How to transfer money to a bank account

From cheques to Interac e-Transfer to apps, we explore both old and new ways to transfer money to a bank account.

Banks have long since entered the digital age and are creating more ways to connect to your cash. Between websites, Interac e-Transfers and mobile apps, you have more access to your finances than ever. You can even transfer money to a bank account easily from the comfort of your own home.

How to transfer money within the same bank

Estimated time: Less than 1 business day

Fee: None

With today’s technology, it’s easy to make transfers to other accounts within the same bank. Whether you’re transferring money between your own accounts or sending money to someone else at 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 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:

  • Cheque
  • Mobile banking app
  • ATM to your own linked account
  • Third-party mobile payment
  • Bank or wire transfer in person, by phone or online

Information you might need:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s bank account number
  • Transfer amount
  • Memo or message identifying what the funds are for

How to transfer money to other banks

Estimated time: 1-2 business days

Fee required: Usually unless free transfers are included with your bank account

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.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Ways to transfer money to other banks:

  • Cheques
  • Bank or wire transfer in person, by phone or online
  • Mobile banking app
  • Third-party mobile payment
  • Direct deposit
  • Direct payment for bills, mortgage payments and the like

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

Domestic transfers

Estimated time: Immediately up to several business days

Fee required: Sometimes

It’s easy to send money anywhere in the country – in some cases it can even be done for free. Domestic bank transfers usually fall into two categories: transfers within the same bank and transfers to another bank. The process is different depending on the method you use to send money, but here are a few of the most popular.

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

Depending on which institution you bank with, you may be able to make domestic transfers through your mobile banking app. In most cases, you’ll open the app, log on to your account 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:

  • Recipient’s email
  • Recipients phone number
  • Recipient’s bank account number, financial institution number and branch transit number

Interac e-Transfer

One super quick and easy way of transferring money is through email money transfer. Some banks offer email money transfer services designed specifically for customers of that bank alone to use, however many banks 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

Young woman using smartphone in shopping mall

To send an Interac e-transfer, simply login to your online banking service or mobile banking app, navigate to the link for transferring money, select Interac e-Transfer from the options listed, fill in the fields and submit the transfer. You’ll need the following information handy:

  • Your email address
  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s 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.

Cheque

Cheques may represent an old way of transferring money, but financial institutions still typically accept them. All you’ll need is the recipient’s name and the amount you want to transfer. Most cheques can be deposited at any bank in the country, regardless of which institution the sender banks with.

In most cases, there are no fees for sending or receiving a cheque, although you’ll have to purchase cheques if you don’t already have them. Check with your bank account to see whether cheques come with your account for free or look for online office supply businesses that sell cheques (you can usually get less expensive cheques this way).

Cheques can be deposited in person, at an ATM, by mail and via mobile apps that support photo capture features for cheques. The funds won’t be taken from the sender’s account until the cheque is deposited, so it’s important to ensure there’s enough money in your account to avoid bounced cheques or overdraft fees. You can learn more about cheques, including holds, expired cheques and post-dated cheques on the official Payment Canada website.

What bank account details do I need to send a domestic transfer?

You only need minimal details to transfer money to someone else’s bank account. Information you might need includes:

  • Recipient’s bank account number
  • The institution number and branch transit number for your recipient’s bank
  • Recipient’s name as it appears on the account
  • Recipient’s residential address, email address or phone number

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.

Why might I want to send a domestic transfer?

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 checking account into your savings account

Compare bank accounts

Name Product Annual Interest Rate Promotional Interest Rate Minimum Balance Fees
1.10%
2.75%
$0
None
Earn 2.75% interest for 6 months when you open your first Tangerine Savings Account by November 30, 2019 (up to a maximum of $1,000,000).
2.30%
N/A
$0
None
Enjoy free and unlimited daily transactions, no fees and no minimum balance with an EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
1.60%
Up to 2.65%
$0
None
Earn up to 2.65% interest for 4 months when you open a Meridian Business Advantage Plus Savings Account by December 31, 2019.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Compare international money transfer providers

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 about bank transfers

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes
Go to site