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Transferring Money Between Bank Accounts

Transferring money from one bank account to another is one of the most popular ways to send money. It’s convenient, it’s easy to set up, and you have a number of options to find the most cost-effective transfer method for you. In this guide, we’ll cover transferring money between bank accounts in full to give you all the information you need.

Updated: 06/04/2021
Read time: 9 minutes
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How to transfer money within the same bank

With the vast majority of banks having user-friendly online banking capabilities and apps these days, it’s easier than ever to transfer money between accounts within the same bank. 

Transfers within the same bank branch are usually made on the bank’s own internal network, allowing the process to be quick (instant in most cases) and free. Depending on your bank, your transfer may be processed instantly, or may take up to 24-hours – the time you process your transfer could also affect this.

What information might you need?

  • Your recipient’s name as it appears on the account
  • Their bank account number
  • Their sort code
  • Transfer amount
  • The date you want to transfer the funds

How to transfer money to other banks

Transferring money between banks remains a relatively straightforward process, but because the transaction is carried out on external networks, it may take a little longer.

In the US, most banks use the Automatic Clearing House (ACH) network. Generally regarded as a secure network for transferring money, the ACH process usually follows these steps:

  • First, the sender must initiate a transfer request with their bank, including the recipient’s name, bank account number, sort code, and the date they want the transfer to be made. The sending bank will then make an ACH entry detailing the request
  • Typically, the ACH request will be bundled as a batch which is sent through to ACH operators throughout the day (which is why not missing the cut-off time of your bank is important for urgent transfers)
  • ACH operators will then sort your request in either an individual, business, or other category. Entries are then sent to the receiving bank.
  • Once the receiving institution receives the transfer instructions, the transaction can be completed and the recipient’s account can be credited.

What information might you need?

If you’re sending money to another bank (domestically or internationally) you’ll need to have your recipient’s banking details to hand to complete the transfer. The details you’ll need include:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Their bank account number
  • Their sort code
  • Transfer amount
  • Date of transfer
  • In some cases, the name and address of the receiving bank

What are my options for transferring money between bank accounts domestically?

Bank or wire transfer

A bank transfer is one of the most popular ways of sending money domestically, simply because of how convenient it is. Domestic bank transfers can be initiated via your online banking app, by phone, or directly at a branch, and will often take no longer than 24 hours to complete (often faster).

To make a bank transfer with your bank, you’ll need:

  • Your recipient’s name
  • Their bank account number
  • Their sort code
  • The sum you are sending and the date you want the transfer made
  • Occasionally, the name of your recipient’s bank
Not entirely hassle free

While bank transfers are a convenient way to send money domestically, they can involve fees for both the sender and recipient in some cases. In addition, the amount of information required by your bank to make the transfer can be more of a hassle than it’s worth for some.

Peer-to-Peer Sending Services/ Apps

An alternative to using your bank to transfer money between bank accounts domestically is to use a peer-to-peer sending service, such as:

  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Zelle 
  • Cash App

These apps are all relatively new (with the exception of PayPal) services enabling quicker, faster, and more efficient domestic transfers directly from one bank account to another. Both parties will usually need to have an account with the service being used, and a bank account linked to their account.

The sender then simply needs either the username, phone number, or email address of their recipient to make a transfer, which should be processed almost instantly.

Fast, secure and convenient

The advantage of these peer-to-peer sending services is that they make sending smaller sums to friends and family so much easier – for example, splitting a bill at a restaurant or sharing the costs of a holiday are far easier when using someone’s phone number than having to source their full bank details.

What are my options for transferring money between bank accounts internationally?

Using your bank

One option is to use your bank to send a wire transfer between two bank accounts internationally. A wire transfer is the electronic transfer of money from one bank account to another, and covers a wide range of transfers completed online. Wire transfers can be initiated via your bank or with a money transfer provider, and tend to be a good way of getting your money to your recipient quickly.

To complete an international wire transfer, you’ll need to have a few details to hand. This includes:

  • Your recipient’s name 
  • (Sometimes) the name of their bank and it’s address
  • The amount to be transferred and the currency it needs converting into
  • Your recipient’s bank account and routing number
  • Their bank’s IBAN and SWIFT codes

International money transfer service

An international money transfer service is another popular way to move your money from one bank to another internationally. Transfer providers are known for having generally lower transfer fees, fairer exchange rates, and faster transfer times than if you were to use your bank to send money abroad.

Additionally, you have more options when sending money with a specialist provider. For example, you can choose to pay for your transfer by:

  • Bank transfer
  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Cash (make sure to check your provider does offer this option if this what you want)

To send a transfer, the process is much the same as if you were sending a wire transfer. You’ll need to have your recipient’s name and bank details to hand, and may need to provide your ID to verify your identity if you have not used the transfer provider previously. 

Frequently asked questions about bank transfers

What is the fastest way to send money between bank accounts?
What fees are associated with transferring money between bank accounts?
How long do transfers take?
Can I transfer money between my own accounts?
Is there a maximum limit on the amount I can transfer?
Can I reverse a bank transfer request?
What’s the best way to send money overseas?

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