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How long does an international wire transfer take?

Wire transfers are convenient, but using a money transfer service can almost always get your money there faster.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

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.

How long does a wire transfer take?

At best, expect the following transfer times for domestic and international transfers.

  • Domestic wire transfer speed – Within 24 hours is possible, particularly for transfers between accounts at the same bank.
  • International wire transfer speed – Between two and five business days, perhaps longer depending on various factors.

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:

  • Your bank – Smaller banks may take longer for international transfers, as they may not have an International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
  • Receiving bank – If you’re sending a wire transfer to a bank other than your own, the banks have to communicate which can take time.
  • Time of transfer – Sending transfers earlier in the day is better. If you send it at the end of the day, it has to wait until the next business day to start processing. The same goes for the end of the week, or right before a bank holiday.
  • Type of transfer – Some banks offer expedited wire transfer services, but beware of high fees added to your transfer total.

How to have wire transfer funds available immediately

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.

Blue icon representing money transfers Image: Infogram

Digital money transfer services

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.

Picture not described: BlueCoinsCashIcon_Infogram_94x62.png Image: Infogram

Cash transfers

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 crunch the numbers: Sending $1,500 to India

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 May 26, 2020.

Digital money transfer serviceCash transferWire transfer
Fee$0$3.99$25 + additional correspondent bank fees
Exchange rate1 USD = 73.179 INR1 USD = 73.312 INR1 USD = 70.213 INR
Transfer speed1 dayMinutes2-5 days
Amount receivedINR 109,769INR 109,675INR 103,564
Verdict
  • Best value
  • Fastest
  • Slowest and most expensive

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 6,205 less rupees if you send through a wire transfer.

Compare ways to send money

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.

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.84 EUR 4,199 Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.
Go to site Show details
$1 Same day USD 0.00 0.844 EUR 4,222 XE offers fast transfers with no fees and a range of foreign currency tools. Go to site Show details
$0 1 - 2 days USD 1.99 0.831 EUR 4,155 Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Quick, affordable transfers around the world with both express and economy options.
Go to site Show details
$1 1 - 2 days USD 40.00 0.848 EUR
4,207
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
$1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.845 EUR 4,220 Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up. Go to site Show details

Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: Exchange rates change often. Confirm the total cost with the provider before transferring money.

Bottom line

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 that covers both domestic and international transfers.

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87 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JoshJuly 30, 2019

    An international bank transfer was made to my account using Swift code and according to my bank the fund was declined because the senders bank is on sanction due to some unexplained reasons but the sender has receipt that the fund was sent to me ..How long will the sender receive the funds back in his account. Meanwhile I didn’t get the notification from my bank but my bank officer told me the fund was rejected. Mostly I’m confused because there’s receipt by the sender that it was sent.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJuly 31, 2019Staff

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      It all comes down to how good the receiving bank is in contacting the sending bank, to inform them that they are unable to receive the funds. The sender may not be aware that the money is going back to his/her account as usually, this can take anything between 2 days & over a week.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Faye

  2. Default Gravatar
    JoshJuly 27, 2019

    A wire transfer euro payment was sent from germany to me in hong kong, its been 4 days and i haven’t received the money yet. I would like to know how many days it takes for an international transfer to clear from germany to asia. Please advise as its really bothering me

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaJuly 29, 2019Staff

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      There are several factors that influence the time it takes for funds to reach an overseas account. However, a standard timeline for most international transfers is about 1 to 5 business days. If it takes more than five business days, you can check with your bank on what could be causing the delay.

