How to transfer money to a bank account

Within the same bank or to another bank, we explore ways to transfer money to a bank account.

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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.

How to transfer money within the same bank

Estimated time: Immediate or less than 1 business day

Fee: None

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)
  • Interac e-Transfer
  • Cheque
  • Bank or wire transfer in person or by phone

Information you might need:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s email address (for Interac e-transfer)
  • Recipient’s bank account number (for bill pays or wire transfer)
  • Transfer amount
  • Memo or message identifying what the funds are for

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  • Zero everyday banking fees
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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 rent
  • 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.

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
  • Interac e-transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Cheques

Information you might need:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s account number
  • Institution, routing and branch number of recipient’s bank
  • Transfer amount
  • Memo or message identifying what the funds are for

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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.

Sending money with this method is easy and often takes less than 24 hours to complete but can often come with hefty fees.

Mobile banking app & online banking portal

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.

Interac e-Transfer

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
  • Scotiabank
  • CIBC
  • RBC
  • BMO
  • Tangerine
  • HSBC
  • First Nations Bank
  • WealthOne 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:

  • Bank transfer
  • Cash
  • Debit card
  • Credit card

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.

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CAD 1 1 - 2 days CAD 45.00 0.749 USD
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Bottom line

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

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