International Wire Transfers


The most expedient method for transferring funds is remittance by wire transfer. As with a mail payment order, a wire transfer is a message to the receiving bank requesting them to effect payment in accordance with the instructions given. The message also includes settlement instructions.


When you send via International Wire Transfer, there is no need for postage and mail service.


A wire transfer helps to move money from one account to another account. The convenience of not having to physically move the funds is unbeatable. Below are simple step by step instructions for wiring your money.


  1. Contact the foreign bank and collect the following information:
    1. Name of Bank
    2. Bank Identifier Code (BIC)
    3. Full address of the bank or branch address
    4. IBAN # if sending to Europe

  2. Step 2

    Collect the following information from the beneficiary of the funds
    1. Name
    2. Account number
    3. Complete address

  3. Step 3

    Determine the amount of money you wish to send. Ensure the availability of the funds in your account. Remember, usually there is a fee for each international wire transfer. Shop around credit union banks for a good rate.

  4. Step 4

    After sending the wire, ask for a confirmation. Collect necessary information to track the wire transfer. Also ask the beneficiary bank for an email or fax confirming the receipt of funds.


Tips & Warnings
    Usually there is a cut off time at the bank by which time your wire transfer has to be submitted. Any wires submitted after that will be sent the next day. If you are in a rush, plan accordingly.
    The BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is different based on the country you are sending to. Canadian banks use TRNO, Australian banks use BSB, German and Austrian banks use BLZ, United Kingdom uses UKSORT and other countries use SWIFT code.
    In case you get a SWIFT code, then also ask for the actual BIC code.
    Choose a wire transfer where you can track the wire. International wire transfer uses several jumps and institutions to send the money over and there are cases where the funds are lost and you will get reimbursed (slowly). So ability to track the wire is unbeatable.
    Many times, you can send the money to a local US bank (like JP Morgan or Chase) and they will do the international wire transfer. In this case, you will need to provide an additional account number for the US bank to identify the international bank. BUT, your bank CANNOT track the wire beyond the local US bank, which can be a huge disadvantage.
    Wire transfers can take upto 1 week, though the average is much lesser. So plan ahead if you need the money to be there by a certain time.
    Beware of the "instant wire transfer" companies. They either charge a percentage of the amount or some overhead per dollar (USD) transferred. This can add up VERY quickly when sending large sums of money.
    Stay away from agencies that deliver the money in form of a check to the beneficiary. Money directly in the bank is the way to go. It is safer and less complicated.


 How do I make a wire transfer? How do I send an international wire? What does it cost to send a domestic wire? What does it cost to send an international wire? What is Bank of America's SWIFT Code # and what is it used for? What is an IBAN number?


SWIFT MT 103 Basic Format for Wire Transfer


 Tag  Field Name
20 Sender’s Reference
13C  Time Indication
23B Bank Operation Code
23E  Instruction Code
26T Transaction Type Code
32A  Value Date/Currency/Interbank/Settled Amount
33B  Currency/Instructed Amount
36 Exchange Rate
50a  Ordering Customer
51A  Sending Institution
52a Ordering Institution
53a Sender’s Correspondent
54a  Receiver’s Correspondent
55a  Third Reimbursement Institution
56a Intermediary Institution
57a  Account With Institution
59a Beneficiary Customer
70 Remittance Information
71A  Details of Charges
71F Sender’s Charges
71G  Receiver’s Charges
72 Sender to Receiver Info
77B  Regulatory Reporting
77T  Envelope Contents



What is an International Payment?

International Wire Transfer

SWIFT MT 103 Basic Format for Wire Transfer


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