Wire transfers are a convenient way for people to send money to other individuals or companies. These electronic transfers typically make it to the beneficiary within two days, even if the money is sent internationally. They are particularly useful when you need to make a large down payment, pay a bill or send cash to a friend.
What Is a Wire Transfer?
When you’re looking for the fastest way to send money, a wire transfer is likely the way to go. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau defines a wire transfer as any electronic transfer of money from one person or company to another. The process is simple and — depending on the type of transfer you decide to go with — takes just a few minutes to complete.
How to Wire Transfer Money
When you’re ready to transfer money online or in person, there are a few steps you’ll need to follow. The process can go faster if you are prepared.
1. Gather Your Personal Information
If you plan to send money in person, you’ll need a valid form of identification. Online users must have their bank account information and any login information needed to access their account.
2. Decide on the Amount to Send and Include Applicable Fees
If you are completing the transaction in person, bring enough cash to cover the total amount of money you want to send the recipient and any applicable fees. Online users can type in the amount they wish to send and then consent to any required fees.
3. Provide the Recipient’s Information
When visiting a location-based facility, you’ll need the recipient’s full name, address, and telephone number, along with any delivery instructions. This information must be written on the required form.
Bank-to-bank and electronic transfers require additional information, such as a bank account number, a bank transit number or routing number, and an email address or mobile phone number.
Types of Wire Transfers
You can send wire transfers via online services or by going to a service provider in person. The following are the most popular methods of sending wire transfers.
Bank-to-bank transfers: As long as you have your account information and the recipient’s bank account number and wire transfer routing number, you can quickly log in to your bank’s online system and move money as needed.
Electronic payment processors: One of the most popular electronic payment processors that allows you to wire money is PayPal. Additional wire transfer service providers include Venmo, Google Wallet, WePay, and 2Checkout. Once you set up your account and link it to a credit card or bank account, you can begin sending money.
Location-based facilities: Individuals who have cash they need to send can take advantage of location-based wire transfer facilities. Western Union is a widely known wire transfer provider, and many local Walmart stores also offer wire transfers. To send a wire, visit one of these locations in person, fill out the required form, and hand the teller the cash you need to forward.
Alternatives to Wiring Money
If you don’t want to wire money because it’s not convenient for you or you want a different method of safely moving money from your account, you can consider one of the following alternatives. These methods of handling money offer varying levels of ease and security.
Cashier’s check: A cashier’s check eliminates the risk associated with processing a personal check. The bank guarantees the funds, and the fees to utilize this service are generally small. You can either deliver the check in person or mail it to the intended recipient.
Money order: Another secure form of payment is a money order. You can get one by visiting your local post office and bringing the amount you want to send plus the designated fee. Money orders never expire and can even be replaced if lost or stolen. Once you obtain the money order, you must deliver or mail it to the beneficiary.
Mobile apps and services: Mobile apps are easy to install and take seconds to minutes to use. Apps like Venmo enable you to send money electronically, split the cost of dinner with a friend or share a cab fare. Square is a similar app for sending money for business-related purchases that comes with a complimentary credit card reader.