Bank transfers can be convenient for moving large sums internationally. And because time is money, money received today is worth more than the same amount received tomorrow.
That’s why some transfers give you a paid option to complete domestic transfers instantly. When sending between countries, however, there are many factors your bank doesn’t control.
If your payee expects to receive the money by a certain date, make sure to wire money a few days before. All transfers take 1-7 business days (at most) on average.
How Long Does It Take To Transfer Money Between Banks?
When both banks belong to the same banking system, payments complete within 24hours. It still takes some time for the transaction to clear, but the recipient can take it out anyway.
Banking systems typically match with whatever currency is official for that country.
When sending money abroad, it implies a currency conversion. International transfers don’t take long because countries are far away, but because you’re switching from one system to another. 2-5 Business days is the average processing time.
Beware if you’re moving money from slow-to-pay countries, because it may take 3-4 weeks for the payment to arrive. Here’s the list, but some examples are Afganistan, Belarus, China, Cuba, Argentina, or the Bahamas.
For these, you might want to consider other online payment methods.
What causes bank transfer delays?
We can’t control most of the delaying factors. But because of them, we will know how long it really takes and how early we need to transfer.
- For international transfers, it takes time to move funds from one bank to another
- Weekends and holidays can delay it for several days. You may not know what national holidays are in the other country
- Time zones create a minor difference. But if you send, for example, on Friday evening, the business day may have already finished on the other side
- Your bank may have fraud-prevention rules to protect you from risky countries. When many wire fraud reports come from a banking area, your bank can hold the funds until you authorize the funds to the recipient
Not only is it time-consuming, but wire transfers cost money. You might want to consider the low-cost service TransferWise, where transfers usually take minutes to complete and 2 business days at most. You can also choose whether to send money to someone, a business, or your other accounts. If you transfer to the same country, it’s fee-free. International transfer fee is as low as it gets.