How long does it take to receive 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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Min. Transfer Amount Transfer Speed Online Transfer Fee Rate Amount Received Description CTA Details
USD 0 3 - 5 days USD 0.00 0.873 EUR 4,363 Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees. Go to site Show details
USD 1,000 1 day USD 0.00 0.872 EUR 4,360 No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies. Go to site Show details
USD 1 1 - 2 days USD 7.00 0.873 EUR
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USD 1 Within an hour USD 3.99 0.871 EUR 4,352 Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
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GBP 5,000 1 - 2 days USD 0.00 0.87 EUR 4,352 Get live quotes on exchange rates and take advantage of no transaction fees with no limits on transfers. 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 transfer3-5-days
TorFXOnline transfer1-day
OFXOnline transfer1-2-days
World FirstOnline transfer1-day
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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54 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MayaDecember 22, 2018

    My friend have sent money through bank in Israel 2000$ last week. How long will it take to be in my bank account. It says only a week. He went back to the bank to ensure and made a process to deposit the money to swiss bank to the philippine bank. Is it possible that way?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Maya,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      If you have done a bank to bank transfer, it should take about three to five business days for your money to arrive. If you’re asking if it is possible to transfer money from a Swiss bank to a Philippine bank, that would depend on your bank. Usually, it is possible. For this reason, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with the bank to obtain a more personalized advice.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  2. Default Gravatar
    SonuDecember 14, 2018

    My friend has sent me $280 from US by using google pay and i am staying in Bangalore, India.
    How much time it will take to the amount to get credited to my account?

    • finder Customer Care
      CharisseDecember 17, 2018Staff

      Hi Sonu,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Transfer duration through google pay vary depending on the type of payment method you use.

      Receiving money with a debit card and Google pay are usually the fastest options. If someone sent money to you and your debit card or Google Pay balance is set as your default payment method, the transfer may be completed within 24 hours. However, in some cases, you may not see the charge or credit on your account for up to 24 hours.

      On the other hand, money transferred to bank accounts take longer. If someone sent it to your bank account and it is set as your default payment method, it usually takes 2-3 business days for money to be received.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Charisse

  3. Default Gravatar
    EljohnnyDecember 5, 2018

    Hello finder. I send someone money from my bank in Belize through wire transfer to a beneficiary bank in USA I later discovered that the person was a fraud I wanted my money back but bank say that the transfer was successful but can my bank get back my money for me please i need urgent answer.

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoDecember 11, 2018Staff

      Hi Eljhonny,

      Thanks for getting back! Sorry to hear about what happened. Unfortunately, if a transfer is successful this cannot be retracted. It would be best to contact your bank and how they can help you out and if you will go further, can also report this to the authorities. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  4. Default Gravatar
    MarvisNovember 26, 2018

    Someone transfer me €7000 from Germany on Friday 23th.I haven’t been able to receive the money here over in Dubai ..please reply why the delay..

    • finder Customer Care
      johnbasanesNovember 27, 2018Staff

      Hi Mavis,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Depending on the money transfer company that you used, there may be additional verification that are being done prior to the funds being released. If you have a tracking number, you may visit the website of the money transfer company to check the status of the transfer. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  5. Default Gravatar
    DinzuNovember 25, 2018

    Someone sent me money from South Africa to UK, and I haven’t received it yet, it’s been 8 days now and the money has been deducted from the sender account, why, what’s happening, am I ever going to receive it??

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Dinzu,

      Thanks for reaching out! An international money transfer usually takes 7 days minimum but it ultimately depends on the transfer method and transfer service used to process this. It would be best to ask your sender for any tracking information that will help you track the transfer. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    VickNovember 24, 2018

    Can the bank know the correct account name with the account number?

    At banks if you input a correct account name and a wrong account number, will the bank notice it?

    • finder Customer Care
      JoshuaDecember 4, 2018Staff

      Hi Vick,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The bank has records of the people who have an account with them. For this reason, they know the account name of a particular account number.

      Yes, they will notice it. When this happens, you’ll be asked to give the correct account number and if not, there’s a chance that your transaction will not go through. Each bank may differ as well on how they handle situations like this. For this reason, it would be a good idea to directly get in touch with your bank.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  7. Default Gravatar
    VictorNovember 23, 2018

    Is it possible to have a successful transaction with correct account name and a wrong account number??

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloNovember 24, 2018

      Hi Victor,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      A transaction will not be successful with the wrong account number. Most of the time it will bounce to the sender if there is no account number associated to the recepient. Please make sure you have the correct information before sending money.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  8. Default Gravatar
    HumbleNovember 19, 2018

    Someone sent me money from Romania to Ghana Wednesday being 14/11/2018 but I have received the money even now

    • Default Gravatar
      joelmarceloNovember 20, 2018

      Hi Humble,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      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. I strongly suggest that you follow up with the sender and ask for a reference number before calling your bank so you can follow up on what could be causing the delay.

      Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)

      Cheers,
      Joel

  9. Default Gravatar
    PsalmsNovember 6, 2018

    Someone sent money to my Citibank in the US from Singapore on the 1 November 2018 and it’s 4 working days now I haven’t receive the money…please what’s wrong?

    • finder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoNovember 7, 2018Staff

      Hi Psalms,

      Thanks for reaching out! The transfer speed depends on the transfer option your sender used to transfer funds to you. It would be best to follow up with the sender and call your bank to ask how long they process an international money transfer.

      Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  10. Default Gravatar
    AhmedsalanOctober 30, 2018

    I want to know how long will it take online bank transfer China to Djibouti?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynOctober 30, 2018Staff

      Hello Ahmedsalan,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Please note that 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.

      Should you wish to have real-time answers to your questions, try our chat box on the lower right corner of our page.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

US International Money Transfers Offers

Important Information*
XE Money Transfer

Transfer up to $500,000 with no minimums and no fees.

WorldRemit International Money Transfers

Use promo code FINDER to send your first transfer with no fee.
Send to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposit, cash pickup or mobile top-up.

World First

No maximum limit, no fees and competitive exchange rates for 100+ currencies.

TransferWise

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

Go to site