Banks have long since entered the digital age and are creating more ways to connect to your cash. Between Interac e-Transfers and mobile apps, you have more access to your finances than ever. Here’s how you can transfer money to any bank account easily from the comfort of your own home.
Estimated time: Immediate or less than 1 business day
Whether you’re transferring money between your own accounts or sending money to someone else with the same bank, it’s easy – and usually free – to make transfers to other accounts within the same bank. The transaction is made on the bank’s internal network and servers.
Since transfers within the same bank don’t require much by way of external resources, they’re usually free (or low cost) and quick. Transactions are usually completed immediately or overnight — but in the meantime, your account will be debited for the amount you send and the recipient will be credited for that amount.
Ways to make transfers within the same bank:
Mobile banking app
Online banking portal (using your bank’s bill pay feature)
How to transfer money to other banks (domestic transfers)
Estimated time: Immediately – 2 business days
Fee: None or usually a small fee
It’s easy to send money anywhere in the country – in some cases it can even be done for free. There are plenty of reasons why you might need to transfer money to another Canadian bank account. These include:
Transferring money to a friend or loved one
Buying goods or services
Paying a bill
Paying off your credit card
Transferring funds from your chequing account into your savings account at another instituiton
Transferring money to other banks is still straightforward, but the process is a little different than making transfers within the same bank. This is because the transaction is completed on external networks and needs to go through additional security measures. Click on the plus sign below if you want to learn more about that process.
Most banks in Canada use the CDX, which is owned by CDS Clearing and Depository Services Inc. and has been clearing electronic bank transfers since 2003. The CDSX provides a quick and secure way to transfer money. Here’s how it works:
Initiation. Sender initiates a direct deposit or direct payment transaction with their bank and the bank enters the transaction by transmitting a file to CDSX or by directly accessing CDSX.
Notifying parties of their payment obligations. The CDSX then communicates the sending and receiving bank’s obligations to each bank respectively. Bank personnel settle these obligations at the end of the day by transferring payments to the CDS via a Large-Value Transfer System (LVTS). Part of the CDSX process is that the CDS holds onto securities owned by banks in restricted-access accounts while transfers are being made and uses these securities as collateral to ensure that banks transmit payments as promised.
Settlement and release of funds. Once the CDS has received payment from the sending bank, it settles the transaction and releases the securities being held as collateral. The receiving bank can then accept the transferred funds.
Completion. Receiving institutions complete the transaction and credit the recipient’s account.
While this may sound more complicated than making a transfer within the same bank, the transaction isn’t much different from the sender’s perspective. It may, however, take a little longer.
Although the exact process for sending a domestic transfer will vary slightly from one bank to the next, you’ll typically have the option to either send a one-time transfer or save your recipient’s details for future transactions.
Ways to transfer money to other banks:
Online banking portal (using your bank’s bill pay feature)
Bank or wire transfer in person, by phone or online
Mobile banking app
Information you might need:
Recipient’s account number
Institution, routing and branch number of recipient’s bank
Memo or message identifying what the funds are for
As you can see, the methods for transferring money within the same bank and transferring money to another bank in Canada are relatively the same. Here’s a breakdown of how some of these more popular methods work.
Bank or wire transfer
In the past, bank or wire transfers were among the most common ways of sending money domestically, although email transfers such as Interac e-Transfer have since become very popular. Wire transfers can be done at a branch, by phone or online and will generally require the recipient’s name and address as well as his/her bank account number, financial institution number and branch transit number.
You can make transfers through your mobile banking app or through your online banking portal. In most cases, you’ll open the app on your phone or log on to your account online and select the “transfers” or “bill pay” option. From there, you’ll select the type of payment you’d like to make and enter all the necessary information. Depending on the method you use, here’s what you might need for the initial setup: recipient’s name, bank account number, financial institution number and branch transit number.
A popular, super quick and easy way of transferring money is through email money transfer. Most banks and credit unions in Canada have partnered with Interac to offer Interac e-Transfers, which allows customers from the same or different banks within Canada to send money to each other’s accounts. Currently, there are over 250 financial institutions in Canada that offer Interac e-Transfers, including:
TD Canada Trust
First Nations Bank
Vancity Credit Union
Coast Capital Savings
Meridian Credit Union
Servus Credit Union Ltd.
Assiniboine Credit Union
Steinbach Credit Union
To send an Interac e-transfer simply:
1. Login to your online banking service or mobile banking app
2. Navigate to the link for transferring money
3. Select Interac e-Transfer from the options listed
4. Fill in the fields and select “send”
Unlike a regular transfer or bill pay, you’ll only need the following information handy: recipient’s name, email address or phone number. Recipients can set up Autodeposit so that funds will be deposited immediately without needing to be manually accepted as per usual. In addition to sending funds with Interac e-Transfer, you can also request funds. Once the request is fulfilled and the sender has the funds, he or she will receive a notification to go ahead and initiate the transfer.
