Even though some people consider them old-fashioned, a wire transfer is one of the most efficient and secure means of sending someone money. All wire transfers in the United States go through the Federal Reserve, and you can use the Federal Reserve wire transfer tracking system to ensure your recipient receives their money promptly. However, there are different methods for how to track a wire transfer as a receiver or a sender. On top of that is another question: how long does it take to trace a wire transfer?
How to Track Money Transfer Through the Federal Reserve
A few different ways are available for wire transfer tracking online. The first and most straightforward method is tracking it through the Federal Reserve, which oversees all wire transfers. When you fill out all of the paperwork and submit it for your wire transfer, the issuing financial institution should give you a receipt. Look for the federal tracking number on the receipt, sometimes called the "Federal Number" or "Fed Number."
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You can track wire transfers with fed reference numbers by visiting the Federal Reserve FedWire website, which handles all wire transfers. However, if you're more interested in an in-person conversation, you can also call them to speak with a live representative. However, you should still visit the website that the experts at the Federal Reserve provide to find the phone number for your local office. Another question you might have is, "How long does it take to trace a wire transfer?" Depending on the originating institution, your federal tracking number for your wire transfer should be in the system by the close of business on the day you sent it or the morning of the next business day.
Consider also: How to Obtain a Copy of a Wire Transfer
Tracking a Wire Transfer as a Recipient
If someone is supposed to send you money, you'll use the same steps above to track it if you have the federal tracking number. As long as you have that, the FedWire website will give you basic information about the wire transfer, including its status. If you don't have that because the sender didn't give it to you, it is a bit trickier to find the tracking information, though not impossible. You'll have the most luck by calling and speaking to a live person. You'll want to contact your local Federal Reserve branch and explain the situation to the person you are talking with.
You should give them as much information as possible, including the sender's name, address, other identifying information, where they sent it and your information. You may want to gather all of this data before calling and have it ready. At the very least, the person on the other end should be able to tell you whether a transfer is pending to your account.
Consider also: What Is a Wire Routing Number?
Track a Bank Wire Transfer
Even though wires go through the Federal Reserve, you can also potentially use a bank's internal tracking services to keep an eye on your transfer if you send them from your bank. When you make the wire transfer, you can ask the representative helping you about how to track it. Ensure that you get a receipt that includes both the federal number and any bank tracking number, but make sure that you keep good track of this receipt because those details could be terrible in the wrong hands.
Every bank is different, but typically, you'll visit their website, enter the tracking number and then be able to see the status of your wire transfer. For example, if your bank offers it, the easiest method for wire transfer tracking is to view your transfer history in their mobile app. For example, if you bank with Chase, all you have to do is log in to your online account and visit their wire transfers page to track a wire transfer; Chase representatives can help you if you can't find that information.
Consider also: How to Transfer Money From Another Bank Account to a Chase Account