Can You Reverse a Wire Bank Transaction?

A wire bank transaction is definitely a convenience if you need to send money to another person's account or even another account in your own name as fast as possible. However, if you later discover that you made a mistake and want to take back the transaction, you could run into some issues.


What is a Wire Transaction?

A wire bank transaction is a transfer of funds from one bank account to another. The processing bank needs the account number, routing number, bank name, bank address and full name of the person who will receive the money. In some cases you also need a personal identification number in order to send an outgoing transaction. The processing bank charges a fee, which may be as high as $25, for this service. The other party receives the money either instantly or within a couple of days.


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Can You Reverse It?

You cannot reverse a wire bank transaction after it is processed. Once submitted, the money is in the hands and control of the beneficiary of the funds. If you finalize a wire transfer from your own bank account to a relative's account, the funds now belong to the relative. The beneficiary must provide his consent to have the money sent back to the original account.


Required Action

If you need the funds back after processing the wire bank transaction, contact the beneficiary as soon as possible. If the recipient agrees, he must contact his own bank to ask for a reversal back to the originating account. In some cases, the beneficiary may have to submit his own bank wire transfer and pay another fee in order to send the money back. Another option is to ask to receive the funds back from the recipient as a money order or a cashier's check.


Other Considerations

In some cases a bank may be able to stop or interrupt the wire transfer if you change your mind within minutes of submitting the transaction. Ask to speak to the bank's wire transfer department. Also, even if the recipient's bank can process a reversal, it is unlikely that you can receive a refund of your wire transfer fees.