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How to keep your money transfer safe

Learn how to track cash transfers, SWIFT transfers, wire transfers and more.

Some money transfers can take up to five days or more to arrive to your recipient, and that’s a long time to be stressing about your money’s safe arrival. Many money transfer companies and banks offer end-to-end tracking so you can monitor the progress of your payments. However, each company has a different procedure for tracking transfers. To help you understand the differences, here’s a look at how the major transfer companies handle tracking your cash.

Send money internationally with WorldRemit

WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.

  • No minimum transfers.
  • Wide range of destinations.
  • Competitive exchange rate.

How can I track my transfer?

With most companies, you can track your transfer using the confirmation number that came with your receipt. You should be able to view the steps of your progress, from sending to receiving, either online or by contacting them by telephone. A few transfer services also offer the option of text or email notification at each stage of your transaction.

In general, to track a money transfer:

  1. Complete your transfer. After sending a transfer, you can start tracking it.
  2. Check your receipt. Look for a reference, confirmation, order, transaction or similarly named number.
  3. Contact the sending company. Call, go online or visit a physical location of the company you sent your transfer through and provide your tracking number.
  4. Sign up for notifications. When possible, opt-in for notifications on each step of your transfer.

Track a Western Union transfer

Tracking a Western Union transfer requires an MTCN, which is Western Union’s tracking number. If you don’t know the MTCN, you still have options, but you’ll need to know:

  • Sender’s phone number OR both the sender and receiver names
  • Receiver’s country
  • Send amount OR receive amount
  • Date of transfer

Learn more about how Western Union tracking works or contact Western Union directly for further help.

Track a MoneyGram transfer

MoneyGram tracking is fairly straightforward and requires that you provide your last name and the authorization or reference number.

  • Authorization number – This number is found in your confirmation email.
  • Reference number – This number is found in your email only after the money is ready for cash pickup.

Learn more about how MoneyGram tracking works or contact MoneyGram directly for further help.

Track a Ria transfer

Ria tracking can be done through the mobile app, online or by contacting customer service on the phone. You’ll need to provide one of the following to track your transfer:

  • Order number
  • PIN
  • Reference number

Learn more about how Ria tracking works or contact Ria directly for further help.
Sample tracking page for RIA.

Sample tracking page for Ria.

Where is my tracking number?

Depending on the service you choose to transfer your money overseas — whether a bank or independent money transfer specialist — your transaction should come with a confirmation number or a record of your transaction.

Money tracking numbers come in many different names:

  • Authorization number
  • Reference number
  • MTCN (Money Transfer Control Number)
  • Order number
  • PIN
  • RTRN (Remittance Transaction Reference Number)
  • Confirmation number
  • …and more

What is an MTCN?

Every brand wants points for originality — and money transfer providers are no exception. An MTCN is what Western Union calls its transfer confirmation number. It stands for Money Transfer Control Number, a unique reference number assigned to your specific transfer.

If you’ve ordered a cash pickup, your recipient will need to submit the MTCN before Western Union will release your funds.

Similarly, an RTRN is the specific code used for Remit2India transactions. It stands for Remittance Transaction Reference Number, and you’ll only receive it when sending money through Remit2India.

What if I don’t have a tracking number?

Transfers come in all shapes and sizes, and depending on what type of provider you use to send your money, you may or may not have a tracking number. Don’t worry — chances are you can still track your transfer even if you don’t have a tracking number. Here’s how:

Tracking bank wire transfers

Sending money internationally through your bank typically won’t generate a tracking number, as wire transfers are a bit different from money transfer services.

  • You’ll typically use a SWIFT code to track this transfer.
  • Call your bank’s customer service or contact your bank online.

Tracking using a tracking number

Check your receipt for a highlighted number that may be called a:

  • reference number
  • tracking number
  • confirmation number

Input this website on the transfer company’s website, give it to a customer service representative on the phone or provide it at an agent location to track your transfer.

Track without a tracking number

Some services, typically those that operate entirely online, require you to track through your order history instead of through a tracking number. To do so:

  1. Log in to your account
  2. Navigate to your order history
  3. Look for order details, including specific details on arrival time and any occurring delays.

Can I track a transfer using a SWIFT code?

Yes. If your transfer isn’t delivered within the window you were promised, you can request a trace on your transaction using the bank’s SWIFT code. A SWIFT code is an ID that banks use when sending wire transfers. With this number, your bank can determine whether the deposit is on hold or in progress.

How can “on hold” be an option? One drawback of SWIFT transfers is that banks can hold on to your money until they’re able to get an exchange rate that better favors their bottom line. If your money needs to reach your recipient by a specific deadline, be sure to specify that exact date or time to avoid any bank delay.

Sometimes you’ll need to know your IBAN — International Bank Account Number — for international money transfer tracking. This number identifies your bank account, your bank and your country to make international transfers faster. Transfers to and from the European Union often use an IBAN, so be prepared to use it when transferring money to and from the EU.

What are my rights when transferring money?

For first-timers, transferring money out of the country can be intimidating. However, your money is protected even after it leaves the US.

Since 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has enforced rules to keep US citizens safer when making a money transfer overseas. Federal law now requires many banks, credit unions and money transfer providers to disclose information both before and after a transfer. These rules apply to all international transfers of $15 or more. Before an international transfer, you have the right to know:

  • The exact exchange rate you will pay.
  • Fees and taxes collected from you.
  • Fees charged by agents overseas and others involved in the process.
  • The amount your recipient is expected to receive (excluding foreign taxes and any pickup fees).

