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Posted 22 June 2023

Sending an International Wire

Studying abroad or moving to a different country, may involve you sending money back home to help your family or putting money in your account back home to continue your lifestyle when you return. There are a variety of reasons why you would have to send or receive money internationally. Initially, sending money internationally can seem like a daunting task at face value, but it’s actually easier than it seems.


The most common way people can send money overseas is by an international wire transfer. When wiring funds from the United States to anywhere abroad, it is important to have the following information to be able to successfully send the funds. An account number will be needed from the receiver to allow the transfer to take place. An International Bank Account Number or IBAN is an identifier that is 32 characters in length, used to identify an account. It is mainly used by European banks and surrounding areas such as Turkey, Israel, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. An account number or IBAN will be needed, the IBAN is less likely as it is specific to a region. The SWIFT code or BIC (Business Identifier Code) is a more commonly used code made up of 8 to 11 characters that are universally accepted by banks, credit unions and other financial intuitions. The SWIFT code can usually be found on an institutions website, a monthly account statement, or in the institution’s mobile app. This is similar to the routing number you would use to transfer between accounts in the United States between institutions.

Personal information of both account holders will be needed to ensure funds are being delivered to the right person. The financial institution you are sending the wire from will provide a form that will need to be filled out, in order to send the wire. It is important to make sure the account number, SWIFT code, and personal information is filled out correctly. A single error in the account number could lead to the money being delivered to the wrong account. If you have the wrong SWIFT code, the wire won’t be able to send from your institution. The receiving institution could reject the wire if any of the personal information doesn’t match up with the account holder’s information.

The wire is the fastest and safest way to send money internationally, often being received within one to three days. There will be a fee required to send the wire, it can range from $35-$50 depending on your financial institution. There is also no limit on how much money you can send via wire, which makes the wire an ideal transfer method for smaller or larger sums of money.

Converting currency

The exchange rate for the money you are wiring changes every day and is determined internally by the financial institution and the foreign exchange market. The foreign exchange market is very similar to how the stock market changes every day, going up and down, the number you may look up online may be different than what is offered at the credit union or bank.  The exchange rate will be determined by the kind of currency being exchanged and the demand for the currency internationally. When sending the funds, you can choose to send money in United States Dollar (USD) or you can convert the funds and send them in the currency of the country you are sending them to. An important question to ask is: can the financial institution abroad convert USD when received? Confirm the receiving institution is able to convert USD first before sending the wire. Ideally, it is easier to wire the money in the currency of the country you are sending to.

There are multiple ways to send money internationally. The wire is the fastest and most secure way to send funds. Although there are many different ways to send currency internationally, it is important to consider a multitude of aspects that may affect the process. Do your research on the amount of time it will take for the funds to be received, the fees associated with the transfer, and the security level of the method you choose to send. Always double check your information, a small slip up in an account number will lead to the money going to the wrong place.


©2023 Reseda Group LLC, used under license.