Home Wire Transfers Guide to Making Domestic Wire Transfers

Guide to Making Domestic Wire Transfers

A domestic wire transfer is one of the fastest ways to transfer money from one account to another. Provided you have entered your recipient’s details correctly, a wire transfer will mean that the funds leave your account instantly – so you need to be sure you’re ready for that money to leave your account before initiating the transfer. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making domestic wire transfers. 

Make sure to check out our guide if you want to know more on how to wire money internationally.

Updated: 18/10/2022
Read time: 6 minutes
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While an international wire transfer can take several working days to appear in your recipient’s account, a domestic wire transfer will be almost instant. When you’re ready to make a wire transfer, below are a few steps to follow to make things hassle-free.

What is a domestic wire transfer?

A domestic wire transfer is an electronic means of transferring money from one account to another within the some country.

Traditionally, wire transfers more generally (whether international or domestic) are processed from one bank account to another, although the term can now be applied to a wider number of electronic transfers.

For example, non-bank institutions such as TorFXInstaremKey CurrencyCurrencies DirectWorldRemitWiseXE and Currencyfair are able to initiate wire transfers both domestically and internationally, which are also known as remittance payments. This type of wire transfer is popular with expats and immigrants, but can also be used for anyone looking to wire money safely and securely to another person or organisation.

How to make a domestic wire transfer:

Decide who you’ll transfer money with

You can make a domestic wire transfer with your bank (in the UK domestic transfers can be made via BACS payments), or with an online money transfer provider who caters to both domestic and international money transfers

Choosing a money transfer provider may be a good idea if you like the sound of having an app to manage your money 24/7, with the option to send money abroad fast and for lower fees if you need to in the future. Money transfer providers we’d recommend include WorldRemit and XE.

Calculate the fees you’ll be charged

The fees for making a domestic wire transfer should be much lower (with the right provider you can make a free wire transfer with no hassle) than the wire transfer fees for sending money abroad, but that doesn’t mean you should expect no fees altogether.

Each bank or provider will charge different fees for a wire transfer – the key thing is to make sure you know the exact amount that will be deducted from your transfer in fees so you know how much your recipient will receive. 

Have all the information you need to hand

The information you need to make a domestic wire transfer includes:

  • Your recipient’s name (or business)
  • Their bank account number and sort code
  • The amount you want to send
  • What date you want the transfer to be processed

In some cases, if you are sending a large sum of money you may need to provide additional verification before your transfer can be approved, so make sure you’ve checked if that applies to you.

Bank transfer best way to send money

Make your transfer

Once you’ve ticked off all of the above steps, you’re ready to make your domestic wire transfer.

Simply fill out all the required details with the provider you’re using and initiate your transfer – most providers will give you an idea of how quickly your transfer will be processed. Domestic wire transfers should be processed on the same working day, although this may be delayed if you start the transfer beyond your provider’s cut-off time.

Keep track of your transfer

Keep track of your transfer to verify that your recipient has received the funds as expected – if there is a delay, you may need to contact your provider and check the transfer has not been paused to be checked for fraudulent activity or in case you entered the transfer details incorrectly and need to reverse the wire transfer.

How long do domestic wire transfers take?

Domestic wire transfers can typically be processed on the same working day, often within the hour you initiate the transfer.

International wire transfers, on the other hand, will take closer to several working days to appear in your recipient’s account – read our guide on how long wire transfers take for more.

How much does a domestic wire transfer cost?

The cost of a wire transfer will depend on:

  • Where you are sending to (domestic vs internationally)
  • If you need to convert currencies
  • How much you are transferring
  • The provider you use

These factors can all significantly affect the transfer cost, which is why we always recommend comparing transfer providers to get a better idea of the costs involved when sending money. Take a look at our breakdown of wire transfer fees for UK banks when sending and receiving money from abroad.

Lower transfer fees with money transfer companies

Money transfer providers will often have lower fees, more competitive exchange rates, and faster transfer times than traditional banks, so whether you’re making a domestic transfer or sending money abroad, it’s well worth comparing the different fees each provider will charge for sending your money.

Things to watch out for when making domestic wire transfers:

  • Typos or incorrect details: A simple mistake such as missing a digit or spelling a name incorrectly can result in long delays to your transfer, often with you needing to start all over again. For this reason, make sure you’re 100% certain you have the correct details before initiating your transfer.
  • Time vs cost: Often, the faster you need your money delivered, the higher the fees will be. Check our guide on how long does a wire transfer take to learn more about the transfer times. If your recipient does not need the funds urgently, you might want to consider alternative providers who can send your transfer for lower fees and potentially with a slightly longer transfer time. We recommend you take a look at our guide on cheap wire transfer to see if any providers mentioned will fit your needs.
  • Paying more to send frequent smaller sums: In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to make a domestic wire transfer in one larger lump sum versus frequently smaller amounts, if this is something you are considering. Check the fees that would be associated with both methods before initiating your transfer.
  • Expensive fees and exchange rates: If you’re sending money abroad, wire transfer fees can really start to add up, not to mention the ‘hidden fee’ that is the markup added by banks onto the exchange rate. Comparing transfer providers is highly recommended to ensure you’re getting a good deal for your specific transfer needs.

If you would like to wire money internationally but you are conscious of fees and exchange rates, you can take a look at the following bank guides where you can find more information about that depending on the bank you would like to use:

Bottom line: how to make a domestic transfer?

Overall, making a domestic wire transfer is a convenient and secure way of transferring your money from your account to another, whether it’s your own, sending money to someone else, or to an organisation/business. Domestic transfers tend to be much faster than international transfers, not to mention with lower fees – but comparing providers to find the best service for your needs is always a good idea.

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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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