationally cheap, easy, and fast, TransferGo was created by TransferGo Limited in 2012. Today, over 3.5 million people use this high-speed payment system to wire money to their family members, friends, and business associates in more than 60 countries. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority to render professional, secure, and customer-centric services to all its users. With more than 30 global financial partners, an excellent multilingual website, mobile applications (on the App Store, Google Play, and AppGallery), over 40 currencies, support for Visa and Mastercard cards, no transfer limits, and a lot more, the world is a bit smaller when you wire money internationally with a TransferGo account.
Founded in 2017, Paysend is another way to wire money internationally in 2022. The Paysend Group developed this payment system to bring innovative changes to how people transfer money worldwide. Paysend has over 3.7 million customers across more than 100 countries. As a transparent payment service provider, Paysend displays its exchange rate on its website and mobile applications, leaving you free to decide whether to initiate the transfer. Using its website or mobile applications on the App Store, Google Play, and AppGallery, Paysend account holders can wire money instantly using their bank cards, bank accounts, or mobile phone numbers. In addition, it provides 24/7 customer support and top-notch bank-level security for your financial transactions.
You can use XE, also known as XE Money Transfer, to wire money to more than 130 countries. This payment system is easy, secure, and speedily processes all transfers made to over 130 currencies. It was founded in 1993. It offers its account holders highly profitable rates for bulk transfers; therefore, it is more suitable for business payments. Users can use its website to track the changes in exchange rates or set alerts to receive updates about exchange rates in its mobile applications. One special feature of this wire money service is that it allows users to choose a favourable exchange rate now and agree for the transfer to be made later. Thus, you can book today’s rate for tomorrow’s wire transfer.
Established in the United Kingdom in 2004, TorFX is one of the leading payment systems used by individuals and businesses to make wire transfers around the world. It offers its users personal Account Managers, free money transfers, fast processing of transfers, competitive exchange rates, additional flexible transfer methods, and allows users to make financial transactions over the telephone and online (using TorFX Online). It is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). TorFX is highly rated for its customer service. In addition to its user-friendly online platform, TorFX offers mobile applications for Android and iOS devices.
Registering an account with Wise opens a new world of payment experience for you. This digital wallet has been in operation since 2011 when it was created and launched with the name “TransferWise”. Today, anyone can set up a free Wise account and start sending money worldwide. This payment system is transparent and charges low fees - no subscription charges. Wise users can open multicurrency accounts and hold up to 54 currencies. Regular and migrant workers can use their Wise debit cards for payments in local currencies, receive salary and pension, and wire money recipients in 80 countries. To know more you may want to read our overview of Wise.
Established in 2005, IFX Payments is one of the best ways to wire money internationally in 2022. It provides foreign exchange and financial technology to people who need to wire money to meet personal or business needs. You can register an account with IFX Payments to help your business manage international payroll at a low cost. With its multi-currency ibanq virtual account, the management of business funds in as many as 39 currencies globally can be done in one account. IFX Payments works closely with clients to find suitable solutions to their money transfer challenges.
There are currently 5.7 million users of WorldRemit. They use this payment system to wire money in over 70 different currencies to more than 130 countries. WorldRemit is one of the best ways to wire money internationally. It was established in 2010 to provide cheap, fast, and safe financial services in the line of local and international money transfers. It also provides physical points for cash pickup in many countries. You can download the WorldRemit mobile application on the App Store or get it on Google Play to register an account and start making wire transfers. Find user reviews and more information about WorldRemithere.
Choose an Alternative Wire Transfer Service
The above-mentioned digital wallets are among the best methods to wire money internationally today. However, for some personal reasons, some people would prefer to use alternative money transfer methods even though they could not be the best option in terms of fees and money transfer time today.
International Bank Transfer
Despite their high fees and slow processing time, some people still prefer to use their international banks to wire money abroad. In many cases, this option involves going to your bank to fill and sign an international transfer form manually or online, sending money from your bank account to the recipient’s bank account in a foreign country. You will need to provide some details about you, the receiver, and the amount of money you want to send, and pay a fee. Depending on the amount of the transfer, the bank will charge a fee. As a rule, banks charge lower fees for transferring larger amounts of money, which is why online transfers using modern applications are becoming more and more popular among users
Recall that most bank wire transfers are processed by SWIFT. In that case, the receivers will have to wait for between one to five days before the money arrives. Besides, any incorrect detail provided could delay the transaction.
Here are some useful tips to be prepared for any international bank transfer:
Prepare the necessary information
The following information may be required when you visit your bank in person or send money online at your bank's website:
- Your name, the sender's address and the number of your bank account from which you wish to transfer money.
- The name and details of your beneficiary bank.
