How long does it take to send an international money transfer | finder.com
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International money transfer duration

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A cash transfer is the quickest way to send money overseas — and the most expensive.

The processing time for a money transfer depends on how you send the money, the provider you choose and where you send the funds. While cash is fast, you can save a lot of money if you’re willing to wait a day.

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Compare and search for a suitable money transfer

Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.867 EUR 4,335 Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.874 EUR
4,370
Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks. Go to site Show details
USD 1 Within an hour USD 0.00 0.862 EUR 4,311 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
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.865 EUR 4,326 No-maximum limit transfers with competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
GBP 1,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.87 EUR 4,352 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
USD 5,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.859 EUR 4,295 Venstar will support you through the entire process of your international transactions, from start to finish. Go to site Show details
USD 50 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.859 EUR 4,295 Simple, zero-margin exchange rates, plus earn loyalty points on sign up, referral and every transaction. Go to site Show details

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The average time it takes to send money overseas

How long does it take for an international money transfer to arrive in your recipient’s bank account or wallet? Well, that depends on a range of factors, but at the top of the list is the bank or money transfer company you choose to handle the transaction. The table below shows the processing times for some popular money transfer providers and banks.

As you can see, transfer times vary from a few minutes to up to five days, with some companies only offering an approximate range rather than a specific number of days, so it’s a little difficult to work out an accurate overall average transfer speed.

ServiceTransfer typeTransfer speed
CurrencyFairOnline transfer1-2-days
TorFXOnline transfer1-day
OFXOnline transfer1-2-days
Travelex International PaymentsOnline transfer1-day
XEOnline transfer2-days
TransferWiseOnline transfer1-2-days
Currency OnlineOnline transfer2-days
Compass Global MarketsOnline transfer1-day
1st ContactOnline transfer2-days
CurrencyFairOnline transfer3-5-days
Western UnionCash transferSame-day
MoneyGramCash transferSame-day
HSBC Multi-Currency AccountBank transfer
Citibank Plus Everyday AccountBank transferSame-day

Banks vs. online transfer companies vs cash transfer providers: which is quickest?

Despite the variances in the services offered by individual providers, we can draw a few important conclusions from this table:

  • Cash transfer companies offer the fastest transfer times, with cash sometimes available for collection by your recipient within minutes. However, cash transfer companies typically do not offer the best exchange rates and also charge high fees.
  • Many online transfer companies can offer faster transfer times than the “Big Four” banks.
  • It pays to shop around to find the quickest transfer processing time for your specific transaction.

What factors affect transfer times?

The table above clearly shows that transfer times can differ substantially depending on the transfer company you choose and the details of your transaction. In fact, there are several factors that affect the speed of an international money transfer including:

  • The money transfer provider you choose
    Processing times for international money transfers vary from one company to the next. Ask each provider for a guide to how long it will take them to transfer money to your chosen destination.
  • Where you are sending the money
    The destination of your transfer will also influence the transaction speed, as the banking structures in place in specific countries may result in longer processing times. Transfers to developed countries are usually much quicker than transfers to developing nations.
  • The type of transfer
    As the table shows, online transfers can take anywhere from one to five business days to process, and the same goes for bank transfers. However, if you’re sending a cash transfer through a company like Western Union, the money will often be available for collection by your recipient within minutes.
  • Inter-bank transfers
    If sending an international transfer to an overseas account held with the same bank, for example from an United States Citibank account to a Citibank account in the UK, you may be able to enjoy faster than normal processing times for bank transfers.
  • The currency used
    Popular global currencies like the Euro and the US Dollar are regularly traded on foreign exchange markets, which means your transfer will typically be able to be completed as quickly as possible. However, there may be an additional wait if you’re transferring a rare or exotic currency.
  • The payment method
    Depending on the money transfer provider, the payment method used to fund the transaction could also affect transfer speed. For example, the time required for a bank transfer to clear will differ from the time required to process a credit card transaction to pay for your transfer.
  • When you lodge your transfer
    It’s important to consider public holidays and weekends in both the sending and receiving country, as this can add extra time to your transaction. It’s also worth pointing out that the transfer provider you choose will most likely have a cut-off time each business day for transfer requests; if you request a transfer after that time, the transaction won’t begin to be processed until the next business day.
  • Special arrangements
    Some providers offer the ability to send urgent transfers if you lodge a special request. However, be warned that you may be charged a high fee and also have to accept a low exchange rate.

What should I do if I need to send an urgent transfer?

