How Long Does An International Wire Transfer Take? (Detailed Explanation!)

International Wire Transfer

An international wire transfer should take around two business days to reach the bank of the recipient. However, several factors affect the duration of the transfer such as the bank and the destination of the recipient. International bank wire transfers take longer to process, unlike domestic wire transfers which can reach the bank of the recipient in a few hours. 

Sometimes, International wire transfers get delayed because both the domestic Automated Clearing House (ACH) and its foreign equivalent need to process the transfer. In this blog post, we are going to look into how long international wire transfers take to reach the recipient’s account. That’s not all. We’ll also be looking at the three factors that affect the speed of a wire transfer and the wire transfer cut-off times for popular banks in the United States. 

Sending International Wire Transfers

Sending International Wire Transfers

You need to meet with your bankers to tell them where you want to send your payments if you’re willing to send a wire transfer Internationally through the bank. You will be asked to provide some bank details of the recipient, and this can be done electronically or by visiting a branch or directly calling your bank. Normally, the location and bank of the recipient determine the amount you’ll pay for the transfer fee. 

Besides, you’ll enjoy a discounted fee when you process wire transfers through non-bank transfer services. Most non-bank transfer services would offer you a more convenient way of making the transfer without the need of visiting your branch in person. All you’ll have to do is create a functioning account with the company and your account will be activated to transfer money online with your smartphone or personal computer. Once the payment has been made online over the phone, the funds will be transferred to the recipient’s account in no time. Non-bank transfer services also focus on giving their customers flexible options for exchange rates. 

Information Required To Send A Wire Transfer

You need to gather some information about your recipient and their bank before you contact your bank to start a bank international wire transfer to avoid unnecessary delays. You’re required to provide the information below:

1. Full name and home/office address

2. Bank name, address, and active telephone number

3. Bank account number and account type (e.g. checking/savings)

4. Bank ABA routing number (for domestic transfers only)

5. Bank IBAN and BIC/SWIFT codes (for international transfers only)

Besides, it is advisable to provide the details of the currency that you want to transfer and the particular amount to be transferred. If you want to send U.S. dollars to a European country, you need to state it there. You can also be asked to provide the reason for your transfer for security reasons. 

International Wire Transfers Fees

International Wire Transfers Fees

Be ready to pay some tokens as few when you’re sending international wire transfers through your local bank. According to a recent analysis of 40 major financial institutions in the United States, the average outgoing international wire transfer was $45. That’s quite expensive. Don’t forget that your recipient may get charged for receiving an international wire transfer and the cost might be up to $13. Currency conversion in banks is not desirable as these banks take a higher markup than the normal mid-market rate. They will deduct charges as a percentage of the total wire transfer amount. However, you can avoid all of these charges when you make use of non-bank transfer services. There are some wire transfer companies charging the normal mid-market currency conversion rate.  

Factors Affecting The Speed Of A Wire Transfer 

Factors Affecting The Speed Of A Wire Transfer 

Three major factors are affecting the speed of an international wire transfer, and they include; Location of the sender and recipient, transfer time initiation, and the method of bank transfer. Let’s check them out. 

1. Transfer Time Initiation 

Federal Regulations: All the financial institutions in the United States have been told by The Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) to process wire transfers directly to the recipient’s account within one working day. But that’s not to say that different banks and non-bank companies do not have their cut-off times for receiving daily wire transfers. So, you need to know the cut-off times for receiving daily wire transfers in your preferred bank. 

Bank cut-Off Times: You should keep in mind that the bank cut-off times and the time of the day that you initiated the transfer will affect the speed of your wire transfer. Let’s say you initiated a wire transfer at 5:08 PM and your bank’s final cut-off time for wire transfer is 5 PM, then expect that your transfer will be delayed for an extra day. 

Weekends And Holidays: You should not initiate international wire transfers on federal bank holidays or during weekends as these financial institutions will not process your transaction. 

2. Location Of The Sender And The Recipient 

Domestic Wire Transfer: Domestic wire transfers between bank-to-bank in the United States are processed and completed within 24 hours due to EFAA regulations. It is more likely that the transfer would be faster if you’re transferring between accounts at the same financial institutions

International Wire Transfer: Depending on banking systems, disparities in time zone, and foreign currencies, it will take between two to five working days to process a wire transfer between a U.S. bank account and an account in another country (also known as a remittance transfer). 

3. The Method Of Bank Transfer

FedWire for immediate transfer: The FedWire system is utilized for real-time gross settlement (RTGS) when there are large-value or time-sensitive wire transfers between financial institutions in the United States. This method ensures that the wire transfer is processed and completed immediately. 

SWIFT For International Transfer: A large number of banks and other non-bank transfer service providers make use of SWIFT, which is a secure network that thrives in processing international wire transfers.  Anytime there’s an issue with sending money directly through financial institutions, the funds are processed by SWIFT through intermediary or correspondent banks.

International Wire Transfer Cut-off Times For Popular Banks In The United States

All international wire transfers are processed before the wire transfer cut-off time of the financial institution and normally during working/business days. You are advised to initiate a payment during the midweek between Monday to Friday. Concerning wire transfer cut-off times, it normally varies from institution to institution and by type of transfer. Having said that, let’s look into the international wire transfer cut-off times for popular banks in the United States. 

Bank Of America: The wire transfer cut-off time for same-business-day domestic outbound transfers and international outbound transfers the wire transfer cut-off at the Bank of America is 5:00 PM ET. For 3-business-day and next-business-day transfers, the wire transfer cut-off time is 8:00 PM ET. 

Chase Bank: For Personal Banking customers, the wire transfer cut-off time at Chase Bank is 4:00 PM ET, while for Business Banking customers on bank business days, it is 5:00 PM ET. 

Citibank: For same-business-day transfer of funds internationally in Citibank, the wire transfer cut-off time is 5:15 PM ET and 6:00 PM ET for domestic transfers.

Wells Fargo: If you’re able to initiate the wire transfer before the wire transfer cut-off time of 5:00 PM ET at Wells Fargo, both domestic and international wire transfers will be sent the same day.

Goldman Sachs: On business days, the wire transfer cut-off for same-day domestic transfers with Marcus by Goldman Sachs is 4:00 PM ET. 

Cost Of A Wire Transfer At Popular Financial Institutions In The United States 

Financial InstitutionDomestic ReceivingDomestic SendingInternational ReceivingInternational Sending
Chase Bank$15$25–$35$15$40–$50
Bank of America$15$30$16$35–$45
Citibank$0–$15$0–$25$0–$15$0–$35
Wells Fargo$15$30$16$30–$45
Goldman Sachs$0$25UnavailableUnavailable

FAQs

We’ve composed a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help you understand the principles of sending international wire transfers. 

How To Cancel A Wire Transfer?

As soon as you’ve initiated the transfer, the financial institution will start processing the funds. A processed transfer can only be stopped if you quickly notify the bank to halt the transaction before instructions are processed to finish the transfer. In an event that you made mistakes when providing the details of the recipient, the bank might revert or adjust a completed transfer. 

Why Do International Transfers Take So Long?

Banks and other financial institutions have put in place a lot of fraud prevention processes and procedures to reduce the risk of fraudulent activities. Sometimes, the recipient’s bank delays the payment even further after the funds have arrived.

Conclusion

International wire transfers, on average, can take anywhere between two to five working days before the funds get to the recipient’s account. Some factors can affect the duration of the transfer and the wire transfer fee. We’ve listed everything you need to know about international wire transfers. We hope you’re now familiar with how long an international wire transfer takes. 

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Musa D

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