How to send a wire transfer

5 min read

Most business owners think of a wire transfer as a necessary evil. While nobody likes the administrative tasks that come with it, sending payments are an obligatory “side effect” of running a business. But if you’ve never done it before, sending a wire transfer can be a confusing experience. Why?

Well, wire transfers require a lot of preparation. You have to possess a lot of information to make the transfer, and if one or two pieces are missing, your bank will be unable to process your request and ask you to come back with all the missing information.

If you want to spare yourself the extra trip to the bank, it’s best to prepare thoroughly and collect all the information you need before you go to make the transfer. Read on, we’ll walk you through it.

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Gather all the necessary information

In order to send a wire transfer, take all this information with you when you set off for your bank:

  • Your government issued ID, driver’s licence, or passport
  • Your bank account number, or your debit card
  • The full legal name, address, and phone number of the recipient
  • The name, address, and phone number of the recipient’s bank
  • The transit number, branch number, and bank account number of the recipient
  • For international transfers, BIC or SWIFT codes of the recipient’s bank
  • Any other information your bank may require.

To avoid unnecessary trips due to missing information, you can check your bank’s website or give them a phone call to make sure you have all the information necessary to send the wire transfer.

Now that you have all this information, you can finally set out for your local branch.


A trip to the bank

Once at the bank, take a look at the ticket dispenser (if your local branch has any). Depending on your bank’s system, you may have to choose options like “business banking” and then “send a wire transfer,” or something similar.

If your local branch doesn’t have a ticket dispenser for waiting in line, ask a bank employee how to proceed. Don’t automatically join a line of customers waiting to be served; unless it’s a really small branch with only one teller, you could end up in the wrong line and be forced to wait even longer.

If you don’t want to wait in line at all, check out Veem’s business payment options.

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While waiting for your number to be called, look for any forms stacked in dispensers. Some branches put their most demanded forms out in the waiting room to accelerate their service. They may be located near the walls, or on desks scattered across the customers’ area.

Like finding a needle in a haystack, among forms for opening a bank account, loan applications, retirement fund info sheets, and ads for various banking products, you may find a wire transfer form. If so, you can opt to shorten your wait time and fill out the form while waiting to be served.

If you choose this option, read the form carefully and fill out the necessary information. Make sure to use clear, unambiguous print when filling out this form.

One misspelled name, one misread number, and your transfer could be denied, lost, or even worse, sent to an entirely different account than intended.

If beautiful (or at least, easily legible) handwriting is not your best characteristic, it’s probably a good idea to leave this task to the bank teller. Although you’ll definitely spend more time while waiting for the teller to copy all your information into their system, it provides less room for error.

Unless the teller makes an error, that is. They’re only human, after all. But the funny thing is, if they make an error and your payment gets lost, the bank may not be obligated to reimburse you. Check the fine print to see what your bank’s responsibilities are in cases like this.


Make the transfer

Once your number has been called, approach the teller and explain that you want to send a wire transfer. The teller will ask you for all the information we listed above. Hand it over, or give them the wire transfer form (if you filled one out).

Beware that your bank will charge a wire transfer fee. The amount usually depends on how much money you’re sending, where you send it (global transfers cost a lot more), and the bank itself. The average domestic transfer fees are $25, while international transfers generally cost around $40.

Make sure to ask the teller about any other costs that may be levied upon your transfer. For example, international transfers are routinely charged various transaction fees, and a landing fee by the intermediary and receiving banks.

It’s definitely important to know these fees ahead, because you need to add these costs to your transfer. However, the teller may not know them all. After all, they’re only familiar with their own bank’s fees. In this case, send a little extra money on top of your payment to cover the fees.

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Once all the information is recorded in the database, the money leaves your account and the transfer is initiated. Ask the teller when the recipient can expect the payment to arrive. While they won’t know the exact date (banks don’t provide real-time tracking), they’ll surely be able to give you an estimate.

Let your business partner know when they can expect the payment. When the date has passed, inquire if they’ve received it. A little courtesy goes a long way in a well-functioning business relationship.


Or instead of all this, just Veem it!

If you don’t have time to wait in line at the bank, don’t want to waste money on various bank fees, and need to know where exactly your payment is and when it will arrive, choose Veem instead of a wire transfer.

Trusted by over 160,000 businesses worldwide, Veem offers easy, fast, secure, and cost-effective payments to businesses small and large. No more trips to the bank, no more hidden costs, misspelled data or lost payments. With Veem, you can send and receive money without leaving your office and track your transactions in real-time.

In addition, our online dashboard, convenient integrations with several popular business software, and dedicated 24/7 customer service team provide a seamless payment experience.

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* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.