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What Is a Wire Transfer?

Cable transfers are a way to transfer money online. It can run between both banks and credit unions. It can also be shipped at home or internationally.

Learn more about how cable transfers work, their safety, and when you might need them.

Definitions and examples of Wire transfers

Cable transfers are a way to transfer money electronically between two banks. The traditional currency line from one bank to another uses a network such as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or Fedwire.

When you need to send or receive money quickly, a wire transfer can be the right tool for the job. Wire transfer is faster, more reliable, and generally safer.

With some large transactions, a cable transfer may be your only option. This is because the funds are available to the recipient almost immediately or less immediately. For example, when buying a home, your real estate agent may require you to use a cable transfer to cover your billing and closing costs.

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Cable transfers can mean any electronic money transfer. But usually, when someone asks for a “bank call,” they want a traditional transfer from bank to bank.

U.S. users can also invest in overseas transfers, also known as transfers. Credit unions and other financial services companies can act as transfer providers, not just banks.

How Wire Transfers Work

To start a wire transfer, you will need to contact your bank. They will ask for specific information about where the money needs to be sent. This usually includes:

  • Which bank account do you want the money from?
  • Name of recipient
  • Recipient’s bank account number
  • Recipient address and zip code
  • The name of the bank to which the money is being sent
  • Bank ABA2 street number

When you send home wire transfers, they usually leave your account and arrive the same day. Since you can only transfer funds in your account, the recipient bank does not need to wait for it to be deleted. This means that the money will be available to the recipient immediately.

Wire transfer is considered a secure way to send money. However, within the U.S., each cable transfer group requires a bank account. To open an account, government regulations require banks to verify your identity (among other things) and request a physical address where you can be reached.

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This lack of anonymity when a bank in the U.S. makes it harder for thieves to extort fraud through bank transfer cable than other payment methods. The scam is most common on your checks or payment services like PayPal.

How Much Does a Wire Transfer Cost?

Unlike other electronic payments, bank cables are expensive. Costs can range from $ 15 to $ 50 per transfer. The price depends on:

  • The bank
  • Whether the call goes out or in
  • Whether the call is local or international
  • Transfer value

Home inputs fall at the end of this price range. Falling global cables are the most expensive. In addition, some banks may issue home phone bills for certain types of accounts.

Some banks limit the amount of money you can send in one transfer or one day. But the limit is usually higher. For example, some banks allow up to $ 100,000 per transfer or up to $ 250,000 per day.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wire Transfer


  • It happened so fast
  • No waiting for canceled money
  • It’s safer than sending a check.


  • It isn’t easy to verify the recipient
  • Fraudulent telemarketing scams
  • It’s hard to cancel

Advantages Explained

Instant: It only takes a few minutes to set up and start cable transfers. Within the U.S., the transfer can be processed on the same day, depending on how quickly you file your application. International transfers take an additional day or two.

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No waiver for cancellation: The recipient does not have to wait a few days to make the refund before applying or spending money. In other words, there is usually no bank deposit placed on the proceeds of the transfer. 

Safe than sending a check: Cable puts less risk of fraud than check because the sender must have enough money in their account to start the call. Conversely, checks can be bankrupt, and it can take several weeks (or more) to determine if a payment was incorrect. 

It may take several hours for the recipient bank to indicate the amount received from the recipient’s account – even if the money is in that bank. The bank employee may need to complete a few tasks to complete the transfer.

Disadvantages Explained

It is difficult to verify the recipient: If you make a phone call to a stranger or use a cash-paying business (such as a “transfer” or Western Union store), it is difficult to determine who received the money. In addition, a person with a fake ID can collect money, and it can be challenging to track the one who got it.

Loan cord fraud: Lower payments, closing costs, and other strings to the title company can be targeted by hackers. Always check the phone where the money should be deposited, especially if you receive phone orders via email.

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Hard to cancel: Transfer providers make it difficult for the sender to refund after the transfer. International transfers may be changed in certain circumstances. 

Other methods of Wire Transfer

The term “cable transfer” is often used for various electronic transmissions. But most payments are made electronically (even checks are digitized).

This transfer is an option where you can or do not want to send a wire transfer. Not all areas quick or secure as a bank transfer cable.

Transfer services

Financial services companies such as Western Union operate independently. You can bring cash in person.

This type of transfer will require how long it will vary. For example, it may take a few minutes or a few days. 

At the end of the acquisition, the business pays the recipient. The recipient is identified by their details, such as their name and address. 

ACH transfer

This is a bank-to-bank transfer through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. ACH transfers usually take a day or two.

This transfer can be reversed, but only in limited cases.

P2P Payment Tools

One-on-one (P2P) services are usually inexpensive and straightforward to use. Includes PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, and Popmoney.

Each tool has different transmission times. Popmoney, for example, enables standard three-day transfers from bank accounts.

And they have different strengths and weaknesses. Users should learn the options for each service. What you use may depend on whether you make a transaction in payment, payment, and other forms of transfer.

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Key Points

  • Cable transfers are a way to transfer money electronically between two banks.
  • Because the sender must have funds in their account, cable transfers do not require time to clear before the funds are available to the recipient.
  • A wire transfer can be used locally or globally and is often required for large purchases such as down payments.
  • You should always make sure where you are sending the transmission because it is difficult to undo.

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