- Details of the recipient: their name, address and type of account (current, savings, credit, etc.). Many countries around the world use the IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
- BIC/SWIFT code. You will need this number to identify the beneficiary bank. Even though you may have the name and address of the bank, the BIC/SWIFT code may be different. It is common to see banks with similar names in the system when sending a bank transfer. Sometimes several codes belong to the same bank. This may be due to a change in the legal entity to which the bank is registered. Therefore it is always better to have up-to-date information.
Check the transfer limit
Your bank may set a limit on transfers of certain amounts. For example, in the US there is a limit of $5,000 for online transfers. In Malaysia, individuals are not allowed to transfer more than RM30,000. The legal limits in India are USD 5,000 (Max Limit Per Transaction) or USD 245,000 per year (from 1 April to 31 March each year).
Have your phone or special code card ready
Often for bank transfers, especially if they are made online, your bank may require additional information to protect your account from intruders. If you have SMS notifications activated, the bank might send you a message with a special code. Some banks ask you to enter a special security code when transferring money which can be found on the code card. These cards are usually issued to customers when they open a bank account.
Quick payment systems for the national transfers
Many countries around the world have their own domestic quick-transfer systems. For example, an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer may be a good option for US citizens who send large amounts of money. These are fast transfers that are made using the national electronic financial transactions network. ACH transfers are often cheaper than bank transfers and can rival modern online services in terms of speed. Domestic transfers are usually processed within one day but can take between 1 and 3 working days. International transfers take even longer to process, so this method is more suitable for domestic transfers.
National fast payment systems also exist in European countries. For example, the most popular system in Spain is Bizum. More than 30 national banks are connected to it and more than 19 million users use it. There is no fee for transfers within the system and they are instantaneous.
Be Aware of the Fees
Irrespective of the wire transfer method you intend to use, it is important to pay attention to the applicable fees. Many online money transfer service providers boast of charging little or no fees compared to their counterparts – the banks. But because they all operate in a dynamic business environment, expect their fees to change with time.
That said, the fees you need to inquire about include any fixed fees, those charged for sending or/and receiving the money, and exchange rate mark-ups. For example, in terms of exchange rate mark-ups, many banks charge between 4% to 6% margins, while most online money transfer service providers charge between 0.5% to 2%.
Now, the reason to be aware of the fees is to ascertain whether you can afford them. If the transfer fees are too expensive, you should try an alternative that is good and affordable. We advise you to compare the transfer fees of your wire transfer options before choosing one.
How Long Do International Wire Transfers Take?
Unlike domestic wire transfers that take a few hours to process, it typically requires between one to three working days to process international wire transfers. It could take even longer because of the robust processes involved. Besides, many factors can affect the time it takes for the money to get to the receiver in the specified location. For example, national public holidays can delay wire transfers initiated via an international bank.
What is the Cheapest Way to Wire Money Internationally?
Today, the cheapest way to wire money abroad is to use online money transfer services. They usually charge lower fees than traditional banks. Nonetheless, when we speak about finding cheap methods to wire money, we need to consider other factors that can influence the cost of sending it. The amount of money to be transferred, where the money is to be received, the currencies to be exchanged, and the urgency of the transfer. These are examples of factors that can determine the cost of sending money internationally. So, it is up to the sender to make the needful comparison of available options and decide which one best suits their situation.
Can a Wire Transfer be Cancelled?
Generally, you cannot cancel a wire transfer. This is because the transaction involves a complex and large network of intermediaries. However, it may be possible to cancel a wire transfer if the payment order has not been accepted yet. Again, such cancellation requests are rarely successfully processed.
Pros and Cons of Wire Transfers
Restrictions of Money Transfers to Different Countries
For legal, operational, and other reasons, you practically cannot send money to someone in just any country. You need to find out whether the money transfer service or bank you want to use can send money to that location before initiating the transaction with them. In most cases, the service providers will present a list of supported countries that they cannot send money to on their websites, mobile applications, or notices at their physical branch offices.
How to Send Money From/To Ukraine
Presently, Ukraine is experiencing a sad time. Due to the unstable financial environment and disabled banking infrastructure, many people in Ukraine are facing difficulties with withdrawing money from their banks. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the best digital payment systems you can use to send money from/to Ukraine today.
There are many options for sending money to your friends, relations, and associates in Ukraine. Irrespective of the money transfer service provider you choose, there are a few important steps you need to follow. We have provided the list of the best wire transfer options below:
Many people are suffering from not knowing how to wire money. But in a few minutes, you have learnt the best ways to wire money domestically and internationally. It takes having an account with online money transfer services such as TransferGo, Paysend, XE, TorFX, Wise, IFX, and WorldRemit to start making instant money transfers to your family, friends, and business associates domestically and internationally. These options are better than traditional bank wire transfers because they are cheaper, faster, safer, and more convenient. Give any of them a trial to surprise your loved ones with a wire transfer today.
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