what details do i need for an international bank transfer

What Details Do I Need For International Bank Transfer 

April 9, 2022

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. 

How to open a bank account?

Opening a bank account is not a hectic thing since only a few steps are necessary. First of all, you must get all the requirements to get started. They include an identification document such as state ID, passport or driver’s license, Social Security Number, email address, physical address, and phone number.

When opening online, most banks require you to have a debit card or bank account to make your first deposit if you are opening an account that requires an opening deposit. 

After collecting everything required, you can open your account in the best possible way. If opening online, you will need to visit the bank’s website and navigate the account opening page. You fill out all the needed details in the form, submit them online, and attach the necessary documents. 

In most cases, you have to provide proof of your current physical address by uploading your recent bill payment statement. Since it contains your current address, then the bank will quickly confirm it. The same applies to when opening your account at a branch. Once your account is up and about, you will be able to perform various kinds of transactions. 

How to send money with a bank account?

what details do i need for an international bank transfer

Transferring money is one of the practical uses of a bank account. One can transfer money to someone else’s bank account online or at a physical branch. Sending money online is convenient since you only need to use your phone or computer to effect the transfer.

Furthermore, I can do the transfer anytime of the day and from anywhere. You can send money in the following manner.

  • Log into your account online or use the banking app.
  • Navigate to the money transfer section
  • Enter the account number of the recipient
  • Enter the amount of money to send
  • Authorize the transfer with your PIN, Touch ID, or Password. 

Remember that the above procedure is a general guideline on how you can transfer money to someone else’s account. Specific banks may use different terms or different steps when sending money. When sending finances to someone from another bank, you will need to use their account and the routing numbers of their banks. Big banks also have separate account and routing numbers for every state. 

When you transfer funds to an account within your branch, the transfers will reflect immediately or within a few minutes. However, transferring funds to another bank may take a day or more, depending on the transfer method. 

Which methods can I use to send money with 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.

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.  

What details do 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.

Can you accept ACH instantly?

Even though standard ACH transfers take longer to complete, some institutions allow you to accept ACH payments instantly probably at a fee. You do not have to wait for so long to get your funds. Some companies facilitate instant transfers.

A good example is PaymentCloud which supports ACH payment processing for businesses. You can instantly send and receive ACH payments for B2B payments with their simple and secure technology that lets one expand their digital payments options. It has no setup fees whatsoever. The company allows you to;

  • Accept Instant ACH Transfers
  • Increase Cash Flow
  • Enjoy multiple Gateway Integrations
  • Accept Payments Anytime
  • Send ACH Payments Online

How else can you 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. 

Bottom line

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.

Posted by Spencer Tierney
Spencer Tierney is a writer and expert on certificates of deposits at transfermone.com. 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.