International money transfers
International money transfers are a bit more complicated than sending money within the country, but luckily you can use a number of different methods. Most of these methods will charge a fee to either the sender or recipient, or sometimes both. The time frame for international money transfers can also vary depending on which method you use.
International wire transfer
International wire transfers are not much different than domestic transfers, but they may require a bit more information. To get started, visit your local bank branch and ask for a wire transfer request form. In order to fill it out, you’ll most likely need:
Your bank account and contact information
Amount to be transferred
The recipient’s contact information
Swift code or IBAN number of their bank
Recipient’s bank account, institution and routing or transit numbers
Once the form is complete, you can return it to your bank, pay the fee and your money will be on its way.
International bank draft
International bank drafts are essentially more secure cheques that are accepted in most countries around the globe. With a standard cheque, there’s no guarantee that there’s enough money in the sender’s account to complete the transaction, as the funds aren’t withdrawn until the cheque clears.
With bank drafts, the sender pays for the transfer up front and the funds are withdrawn from the bank’s account, making it a much more secure way to send money. While it’s easy to send an international bank draft, there’s almost always a fee and it can take weeks to complete the transaction. You can get started by visiting your local branch and asking to send an international bank draft. All you’ll need is the amount to be sent and a way to fund the transfer, along with the recipient’s name and address.
International money transfer service
There are a slew of international money transfer services out there that are specifically designed to help you send money across the globe. These services can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few days for your recipient to get the funds. The transfer speed usually depends on how you’re funding the transaction, your recipient’s location and how they plan on receiving the money.
Depending on the service you choose, transfers can usually be funded by:
And then there are multiple ways for the recipient to access the money you send, including:
Directly to their bank account
Directly to their mobile wallet
For pickup at an agent location
Fees will vary by the money transfer specialist you choose and usually depend on where the money is being sent, the currency you’re sending, how the transfer is funded and how the recipient will receive the money.
Compare international money transfer services
Thanks to new technology and innovative services, you can easily transfer money between your own bank accounts, reimburse a friend or pay your bills in just a few simple steps. While transferring money within the same bank is usually fast and free, sending money to an international account comes with varied fees and can take days to reach your recipient — depending on the method you use. Check out our guide to different types of bank accounts to find the type of account that will best meet your transfer, savings and spending needs.
Frequently asked questions
Transfer times vary depending on the service, destination, currency, funding method and many other factors. For example, TransferWise money transfers can be instant if you pay with a debit or credit card, but can take around 3 days if you fund the transaction through a bank transfer.
Sometimes. Some services will allow you to set up recurring transfers, whereas others will require you to make a new transaction each time you want to send money.
Yes. You can use the“payments and transfers” feature of your online banking account to transfer funds between your chequing and savings accounts or pay off your credit card, among other options.
Yes. However, limits vary depending on which service you use. Sometimes, you may send a larger amount, but a hold will be placed on the funds for several days, a week or ever longer before the recipient can access the money. This is done for security purposes. In order to avoid such delays, talk to a representative from your bank to find out what limits are enforced as well as when and why a hold may be placed on transferred funds.
In most cases, you won’t be able to cancel or change a transfer once it has been sent. In fact, according to the detailed rules of the CDS, Canada’s clearinghouse for electronic money transfers, once your bank has effectively transferred funds to the CDS via the Large-Value Transfer System, the money cannot be revoked. This allows the CDS to settle the transfer without interference so that the receiving bank can accept it and pass it on to the recipient.
Some transfer service providers and banks may have a small window of time before funds have actually been claimed by the CDS to settle the transfer, during which you can cancel or change your request. It’s therefore been important to check the policy before you make your transfer. Be sure to hang on to any receipts or confirmation documents/emails you receive for the transfer in case you need to reference this information while attempting to cancel.
In most cases, you won’t need to pay any fees when you send a domestic transfer, as many banks have accounts that allow you to send free e-transfers (either an unlimited number of times or up to a certain number of transactions). In other cases, the per-transfer fee is fairly small – typically less that several dollars. Be sure to check with your bank for confirmation before submitting a transfer request to avoid being surprised by unexpected fees.
Tim Falk is a freelance writer for Finder, writing across a diverse range of topics. Over the course of his 15-year writing career, Tim has reported on everything from travel and personal finance to pets and TV soap operas. When he’s not staring at his computer, you can usually find him exploring the great outdoors.
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