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Transferring Money Internationally Between Banks

A bank transfer is the process of sending money from one bank account to another. You could be sending money between your own accounts, to someone else’s bank account in the same country, or making an international bank transfer. Bank transfers are considered a safer and more convenient way of moving money between banks than withdrawing cash, for example, but there are a number of different ways you can do this.

Updated: 27/07/2022
Read time: 7 minutes
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These days, there are a number of different ways to transfer money between banks. The best way to do so really depends on the circumstances of your transfer. For example, are you moving money between your own accounts, or sending money to someone else? Are you sending money within your own country, or internationally? Do you need the transfer processed urgently, or is your recipient able to wait a couple of days? All of these factors will affect the best way for you to transfer your money between banks.

Best ways to transfer money between banks

International transfers

If you are transferring money internationally, using a money transfer provider will often be the most cost-effective and quickest way to achieve this. This is due to sending money internationally using your bank always comes with some fees and banks also charge a small amount to the exchange rates. You can usually know these fees and exchange rates, for example, if you are sending money to the United States using the Navy Federal Credit Union bank, you can check the Navy Federal Credit Union exchange rates and fees before making your transfer. Or if you are sending money to Thailand using the Bangkok Bank, you should view the Bangkok Bank exchange rates first.

The majority of transfer providers enable bank transfers as a means of sending money abroad, but will also allow you to pay by card if that’s a more appealing option to you. Some of our top recommended transfer operators for transferring money between banks internationally include:

WorldRemit

WorldRemit is a popular transfer company supporting international transfers to over 150 countries worldwide. You can transfer money between banks either with a bank transfer or by paying by credit/debit card.

With low fees, transparent exchange rates, and fast transfer times, WorldRemit is one of our top recommended providers for anyone looking to send or receive money abroad.

WorldRemit Money Transfer App logo

Azimo

Azimo supports international transfers to over 200 countries in 60 currencies and is known for sending money abroad for low fees and fast transfer times.

Azimo currently offers new customers your first two transfers fee-free. You can pay by debit or credit card or by bank transfer, with the ability to get your money to your recipient within minutes.

PaySend

PaySend has over 2 million customers using its services to send money internationally every day, with 150 countries for receiving and 49 countries for sending supported. PaySend offers a number of options to transfer your money between banks, including bank transfers and card payments, with transfers possible in minutes in many cases.

An appealing feature of PaySend is its transparent approach to fees, with a clear breakdown of the fees, exchange rate, and total your recipient will receive provided before you lock-in your transfer.

Paysend logo send instantly article

Domestic transfers

If you are sending money to a friend, family member, or business/organisation in the same country (and currency) as you, you may choose to use your bank to transfer money between banks. Read our guide to making a domestic wire transfer for more on this. Your options for this include:

  • Online banking: If you have online banking or a virtual bank account, transferring money between banks should be very easy to set up. You’ll simply need to navigate to the payment/transfer section in your app and insert your recipient’s bank details.
  • In-branch banking: If you’d rather initiate your transfer in person, you could go to your local branch and set up your transfer there.

Non-bank transfer services

While most money transfer companies operate specifically for international transfers, there are still non-bank institutions that you can use to transfer money between banks domestically.

One example is PayPal, which is popularly used to pay for online goods and services but can also be used to transfer money to friends, family, or businesses without needing your recipient’s bank details.

If you decide to go for a non-bank transfer service, make sure your transfer is safe and secure just like a bank transfer.

What information do you need to make a transfer between banks?

Transferring money between banks is relatively easy, however, make sure you enter all the information correctly, as reversing your transfer might not be easy. The information you’ll need to have to hand includes:

  • Your recipient’s name, whether that’s an individual or a business
  • Their bank name and address
  • The date you want the transfer to be made
  • Your recipient’s account number 
  • Your recipient’s sort code
  • The amount you are sending
  • A payment reference so they know the money came from you
  • Your recipient’s IBAN and BIC/SWIFT code, if you are making an international transfer

How long does it take to transfer money between banks?

International bank transfers can take between 1 – 7 working days. If you are transferring money with your bank, the transfer may take longer than if you were using a transfer provider. While international transfers using your bank will typically take at least 3 – 5 working days, some transfer providers can process your transfer instantly or within 1 – 2 working days.

Domestic bank transfers in the UK are powered by the Faster Payments system, which means most of the time, your transfer will be instantaneous. Failing that, domestic transfers should take no longer than 1 working day to appear in your recipient’s account.

Which method is best to transfer money between banks?

It depends on whether you’re moving money within your own country or sending money abroad. For international wire transfers, a money transfer company is almost always going to have:

Depending on the country and the currency you are making an international money transfer, if you are using a local bank, you should check the exchange rates on your bank’s website. If you would like to know more about exchange rates when using your bank to send money internationally, you can visit the following guides:

Creating an account with a transfer provider is an easy process that you can complete online for free. If time is a key factor, we’d recommend setting up your account ahead of time to ensure you pass any verification checks that are required. Have a look at our guide on how to transfer money for free to see if any of the providers listed there suit your needs. If you absolutely need to stick to your bank account, check our guide on making a cheap wire transfer.

Best way to transfer money between banks abroad

Using a specialist money transfer provider such as Azimo or WorldRemit is almost always going to be the best way to transfer your money between banks internationally.

Just make sure you’ve compared providers to find the best service for your transfer needs!

Key takeaways: what is the best way to transfer money between banks?

Overall, the best way to transfer money between banks does depend on where you are sending your money. Here are a few key points you can take from this article:

  • If you are moving money between your own accounts, using your online banking app may be the most efficient way of doing this
  • You can transfer money between banks via your bank or a money transfer provider/app
  • A money transfer provider is the best way to transfer money internationally
  • A non-bank service can be a convenient way of sending money to friends and family in the same currency without needing their full bank details (just an email instead!)

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Article Factchecked by Elliot Laybourne on 20th July 2022

Elliott is a former investment banker with a 20 year career in the city of London.

During this time he held senior roles at ABN Amro, Societe Generale, Marex Financial and Natixis bank, specialising in commodity derivatives and options market-making.

During this time, Elliott’s client list included Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Schroders Asset Management, and the Pennsylvania State Public School Employees Retirement System, amongst others.

Yasmin Purnell

Yasmin Purnell is a Content Writer and Editor for MoneyTransfers.com. Having over 5 years’ experience writing across a range of industries including finance, insurance, and travel, Yasmin joined the team with a mission to make international money transfers and everything they encompass accessible to all.

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