Is a Same-Day Wire Transfer Possible?

Wire transfers serve a dual purpose when it comes to transferring money. First, they act as a secure means of sending funds—nothing beats the peace of mind that comes from a bank-to-bank transaction. Second, they’re fast. Businesses that need to get money into the hands of contractors, vendors or partners choose wire transfers because they know the funds will get to their destination in just a few days’ time. 

But what happens if you’re really in a pinch, and need to move money same-day? Is a same-day wire transfer possible? Technically, yes—but it’s important to remember what that means, and how funds are represented in your account. 

Domestic vs. International Wire Transfers

First, it’s important to distinguish between domestic and international wires. Most banks offer same-day domestic wire transfers without issue. There are some stipulations (which we’ll cover below). 

When it comes to international wire transfers, however, same-day just isn’t possible—at least, not through the traditional SWIFT network. Banks need time to process the transfer and move the money across borders. Usually, the fastest international wire transfers take two or three days to go through. 

Most Banks Offer Same-Day Wire Transfers

Speaking in terms of domestic wire transfers, most banks offer same-day funds transfer when initiated before the bank’s designated cutoff time. This cutoff time varies bank-to-bank, and is usually listed in local time (EST, CST, PST). Submitted before the cutoff time, banks can submit the transfer and see it go through in a matter of minutes, facilitating a wire with maximum efficiency. 

It’s important to note that not every bank is so quick with wire transfers. Most major national and regional banks offer same-day capabilities, but smaller banks may not. It’s important to check with your institution to make sure they offer same-day wires. 

Some Banks Charge Higher Fees for Same-Day Wires

In some instances, banks will charge more for same-day wire transfers. This “expedited processing fee” is common and usually trivial. In other situations, banks will charge a premium on same-day wire transfers over certain amounts. It depends on the situation, the institution and your status as an accountholder. 

The good news is that most banks don’t charge a premium for same-day wire transfers. Wire transfers are, after all, meant to be the fastest way to move money. Charging a premium for same-day transfers can dissuade customers, which is why many banks maintain standard fees no matter when the wire is submitted and regardless of urgency. 

Same-Day Processing vs. Same-Day Availability

There’s a very important distinction between same-day funds: specifically, same-day processing vs. same-day availability. Same-day processing means the transaction was executed same-day, but the funds may not land until the next day. Some-day availability means the funds are available same-day. 

Most same-day wire transfers offer same-day availability of funds by nature—again, the purpose of a wire transfer is to move funds and make them available in a timely manner. However, this distinction is an important one to know. For example, an institution may offer same-day processing, but the recipient institution may not offer same-day availability of funds. Businesses sending money and their recipients need to keep themselves apprised of the verbiage used by banks when executing a same-day wire transfer. 

Pay Attention to Your Institution’s Rules

Above all, make sure you’re paying attention to the details of a potential same-day wire transfer. Your ability to send money via a same-day wire transfer depends on the institution(s) handling the transaction. Pay attention to cutoff times, transfer amount limits and fine print when it comes to initiating a same-day wire transfer—and don’t be afraid to ask questions. After all, sending money same-day usually means time is a factor in when the recipient will have access to it. 

Digital Payments Offer a Better Way to Pay

If you can, avoid the hassle of same-day wire transfers! Not only can it be nerve-wracking to try and get money moved same-day, the cost of wires is often high. The better option is digital payments, which can move money almost as quickly—all without the costs associated with conventional wire transfers. Better still, they offer transparency: senders and recipients can see exactly where funds are, when they’re expected to land and the currency involved.  

Whether sending money across the country or around the world, digital payments are quickly replacing wire transfers. While there’s still nothing quite as fast as a same-day domestic wire transfer, digital payments are definitely an easier mode of transfer, with a quickness to rival wires. Want to see for yourself? Schedule a free demo of Veem today!

* 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.