A comprehensive guide to sending wire transfers the easy way.
Technology has made it easier than ever to get money from one place to another. We pay for groceries and more with the click of a button or the tap of a card.
Sometimes we need to send money to pay bills or help out friends and family. That’s not always as simple as writing a check or using a credit card.
You may need to send money overseas or expedite money to someone nearby. You might want to transfer money directly from your bank account to theirs or wire money through a transfer service for a speedy pickup.
No matter your circumstances, you can get your money where it needs to go safely, securely and quickly with a wire transfer.
What you need to send a wire transfer
Before you can send a wire transfer, you will need to know:
- How much money you need to send.
- The name, address, and contact information for the person you are sending money to.
- The recipient’s bank account information, including routing and account numbers.
- How quickly your recipient needs the money.
- Whether you are transferring money directly to a bank account or for cash pickup at a money service branch.
- Your method of payment for the wire transfer — either cash or through your bank account.
I’m ready to apply. Now what do I do?
You have a few options for conducting a wire transfer: bank-to-bank, in a money services office, or online.
Bank-to-bank wire transfers
A bank-to-bank wire transfer sends money directly from your bank account to another bank account. For instance, if you are a Chase customer in the United States, you can send money using a Wire Transfer Request Form. With this form, you fill in your information as well as contact and account details for the recipient of your wire transfer.
If you are sending money internationally, you will need to know the Swift Code or IBAN number of your recipient’s bank. Once the Wire Transfer Request Form is complete, you return it to any Chase branch, pay a fee to send the money and receive a receipt of your wire transfer.
Fees vary from bank to bank, but major US banks charge between $14 and $40 for an outgoing domestic wire transfer and between $35 and $65 for an outgoing international transfer. Banks can also keep your wire transfer information secure, allowing you to make multiple payments if needed.
In-office wire transfer
If the person you’re sending money to needs cash fast, an in-office wire transfer is a good option. Western Union is an in-office money transfer service with locations in 200 territories and countries worldwide. Some offices offer debit card services, but most require you to bring the cash amount you want to wire.
At the office, you complete a form with your and your recipient’s information, including the location of the Western Union office where they will be picking up the money.
Then you hand over your money. If your recipient will be picking up the cash in a currency other than your own, be sure to confirm the exchange rate and final amount that will be received. Also consider the wire transfer fee that you will pay — which with Western Union can be as low at $5.
Finally, you will receive a tracking number, which Western Union calls an MTCN (for “money transfer control number”). The person you are sending money to will need the MTCN to pick up your transfer at the Western Union location you’ve specified. Your tracking number can be used to determine when they’ve received the money.
To send money through PayPal, you will need the email address of the person you are sending money to. (If you are sending money to a business, you may pay a 4% fee.)
To set up a wire transfer with PayPal, you need to create a PayPal account. Then you can attach your bank account, debit card or credit card information to your account. By saving your financial details, you can more easily and quickly send money.
Through PayPal, you can transfer money to another PayPal account or bank account by inputting the receiver’s email address or bank account information. PayPal will email confirmation when the money is sent and also when the money is accepted by the recipient.
What happens next?
After you receive confirmation that your wire transfer is successfully sent, use your tracking number to confirm that it gets to your recipient and they’ve received the money.
If there is any trouble with the wire transfer, you can contact the money transfer service you used — whether a bank, in-office service, or online. Many banks and services offering international wire transfers have 24-hour customer service lines to assist with questions or concerns.
Whether needed often or occasionally, wire transfers are a dependable option to send money internationally — especially when it needs to get there quickly. And when it comes to your money, that’s just the peace of mind you deserve.
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