You should also be provided details on:

  • Your right to cancel the transfer. Unless the transfer has been picked up or deposited, you have 30 minutes (and sometimes more) to cancel at no charge.
  • The bank or company’s process to investigate and fix any errors. It generally has 90 days to resolve any problems.

How do I cancel a money transfer?

Nearly all banks and money transfer providers offer some way of canceling your transaction after you’ve set it in motion — especially if your money hasn’t yet been delivered. If you need to cancel your transfer within 30 minutes, federal law guarantees a refund without penalty. Simply call or visit — in person or online — the provider you used to send your transfer. If you can log in to your online account, you may have the option of canceling there.

If you initiated the transfer more than 30 minutes before, search your provider’s website for information on canceling or stopping a money transfer. Or call a representative to learn how you can start the process of halting your transaction.

Can I get a refund for a money transfer?

If you’re able to cancel your money transfer, you should see a refund for the total you paid for it. In the rare case, a provider may deduct a cancellation fee from your refund — which might be another factor to weigh when choosing the company you ultimately go with.

If your transfer is not yet picked up or deposited into your recipient’s account, you may be able to log in to your account to cancel the transfer yourself. Otherwise, call, visit or live chat with your provider to discuss its refund process and how much you can expect to get back.

Can I change my recipient’s information if I entered it incorrectly?

Unfortunately, you’ll find that changing your recipient’s name or address is trickier after you’ve initiated a transfer. But if you haven’t entered your recipient’s details correctly, they may not be able to receive their funds at all.

If you’ve found an error with your recipient’s information, call, visit or live chat with your provider immediately. Keep any confirmation number or receipt handy to help in pulling up your transfer.

Your provider should be able to correct or modify your recipient’s details for you, even if it means adding a few more days to your delivery window as the system updates.

If you’ve discovered the error outside business hours, try logging in to your account — you may be able to make the changes yourself if your transfer isn’t yet complete.

Closing the deal

An international money transfer is a safe way to get money to loved ones and businesses worldwide quickly and easily. And with most providers, you can track your cash every step of the way to its ultimate destination.

The Internet’s opened up a world of options beyond your local bank or corner financial stores — options that typically come with stronger exchange rates, low or no fees and flexible tools that help you lock in deals on regular transfers.

Money transfer regulations: How you’re protected

Compare international money transfer services with easy tracking

Our table lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Compare services on transfer speeds and fees, then click Go to site when you're ready to send.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
24 hours

View details
OFX has no maximum limit transfers, with competitive exchange rates for 45+ currencies.
Dunbridge Financial
Dunbridge Financial
24 hours

View details
Dunbridge Financial offers competitive exchange rates and zero fees on transfers to more than 120 countries.
24 hours
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally £5,000)

View details
Exclusive: Minimum transfer of $1,000 for Finder readers (normally $5,000).
CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
Within minutes

View details
XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Within an hour
From $1.99

View details
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From $2.26

View details
Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
Within an hour

View details
Exclusive: Use code GET60 and save $30 on each transaction over $200. Valid for the first two transactions and till 31st July 2021. T&Cs apply.
Instarem offers zero transfer fees on all transfers.
Within minutes
From $0
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers

View details
Special offers like free transfers and better exchange rates available for new customers.
Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
Western Union
Within an hour
From $0

View details
Western Union sends money online to friends and family in 200+ countries around the world.
Within an hour
From $0

View details
MoneyGram has fast cash pick-up transfers to more than 350,000 agent locations worldwide.

Compare up to 4 providers

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15 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JamesMay 14, 2019

    Someone wants to send Money to me from Taiwan through Western Union. Can she send out the Money to me in Indonesia without changing the currency?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaMay 15, 2019Staff

      Hi James,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      Normally, when you use Western Union, it would automatically convert the money to the local currency. For this reason, it might be difficult to receive the money in its original currency.

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

      Have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    SainiApril 24, 2019

    I want to know about the money came from us bank through hdfc bank

    Still i couldn’t get the money…the us bank already transferred the money

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      nikkiangcoApril 24, 2019Staff

      Hi Saini,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder! I’m sorry to hear you haven’t received your money from your sender. I suggest getting in contact with the sender and confirm if the transfer was successful. If this was an international money transfer, take note of how long the process takes between your bank and the sender’s bank. Hope this helps!


    Default Gravatar
    SarumiMarch 22, 2019

    A transaction was made to me in Nigeria by a friend of mine in the state but he said he as never receive any email that the transaction went successful,is the transaction go and will take him to like how many mins or hours before he got a mail that his transaction was successfully ,how will I know if the money was transfer to my account

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      johnbasanesMarch 22, 2019Staff

      Hi Sarumi,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Generally, if a transaction is made online it should only take a couple of minutes for it to be successful. Your friend may need to contact the company they sent the money through to check what needs to be done just in case there was a delay. They should also be receiving an MTC or a tracking number to easily track and check the status of the transfer. Hope this helps!


    Avatarfinder Customer Care
    JeniMarch 4, 2019Staff

    Hi Pau,

    Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

    If that is a bank-to-bank transfer, then a wire transfer can take from one to three business days, with delays over weekends or holidays.

    I hope this helps.

    Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    olaFebruary 8, 2019

    I want my money sent to me in Nigeria from overseas through transfer

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ValFebruary 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Ola,

      Thank you for your inquiry. The money transfer services we have listed onsite are secured. For you to have peace of mind, once the transaction has been made, make sure to always get a confirmation number or a transaction number in order for you to track on the status of the money.

      Hope this helps.


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