You will need to provide a SWIFT for your recipient’s bank.
- Competitive exchange rates
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Each company can set their own requirements for what information and proof of ID you need to send or receive a transfer. Being ready can make sending a transfer easier — and picking one up possible.
The information required to send a money transfer will differ slightly by bank or provider, your recipient’s location and your method of delivery.
Regardless of whether you choose to send a transfer through your Internet banking account or use a specialist online transfer company such as Wise, the details you need to provide remain the same.
You must supply:
Based on the country you are transferring funds to, you will also need to supply one of the following:
For example, the ABA routing number is used to identify banks in the United States and you will need to provide it or a SWIFT for transfers to that country, while if you’re sending a transfer to Europe you will need the IBAN and the SWIFT of the recipient’s bank. Your bank or money transfer provider will be able to provide specific information about the bank details you need to supply during the transfer process.
Apart from your recipient’s bank account details, you will also need to provide some specific details about the transfer, including:
If you don’t have a bank account or merely prefer cold, hard cash, you’ll find providers that accept cash payments for international money transfers. The best-known services for cash transfers are Western Union and MoneyGram.
Western Union allows you to send in person at over 500,000 locations in over 200 countries. MoneyGram also offers online and in-person transfers to more than 200 countries, with some 350,000 agent locations around the globe.
For domestic transfers, look no further than your local Walmart store. Through a partnership with MoneyGram, you can send cash from your nearest store to any Walmart in the US or Puerto Rico or to any of MoneyGram’s agents worldwide.
The details you need to provide when sending a cash transfer are a little different, as you will typically need to supply:
It’s also worth remembering that you will need to be at least 18 years of age to send a transfer overseas.
Depending on whether you’re receiving the money from an overseas bank account or you’re collecting a cash transfer, you’ll need different information.
If someone wants to transfer money to you from an overseas bank account, you’ll need to make sure they have all the relevant details needed to complete the transaction. These include:
IBANs are not used in the United States, but banks and transfer providers in some countries will require an IBAN to be provided before the transfer can be processed. If this is the case, you can combine your BSB and account number.
It’s also worth pointing out that you may be charged a fee by your bank for receiving an international transfer.
If you’re visiting a transfer provider’s branch to collect a cash transfer, you will need to provide:
Depending on the size of the transfer, you may need to phone ahead to confirm that the agent has sufficient cash to complete the transaction. This is also useful if you need to check a branch’s location or opening hours.
|Approval waiting period||Social Security number required?||Required documents|
|Wise||No waiting period for approval.||None|
|Xoom||No waiting period beyond email confirmation. But you’ll need to speak to a Xoom representative to verify your first transfer.|
|Sharemoney||No waiting period beyond email verification.|
|Western Union||No waiting period beyond email verification.||None|
|RIA||No waiting period for approval.||None|
|MoneyGram||No waiting period for approval.|
|PayPal||Confirm your email and wait for bank account approval.||None|
|Pangea||No waiting period for approval.||None|
|Transfast||No waiting period for approval.||None|
|Currencies Direct International||Submit identifying documents and speak to a representative.|
|TorFX||Confirm your account by email and speak to a TorFX representative. After, you may be required to email further documentation.|
|Remitly||No waiting period for approval.||None|
|MoneyCorp||Submit identifying information online after applying. You may also need to speak with a representative for approval.|
|OFX||Speak with an OFX representative to complete approval.|
|Xe||Upload documentation and wait for approval.||Government-issued ID|
|Wyre||Because accounts are approved manually, you’ll need to wait for approval.|
With most money transfer providers, you’ll need to provide specific personal information to establish your identity. This is because most companies that sell money transfers are subject to anti–money laundering laws and counter-terrorist financing standards, which require providers to exercise their due diligence to confirm that you’re not using their services for terrorist or otherwise nefarious activities.
“Identifying information” doesn’t always mean your Social Security number, however. But you’ll nearly always need to submit at least your government-issued ID, like your driver’s license or passport, to continue through the transfer process. MoneyGram is one provider that needs to see your official photo ID but not necessarily your SSN.
Note that Remitly and a few other providers may require your Social Security number to upgrade your account to unlimited or high-limit maximums.
Whether you can continue with your transfer without the required documentation will depend on your provider. A few may simply limit how much you can send your first transfer, while others may not allow you to send anything at all.
You may be able to get around documentation with a peer-to-peer app like Venmo or Circle. If you have a valid account with any of the banks that use Zelle — like Bank of America, Chase, Capital One or USAA — you’re already set up for domestic transfers of up to $2,500. Simply visit your bank’s website or download its app to begin sending money.
ID and other documentation is necessary for providers to satisfy federal laws in place to prevent money laundering and other potentially illicit activities.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that the bank account details you provide for your recipient are correct. If you make a mistake and the funds are sent to the wrong account, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to recover those funds.
Exchange rates vary from one transfer provider to the next, and even a minor variation in rates can make a big difference to the affordability of a transfer. Search for a provider that consistently offers competitive exchange rates.
Make sure you’re aware of the fee the bank or money transfer provider charges for handling the transfer, and check whether the receiving bank will take a cut by imposing its own fees.
Make sure that any transfer provider you choose is reputable and trustworthy before handing over any bank details or money. The last thing you want to do is disclose your own or your recipient’s account information to a dodgy company.
You have many options when it comes to a money transfer, but nearly all will require at least some documentation to establish your identity — and keep the provider out of hot water with the government. Weigh the requirements when considering a money transfer specialist that’s right for your needs.