Details You Need For International Bank Transfer 

what details do i need for an international bank transfer

International money transfer refers to moving money from one country to the other. You can transfer funds through various platforms such as bank accounts, mobile money wallets, credit unions, or cash delivery companies/individuals. When sending money, the ultimate goal is to have the funds reach the intended recipient. That means you must ensure that you use the safest method ever. Money transfers occur both domestically and internationally. So what details do I need for an international bank transfer?

I will discuss the main things that you require for international money transfers. You will realize that the details differ slightly from the domestic money transfers. Providing adequate information ensures that funds reach the intended recipient without fail. Most transactions fail because of not providing the necessary details or giving inaccurate particulars for the recipient. It is always essential to review a transfer before tapping the ‘Send’ button.

You can either send money online or at a physical branch. Banks and credit unions facilitate physical branch transfers whereby you may need to fill out a transfer form before allowing the transfer. We also have money transfer agents such as Western Union and MoneyGram that allow you to transfer funds at a branch. The agents usually accept cash or payments with debit or credit cards. The recipients can then pick up money at their nearest branch or have the funds directly in their bank accounts.

Methods You Can Use To Send Money Using A Bank Account

If you are planning to send money with your bank account, then there are two methods you can use to send money. They include:

  • ACH 
  • Wire transfer

ACH transfers involve moving finances from your bank account to another bank, domestically or internationally. It relies on the Automated Clearing House, which processes the transfers on behalf of the sending and receiving banks.

It takes 1-2 business days to process domestic ACH transfers, although individual banks may decide to allow same-day delivery of funds. ACH transfers require you to transfer money using the routing number and account number of the recipient. The only problem with ACH transfers is that you cannot transfer large volumes of money.

Wire transfers refer to moving money from your account to the recipient’s account. Unlike ACH, the sending and receiving banks communicate directly to effect the transfer. It is possible to transfer large volumes of money via wire transfer, making it one of the most effective ways of sending money internationally.

what details do i need for an international bank transfer

Remember that wire transfers allow you to move money both domestically and internationally. Some fees accompany wire transfers which include sending and receiving fees. You should understand that wire transfers require routing and account numbers.

Despite the fees charged by wire transfer institutions, it remains the best way to transfer money internationally since it allows the transfer of large volumes of money.

Details That You Need For An International Bank Transfer

As I mentioned earlier, international transfers require additional details compared to domestic transfers. Details vary from country to country. When sending international wires to the US, you require the following. 

  • Recipient’s full name and address
  • Recipient’s account number
  • Account type
  • Recipient’s routing number
  • Recipient bank’s BIC/SWIFT code

I have mentioned some of the details earlier, but maybe you do not understand them. Let me start by discussing what a routing number is. A routing number refers to a set of numbers that helps to identify specific financial institutions within the US. It is sometimes known as the ABA routing number regarding the American Bankers Association. It is suitable for a bank-to-bank transfer.

The account number helps to identify the specific recipients within a bank. A bank usually has thousands of account holders and thus the need to identify each account holder. Also, the funds you deposit to your account go to your account specifically due to the account number.  

The BIC means Business Identifier Codes (BIC). It is also called SWIFT and is used to identify banks and other financial companies globally. It says who and where the institutions are located. Therefore, it is a kind of international bank code or ID.

Countries in the Euro Zone also use the BIC/SWIFT code. You can find your bank’s SWIFT/BIC code in your account statements or use a SWIFT/BIC finder such as the Wise’s to get the correct code for your transfer.

When sending money to other countries, you may require IBAN, another code for identifying international banks. IBAN starts with a two-digit country code, two numbers, and several more alphanumeric characters.

Other Ways To Send Money Internationally

Banks are not the only media for sending funds internationally. You can use various online platforms, which include the following.

i) PayPal

PayPal is a money transfer company that allows you to transfer funds online worldwide. You can open an account online to start using the services. When transferring funds to other PayPal users, you do not pay any fees.

International transfers may not attract any fees unless when converting currencies. PayPal, therefore, remains one of the cheapest ways to send money internationally

ii) Payoneer

Payoneer also operates like PayPal in that you can send money internationally for free and pay fees when converting funds from one currency to the other. Like PayPal, you require the recipient’s email ID to send them money. Payoneer to Payoneer transfers is instant unless there are technical hitches.

iii) Western Union

Western Union is a money transfer agent that allows you to transfer funds to international recipients. The platform allows you to use your bank or payment card to send money to others in their bank accounts or pick-up locations.

Final Words

International money transfer refers to moving money from one country to the other. You can move money from, for example, the USA to the UK, or any other country. You can either use wire transfers or ACH to move money.

Wire transfers are the best for moving large amounts of money, although they charge fees. We have other ways you can move money internationally, including PayPal, Payoneer, and western Union.

Spencer Tierney is a writer and expert on certificates of deposits at His work has been featured by USA Today, MSN, SF Gate, the Los Angeles Times, NerdWallet and more. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at UC Berkeley.