How Long Do Wire Transfers Take?

How Long Do Wire Transfers Take?
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Wire transfers are among the fastest ways to get money to someone in an emergency. As long as you meet your bank's same-day cut-off, you typically can get the transfer to the recipient's account within a few hours. However, you must provide the issuing bank with important details about the recipient's bank.

Transfer Details

In some cases, gathering the necessary details for the transfer takes as long as the transmission itself. To send a transfer, you need to provide your bank with the recipient's name and account number, along with the mailing address and routing number of the receiving bank. The next step is to fill out a wire transfer authorization with the sending bank. There are fees for both outgoing and income processing on the transfer. These fees range from $15 to $65, depending on whether your transfer is domestic or international.

Same-Day Cut-Off

As with other types of banking activities, wire transfers are subject to same-day cut-off restrictions. The exact times vary by company, but somewhere between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time is common. As long as you submit your sending authorization prior to the bank's cut-off, your transfer goes out and normally is received into the other party's bank account within a few hours. If you miss the same-day cut-off, the transfer normally arrives the next day. It can take up to 15 days for international wire transactions to process, but people often receive them sooner. When time is of the essence, a specialty provider of international transfers, such as Western Union, is an alternative.

Wire Transfer Benefits

The primary benefit of wire transfers is getting the money into the hands of the other party quickly. Wire transfers offer other advantages as well, including:

  • Reliability - The extensive documentation requirements and authorization signature for a wire transfer makes it a safe way to send and receive funds.
  • Mobility - A number of banks offer mobile services that allow you to monitor, approve or reject wire transfers through your smartphone.
  • Flexibility - People can receive wire transfers from most banks and credit unions, which is convenient when traveling or in a remote location.