How to Transfer Money from One Bank to Another

If you need to transfer money from one bank to another, there are several ways to do so. You can send money for free through your bank or a third-party service or pay for a wire transfer. Determining which method is best for you depends on where the money is going, how much you are sending and how quickly you need it moved.

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Transferring Money Using Your Current Bank’s Features

Nearly all banks offer a free online transfer service to send money from your bank to another one. The process for doing so is simple, and all you need is the routing information and account number for the account you’re transferring the money into.

How To Transfer Money Online
  1. Log in to your bank’s website or mobile app.
  2. Locate the transfer feature and select transfer to another bank.
  3. Enter the routing number and account number for the account you are transferring funds into.
  4. Complete the transfer.

The transfer should take about one to two business days, but could take longer if the bank requires additional verification. Note that many banks have a minimum deposit requirement. Transferring enough money out of your account that it drops below the minimum threshold can have a detrimental effect on your personal finances.

Did You Know?
If your bank offers Zelle, transferring money is even easier. The Zelle platform allows you to transfer money directly from your account to another person’s account within minutes, and you only need to know the recipient’s phone number or email address.
Source: Zelle

Transferring Money Using Third-Party Services

Even if your bank does not offer services like these, there are still plenty of ways to transfer money right from your phone or computer. Third-party services allow you to link your bank account to an online platform and send money around the world for low or no charge.

Which of these money transfer services is right for you depends on your scenario. For example, if you’re splitting expenses between friends or roommates, an app like Venmo makes sending money quick and easy. If you run an online business, you might prefer the more sophisticated invoicing that PayPal provides.

For international money transfers, a wire transfer service like MoneyGram or Western Union is a wise choice. These companies provide fast, secure transfers of large sums of money, but they tend to charge higher fees than other services.

Transferring Money Using a Wire Transfer

If you need to transfer a large amount of money quickly, like for the purchase of a home, a wire transfer might be the best option. A wire transfer is an electronic payment service that enables you to send money domestically or internationally and is one of the fastest and most secure ways to transfer funds.

You can wire money directly from your bank or from a wire transfer service like Western Union. Some providers allow you to set up domestic wire transfers online, while others may require you to go to the bank or wire transfer service in person and use cash or your bank account.

To set up the transfer, you’ll typically have to fill out a form or sign up for an account. You will need to provide personal identification such as a driver’s license and the recipient’s bank account information.

While wire transfers are fast and secure, they can also be expensive. The fees for transferring money via wire vary depending on the provider, but you can expect to pay about $25 for a domestic transfer, $45 for an international transfer and $15 to receive a domestic payment.

Transferring Money Internationally

For sending money internationally, you generally have two options: you can transfer the money through your bank or through a third-party service that specializes in sending money securely around the world. Considering factors such as the fees, transfer amount limits and the available countries associated with different providers can help you determine the best way to transfer funds internationally.

Most banks allow for international wire transfers. You can complete these transactions in person or through the online banking portal. There are usually fees associated with international transfers and a limit to how much you can send.

The bank may also require you to provide the SWIFT Code of the recipient’s bank. A SWIFT Code is a unique identification code provided by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) for the completion of international wire transfers.

Pro Tip
If you’re sending an international wire to the following countries, you should only send the money in USD, not the local currency: Colombia, Nigeria, Palestine, Panama, Somalia, Timor-Leste and Venezuela.

You can compare the fees and limitations of your bank’s international wire transfer service with those of third-party providers such as MoneyGram or Western Union. These services might have a greater number of countries available to send to, and some can even provide same-day money transfers for an additional fee.

In addition to charging transfer fees, many third-party services also charge an exchange rate markup for sending money in other currencies. Depending on the provider, the currency and the destination, they could charge you between 1% and 6% of the transfer total when converting to the currency of the recipient.

Making an international transfer with a third-party service is essentially the same as a domestic wire transfer. You might need to make an account or fill out forms, and you’ll need to provide the recipient’s account information.

What To Watch Out for When Transferring Money

Sending money via wire transfer is essentially like sending cash — once the transfer is complete, you probably won’t be able to get your money back. You should always double-check the account information when setting up a transfer to make sure there are no errors.

The difficult process of reversing wire transfers also makes them very popular with scammers. Con artists may make up stories claiming to be a long-lost relative or to have overpaid you for something you’re selling online to get you to wire them money. The Federal Trade Commission recommends that you never wire money to a stranger.

If you find yourself the victim of a money wiring scam, you can contact the wire transfer service and they may be able to reverse the transfer.

Whether you’re sending money via wire transfer or through an online service like Venmo, you should be careful if the money is coming from your savings account. The Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation D places limits on the number of withdrawals allowed from a savings account each month. Transactions over the limit can result in excessive withdrawal fees.

Please seek the advice of a qualified professional before making financial decisions.
Last Modified: June 20, 2022

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