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Bank wire transfers have been around for more than a century, and although they’ve gotten faster, they still typically aren’t instantaneous. Several factors come into play when transferring money through your bank. Understanding why transfers take time and what alternatives are available can help you avoid delays when you’re in a hurry.
At best, expect the following transfer times for domestic and international transfers.
When you send a wire transfer through your bank, you should be provided with an expected delivery date, though this isn’t a guarantee of any sort. Wire transfer time varies based on many factors, some that are in your control and some that aren’t:
When you are in a rush, or you just don’t feel like waiting, there are ways to expedite the speed at which your money is transferred. By default, almost no wire transferred funds are available immediately, so use these alternatives to get your money faster.
Companies like OFX and CurrencyTransfer specialize in foreign currencies, making them some of the most cost-effective transfers. Most offer transfers directly to your recipient’s bank account, often in as little as a day.
Services like WorldRemit allow you to transfer cash for nearly instant pickup. While it’s a fast way to send money, you may pay more in fees than you would with a digital money transfer service.
Let’s say you need to send $1,500 to family in India. Here’s what you might face as far as fees and exchange rates as of October 2, 2020.
|Digital money transfer service||Cash transfer||Wire transfer|
|Fee||$0||$5||$50 + additional correspondent bank fees|
|Exchange rate||1 CAD = 54.94 INR||1 CAD = 54.66 INR||1 CAD = 53.61 INR|
|Transfer speed||1 day||Minutes||2-5 days|
|Amount received||INR 82,410||INR 81,990||INR 80,415|
Using an international money transfer service can often deliver your money instantly, something that wire transfers can almost never achieve. On top of that, you’d end up sending 1,995 less rupees if you send through a wire transfer.
Use our comparison table to see more ways to have your money there faster. Enter the amount you want to send, select your destination and click Calculate.
Using your bank to send money domestically and internationally is hardly ever the cheapest or fastest option. To learn more about how to send money more efficiently, read our dedicated guide with hand-picked options.
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