      I hope this information helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  3. Default Gravatar
    DenzJuly 27, 2019

    I would like to know how long will it take to receive money from India to Oman bank transfer

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJuly 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Denz,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Please know that transfer times vary from a few minutes to up to five days. Generally, international bank transfer usually takes 5 working days or longer depending on various circumstances like holiday, verification process of the receiving bank etc.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,
      Faye

  4. Default Gravatar
    AlfonsJune 25, 2019

    I have transferred from hsbc bank uk to Albania £20.000 converted to euros,, this was a online transfer 2 weeks ago and my money its not yet in my account in Albania ! Any idea how long does it take…..? Please let me know as I am getting a bit worried, thank you,,

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      fayemanuelJune 26, 2019Staff

      Hi Alfons,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Money transfers from HSBC to another bank overseas could take from 2 to 5 banking days. There are several factors that affect the time frame for funds to clear, such as, type of payment you are making, the currencies involved in the transfer and the time of day the transfer request is made. Both banks follow their respective funds clearing processes. It is highly suggested to check with either banks directly for a more accurate information.

      Hope this helps.

      Please feel free to contact us at any time if any other questions arise.

      All the best.

      Best Regards,
      Faye

  5. Default Gravatar
    StefanMay 28, 2019

    I was sent money Online from ING BANK Germany to HSBC DUBAI. Now it’s 8 working days and nothing how long does it take?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BritnyMay 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Stefan,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      I’m sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your transfer. The average amount of time it takes for a transfer to go through can vary depending on the provider. I recommend viewing our page on how to track your money transfer. If you still have questions, contact the provider you used to send the transfer and they should be able to give you more insight on the status of your funds.

      https://www.finder.com/money-transfer-tracking

      I hope this helps!
      Britny

  6. Default Gravatar
    JoshuaMay 24, 2019

    Hii my friend transfered 5000 USD from BMO Harris Bank to Bank of China, the day he wired BMO harris people told him it should take 2 hours to reflect on the beneficiery account, the next day after wiring the funds he went bank to the bank to check the status of wire now theyre telling him it may take upto 2 or 3 days , i dont understand why ?!

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaMay 25, 2019Staff

      Hi Joshua,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Generally, The receiving banks often take 2-4 days for funds to be released to customers because they are following what they call the “Three-day good funds model”, which basically means they’ll hold the funds for three days to make sure it’s not a fraudulent transaction. You may also check with the receiving bank if you have a transaction number for the transfer to make sure they did receive the funds and are just waiting for it to clear.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

  7. Default Gravatar
    JoshMay 9, 2019

    I was send money from Union bank of India to Kenya through cheque for how long will I receive the money in my account??

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniMay 9, 2019Staff

      Hi Josh,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      International bank transfer usually takes 5 working days or longer depending on various circumstances like holiday, verification process of the receiving bank etc. You may ask the sender if their union bank in India has completed the money transfer. If says yes, please check this with your Kenyan bank on when you will see your money on your account. Not sure if you were advised that you’re receiving a cheque. I suggest that you check this with your sender on how long you should wait for the cheque to arrive.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  8. Default Gravatar
    AimiApril 26, 2019

    How many days does t take for an usd online transfer to account in malaysia.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoApril 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Aimi,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! Transfer speeds depend on the method used and the money transfer provider. You can find the specific transfer speeds on the part of the page that says “The average time it takes to send money overseas.” It’s important to check the exchange rate beforehand to maximize the funds to be exchanged. Also, read through the transfer process of the provider such as transfer fees, transfer options and transfer speed to set expectations for the receiver. Take note of any reference or tracking numbers should any transaction delays come up during the transit. Hope this helps and feel free to email back if you have questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  9. Default Gravatar
    JamesApril 11, 2019

    One of my friends sent 10,000 south African cash from South Africa through banking to Ethiopia.
    How long it will take to my account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesApril 12, 2019Staff

      Hi James,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Generally, if the transaction was done online it is completed within minutes or 24 hours at the latest. You may need to wait 1-2 days for the money to arrive unless delays or clearing requires more time. Contact the money transfer company to learn more. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  10. Default Gravatar
    JohnApril 11, 2019

    I was sent some money via western union and on my track transfer shows in progress wondering how long it should take for pick up

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      BellaApril 12, 2019Staff

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Western Union allows processing times of as little as 10 minutes, allowing your recipient to pick up the funds shortly after you initiate the transaction.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind regards,
      Bella

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