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How Long do International Money Transfers Take?

The length of time it takes for an international money transfer to arrive at the recipient’s location is dependent upon the money transfer company you use. If you are looking for the cheapest option to send money, the funds won’t be available in the receiver’s country for approximately three to five business days, and this doesn’t include public holidays and weekends. If you are willing to pay a higher fee, the recipient will receive funds instantly.

Updated: 27/09/2022
Read time: 8 minutes
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How long does an international money transfer take? 

We hope the above information has outlined the various factors which dictate the transfer speed of international payments.

Generally, if you are sending money in one of the most traded currencies, like CAD or USD, international money transfer providers are likely to be able to deposit the money within one working day. Sometimes even within minutes/hours. As mentioned in the above section, countries and currencies outside the bigger trading markets may incur longer delivery speeds.

International bank transfers, on the other hand, can take anywhere from 1 to 5 business days to be deposited into the recipient’s account. This is due to the various systems to which banking institutions must adhere. If you are unsure when depositing your money, visit our guide on what is the Canada deposit insurance corporation (CDIC) and learn more about how your deposit can be secured when sending money to Canada.

Top transfer tip

Remittances sent through the same financial institutions can often be processed quicker. This applies to alternative international money transfer services as well as banks. For example, peer-to-peer payment apps specialise in sending money instantly between users, regardless of location.

Why Does the Speed of Money Transfers Differ?

So, how long do international money transfers take? There are several factors that determine how long it will take for a money transfer to arrive at its destination; here are the most popular:

  • Transfer Destination: Where you send the money will determine the transfer speed. In general, banking structures and processes in each country vary, which may add additional time to the transaction process.
  • The Payment Method: Money transfer providers offer a variety of ways to make a transaction, and the payment method will affect the amount of time it takes funds to arrive at the receiver’s destination. For example, the transaction time for a transfer made with a credit card will differ from a transfer made with a bank transfer to the provider.
  • Urgent Transfer: Some transfer providers offer an urgent transfer service which allows customers to make an emergency transfer to another country. The provider will add additional costs to the fee for this service.
  • The Transfer Day: It’s essential to consider weekends and public holidays when receiving or sending an international money transfer, as these days can add extra time to the processing of your transaction. It is also important to mention that transfer providers will have daily cut-off times; this means that if you submit your transaction after, it won’t be processed until the following business day.
  • Interbank Transfer: If you make a bank transfer to the same bank in a different country, the processing time is faster than if the funds are sent to a different bank. This is because when two financial institutions don’t have a relationship, an intermediary bank is used to mediate the transaction, which adds additional time to the process. If you want to know more about the bank transfer times, make sure to read our guide: how long do international bank transfers take?
  • The Type of Transfer: The processing time for making an international money transfer online can be anywhere from one to five business days. However, when making a cash transfer through companies such as MoneyGram, the funds are available for the recipient to collect the following day.
  • Approval Process: If you are sending a large sum of money ($500 or more) for the first time with an online provider, they may ask you to prove your identity. You would need to email a copy of your passport or driver’s licence and, in some cases, proof of address.

What affects the speed of an international money transfer?

Although faster than the average international bank transfer, a number of aspects can still affect the delivery speed of international money transfers as they are sometimes processed by different institutions before arriving safely in the recipient’s chosen account, country and currency. 

The following factors determine the speed of an overseas remittance:

Currency conversion
Destination country
Security checks
Time of your transfer
International vs Domestic

International money transfers are subjected to more checks and processes than domestic transfers, due to the cross-border nature of the payment. For this reason, some international transfers may take up to 5 working days, as opposed to minutes/hours for a domestic transfer. Check the estimated arrival date with your provider before initiating your transfer.

Different Speeds for Different Currencies

Mainstream currencies like the Canadian dollar, the Euro and the United States dollar are transferred within a 24-hour period; this is because they are popular currencies that are traded often. However, currencies such as the UAE dirham and the Thai baht can take approximately three business days to transfer because they are not as common. You can speed up the process by paying additional fees; however, this depends on the money transfer provider you are using.

Fastest Money Transfer Providers

Wise: Wise is an online money transfer service; they have been established since 2010. They have an average rating of 8.8 out of 10 stars; customers can send money to 71 countries. Transfers usually take less than 24 hours, and at the most, 48 hours. 

XE: XE Money Transfer is well known for being both safe and reliable when it comes to its transfer services. As well as this, their services are fast and efficient, with little to no transfer fees charged.

WorldRemit: WorldRemit has gained an impressive reputation in the money transfer world. Customers can send funds to more than 140 different countries around the world; their fees are reasonable, their exchange rates competitive, and recipients can collect funds on the same day. One of the many benefits associated with WorldRemit is that they offer several innovative ways to deliver funds to the recipient. They offer mobile methods of payment, airtime top-ups, and door-to-door delivery. 

Western Union: Western Union is a very popular money transfer company; they have operations in more than 200 countries with 550,000 locations worldwide. You can send funds to any country of your choice, and the recipient will receive the money within minutes. However, they are also known for very high fees; it is one of their main complaints mentioned in reviews. 

MoneyGram: MoneyGram is another popular money transfer service; however, it is also one of the most expensive. Transfers are made available on the same day, but there is a CAD$10,000 monthly transfer limit.

Remit2India: An online platform established for non-resident Indians, they allow customers to send money directly to a bank account in India. However, you can only use the service if you are from Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom or America. It can take more than two days for a transfer to arrive in a recipient’s bank account, but you can pay additional fees for an instant transfer.

To get you started, we’ve put together a list of top 10 money transfer companies to help you find the best provider with balanced transfer times and fees.

How long do international money transfers take from Canada?

With Canadians typically sending money to China, India and the Philippines, you may wonder how long the process will take. Generally international money transfers from Canada take between one to five business days to process depending on a number of factors, such as the destination that you’re sending money to from Canada and the security checks that they have in place. If you’re sending money domestically within Canada or to friends and family living in the USA, the funds will on average clear within one business day.

Why should I use an international money transfer provider?

Utilizing the services of an international money specialist like WorldRemit or Azimo is a smart way to go if you are hoping to send funds overseas quickly and efficiently. Due to their resources, international money transfer providers can offer the most competitive rates, bank-beating fees and speedy delivery. These companies understand foreign exchange and global transfer routes better than any bank and make it their business to offer the best possible service to customers.

An added bonus of using a specialist provider is that they often allow multiple payment methods. Unlike traditional bank transfers, you will likely be given the option to pay by cash or debit/credit card, as well as being able to choose how your recipient receives the funds from a variety of pay-out options such as cash pick-up doorstep delivery or mobile wallet.


The international money transfer time depends upon the service provider used. There are faster options available; on the other hand, they tend to cost more. This means that it’s crucial to weigh up all your options before making a decision on your money transfer service, which is why we compare the top money transfer services.

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Artiom is a marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in SEO but he has a broad knowledge of all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on MoneyTransfers.com with the content team, manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.

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