A wire transfer is an electronic transfer that notes money leaving one bank account to be deposited into a different account in a different bank. Wire transfers are sent daily around the world throughout a network of hundreds of banks. Though a wire transfer technically takes only seconds to move, the paperwork and execution may take several days between two institutions. If you are the recipient of the wire transfer, knowing how to track when the funds hit will help reduce risks of the money being lost by an error.
Supply your banking information to the person sending the wire. He will need your bank information including bank name, account number and routing number. Get his as well including the name of his bank, the account number, and addresses of the bank and the sender.
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Agree upon the expected date the wire transfer should "hit" your account. If the sender signs paperwork at five o'clock on Friday, he may have missed the batch transfer since banks do all pending wires at the same time. Your money may not be expected to hit until Monday after three o'clock or even Tuesday.
Requisition intermediary bank information, if applicable. Intermediary banks are often used in international wire transfers and will have an additional SWIFT/BIC code that you will want.
Contact your bank and inform them of the anticipated wire transfer, the date it is expected and the amount. Some bank representatives may make a note and check the account for you and call you when the money has been deposited into the account. Provide your bank with the intermediary bank information if there is one. The bank may confirm that the money hit the intermediary but not yet your account.
Confirm receipt of your transfer with the sender immediately and advise as to any discrepancies in the wire transfer. Simple transpositions can create major discrepancies.
A wire transfer may take a few days to transpire, however if you do not receive the money on the expected date, contact your bank immediately. Wire transfers are done in large batches which mean there may not only be human error in collecting data, but computer errors. The sooner a problem is spotted, the sooner it can be corrected and you will receive your money.