Sometimes situations arise where you need to send money overseas as quickly as possible. For example, you may have an outstanding debt that was due to be paid off last week, or you may need to help out a cash-strapped loved one who is stranded on holiday on the other side of the world. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to expedite the transfer.

If you’re sending cash, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram allow processing times of as little as 10 minutes, allowing your recipient to pick up the funds shortly after you initiate the transaction. In other cases, you may be able to ask your money transfer provider about the possibility of speeding up the transfer process. Some providers have systems in place to handle urgent transfers, but choosing this option will usually incur a higher fee and possibly mean you have to accept a lower exchange rate.

Other factors to consider when choosing a money transfer company

Transfer speed is just one of the factors you need to consider when choosing a money transfer provider. You should also compare:

  • Exchange rates
    Compare exchange rates between different providers for the currencies you will transfer regularly. Even a small difference in exchange rates can result in much more money making it into your recipient’s bank account.
  • Transfer fees
    You’ll need to look at a company’s exchange rates in line with the transaction fees it charges. Make sure you’re aware of any hidden fees and charges that apply to your transaction, and remember that some companies offer fee-free transactions when you transfer more than a specific amount.
  • Transfer options
    Does the provider allow you to place forward contracts or limit orders to get a better exchange rate? Can you schedule repeating transfers to save time?
  • Supported currencies
    It’s always a good idea to check exactly which currencies you are able to transfer with any one company. While some banks and providers support 100 currencies or more, others will only provide transfers in a much smaller selection of currencies.
  • Sending and receiving options
    How can you lodge a transfer request: online, through a mobile app, over the phone and/or by visiting a branch? It’s also important to compare how your recipient will receive the money: will it go to their bank account or to their account with the transfer provider, or will it be made available for cash pickup? Customer support. Finally, check out each company’s reputation for providing prompt and helpful customer support. During what hours is support available and how can you access it?

Compare the processing times and features of a range of leading money transfer providers to find a fast and affordable way to send money overseas.

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US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
Logo for XE Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer

Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees.

Logo for WorldRemit International Money Transfers
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

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.

Logo for TransferWise
TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Logo for CurrencyTransfer
CurrencyTransfer

Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
For larger transfers, get no transaction fees and no maximum send limits.

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80 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Default Gravatar
    CheMarch 18, 2019

    One of my friend send 230$ By online transfer from srilankan to my phillipine account, how long it will take to my account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoMarch 18, 2019Staff

      Hi Che,

      Thanks for reaching out! The transfer speed will depend on the money transfer service your sender used. I recommend asking for tracking information from your sender. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  8. Default Gravatar
    TocheskyMarch 5, 2019

    Someone sent me 1500$ from Poland through online transfer to my Nigerian account, how long will it take to get to my account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezMarch 6, 2019Staff

      Hello Tochesky,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Depending on the type of transfer, the transfer speed may vary. Bank transfers and cash transfer may only take the same day to process. Online transfers take 1 – 5 business days.

      Typically, once the money is ready at an agent location, you should receive notification via SMS or email regarding the necessary details and procedure in claiming the funds.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  9. Default Gravatar
    NickFebruary 28, 2019

    My friend has send me 300$ from el salvador to india on 26 th Feb 2019 and in his country that day it was 25 th Feb 2019, so by when it will be credited to my account.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValMarch 3, 2019Staff

      Hi Nick,

      Thank you for leaving a question. This depends on what money transfer your friend has used to send you money and depends on a range of factors as well. Some money transfer providers have the same day transfer speed. Some could take 3-5 business days.

      You may verify what money transfer was used and contact the provider directly to get more information. If they used a bank transfer you may contact your bank directly to see how long it would take for it to be credited.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Val

  10. Default Gravatar
    KarenFebruary 7, 2019

    My uncle send me money from India to Philippines. He used online banking in ICICI bank to my BDO bank account here in the Philippines. So how long does it take to receive money from his to my bank account?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValFebruary 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for leaving a question! It may take from a couple of minutes to 5 business days. You may want to ask your Uncle to contact ICIC directly to check how long it takes for funds to the Philippines.

      Hope this helps

      Regards,
      Val

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
Logo for XE Money Transfer
XE Money Transfer

Offering no maximum and no minimum limit transfers with $0 fees.

Logo for WorldRemit International Money Transfers
WorldRemit International Money Transfers

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.

Logo for TransferWise
TransferWise

Enjoy high maximum transfers into more than 20 currencies while saving up to 90% over local banks.

Logo for CurrencyTransfer
CurrencyTransfer

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