All you need to know about wire transfers

Wire transfers are charged a small fee, but they are quick, effective and fairly easy to send money to someone. That makes it worth the extra charge.
All you need to know about wire transfers
Ever been in a situation where you needed to send money to someone and found it difficult to do so? If you had thought of doing a wire transfer, you would have been able to send it right away.
In this article

Wire transfers are electronic means of sending money to any part of the world via banks or other money transfer service providers like Western Union. They are one of the easiest and fastest ways to send money both domestically and internationally, especially if you want to send money to your family overseas. 

How does a wire transfer work?

The “wire” in wire transfer stands for way back when banks used to send and receive money through telegraph wires. You do not physically send money from one location to another. You can transfer funds electronically to any person anywhere in the world provided both transacting parties have access to this service. 

So how does it work? This depends on whether you are facilitating a bank transfer or a non-bank transfer. In the case of a bank wire transfer, the money gets deposited into the account of the receiver. The money gets deducted from your bank account. 

If you are making a non-bank wire, you may not have to give the receiver’s bank account number. All you have to give is their name, the destination and the amount you want to transfer. Once you pay the money to the service provider, the transfer will be made. 

Can I send money overseas through wire transfers? 

Yes, you can. There are primarily two types of wire transfers, domestic and international. Most banks and service providers offer both services in various currencies. However, the cost involved will be different depending on whether you are sending money locally or overseas. 

How much do wire transfers cost?

The cost associated with wire transfers depends on whether it is domestic or international and whether it is sent via a bank or a service provider. They tend to be a tad bit expensive, but given that they are easy and effective, you may find them worth it. 

If you are sending money domestically through a bank, it costs around $25 per transfer to send it anywhere within the USA. Overseas wire transfers cost a lot more, around $43 per transaction. Apart from this, you will most likely have to pay a currency exchange fee. Additionally, banks may also charge the receiver a fee of about $10 to get the money. 

If you are planning on sending money through a non-bank entity, the fee will depend on a number of factors including: 

  • The amount you want to send.
  • The destination.
  • Whether you are sending it online or manually.
  • Specific delivery instructions.

How long will my wire transfer take to be completed?

This again depends on whether you are sending money to a domestic destination or an international one. When you send money, it does not go directly from your bank into the recipient’s bank account. A wire processing system has to process your request in real time and approve the payment. 

Domestic wire transfers usually get done on the same day, mostly within a few hours after you make the payment. But in the case of international transfers, this may take a few days since the process involves the domestic clearing house as well as the other country’s clearing process. 

Will I lose my money? How safe are wire transfers?

Wire transfers are completely safe. You cannot lose your money provided you give the bank or service provider all the correct details. Once your wire is confirmed, it cannot be canceled. But in case you are sending money overseas, you can cancel your wire within thirty minutes provided it has not been deposited by then. 

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Johnathan James

With over 11 years of experience, Johnathan started his writing career as a copywriter. Coming from a finance and management background, he excels in covering financial topics. When he's not spurning out fintech content, you will find him playing football, basketball and racing.


This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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