How do I Make an International Wire Transfer?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

Completing an international wire transfer is much like completing a domestic wire transfer in that funds are transferred from one bank account into another bank account. The main differences with an international wire transfer is that there may be regulations and codes that relate to the exchange of money across borders that must be followed. Depending on the country to which the money is being sent, there may be specific bank codes that have to be noted and referenced during the process of completing the international wire transfer. These codes are crucial as they identify the bank where the money is to be received.

Records of an international wire transfer.
Records of an international wire transfer.

The most important steps in completing an international wire transfer include researching the country to which the funds are being sent and finding out any regulations regarding the transfer of funds, transferring the funds via a reliable service, and getting tracking or confirmation information. Depending on one's bank, it might be possible to complete an international wire transfer right at one's local branch. In other cases, it may be necessary to use the services of a credit union. Before sending an international wire transfer, it is important to find out what fees there are associated with the transfer and to prepare for those fees, especially if they will be assessed on the recipient's end.

For people who need to complete international wire transfers on a regular basis, it is possible to set up a system that is easy to use and can be done right from one's home office. For example, parents who are financing their child's undergraduate education in another country might be able to make a regular international wire transfer from their accounts to their child's overseas account. This would be a way for the parents to extend a monthly or quarterly allowance. As there are often fees associated with each transaction, this might not be the most inexpensive way to sending money, but some people prefer it for the sake of convenience.

For anyone who has never before completed an international wire transfer, it is best to go to a trusted banker or financial adviser for assistance. If the staff at one's local bank branch cannot be of service, they may be able to give a referral to another person within the company who can help. International wire transfers are successfully completed every day, perhaps every minute, so there are certainly plenty of people in the financial world who can offer advice.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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