How long does a wire transfer take?

Gabriela Peratello

Wire transfers are an electronic way to move funds across bank accounts — be it domestically or internationally.

While they're known to be a faster alternative to ACH payments, there are some things which can affect the wire transfer time.

So keep reading for what can influence wire transfer speed.


How long does a wire transfer take?

The processing times for wire transfers can vary a lot. Domestic wire transfers usually take less than 24 hours while international wire transfers can take up to 1 - 5 business days — they can be quite slow as many factors influence transfer time.

Domestic wire transfer time

If you're wiring money domestically, the funds will usually process within 24 hours.

This is due to the Expedited Funds Availability Act (EFAA) which requires financial institutions to process domestic wire transfers in a single business day¹.

International wire transfer time

On average, a global wire transfer may take between one and five business days to process. A factor which can also influence the speed of your transfer are cut-off times.

This means that banks will only process your transfer if your wire request comes before a certain time of the day. Different banks have their own set processing times (and cut-off times), so that can influence how long your wire transfer can take.

It's also common for international transfers to be done via the SWIFT network; this type of payment goes through several intermediary banks, enhancing the time it takes to reach the final destination.

Learn more about how long international wires take in our complete guide

What information do you need to make a wire transfer?

The information you'll need might vary slightly from bank to bank, so make sure to double check with them before finalizing your transfer.

But, have at least the following details at hand to get started²:

Domestic wiresInternational wires
  • Full name

  • Address

  • Bank name

  • Bank address and phone number

  • Bank account number

  • Account type (checking or savings)

  • Bank wire routing number

  • Amount

  • Full name

  • Address

  • Bank name

  • Bank address and phone number

  • Bank account number or IBAN (International Bank Account Number)

  • Account type (checking or savings)

  • BIC/SWIFT code

  • Amount

  • Currency you're sending to

  • Reason for your transfer

What can impact wire transfer times?

Here is a look at a few of the main reasons why a wire transfer can take some extra time:


Sometimes it can happen that the information provided in the wire transfer request is incorrect. A delay or lost transfer can occur if key details such as the recipient’s full name, account number, SWIFT/BIC code are not precise.

If you notice a delay, you can request that your bank traces the wire through its unique IMAD/OMAD identification number. The resulting information will show the progress of the transaction across each important stage. If the wire transfer went to the wrong account, you will be aware of the details.


Wire transfers can also depend on timing. For example, most banks will not process wire transfers over the weekends. Different countries also operate with different time zones, which can add further delays.

Also, check the official holidays of the region you’re wiring money – banks are usually closed on these days. Time zones can also play a part, especially if you are sending wire transfers to a region located in a distant time zone.

Different policies

Banks sometimes have varying processing times due to their policies. Some banks will be slower than others, so it is something to consider before choosing one: for example, if you have to send the wire transfer through intermediary banks, then these extra steps can lead to slower transfer times.


Lastly, the destination country can also impact processing times. Certain jurisdictions will have stricter regulations in place than others which can cause delays.

This includes extensive anti-money laundering and fraud checks. There will also be some countries that are slow when it comes to wire transfers, such as Afghanistan and India as sending funds to these countries can often take weeks³.

An alternative to international wire transfers: meet Wise

If you're looking for a more expeditious way of making international payments, you should take a look at Wise.

Wise offers local pay in methods — such as ACH, wire transfer, debit or credit cards — and sends money directly to over 80 currencies.

You can download the Wise app or use their website to make fast, low cost and secure international payments in just a few clicks.

The Wise Account also lets you:
  • Get a connected debit card to spend in over 170 countries

  • Use the mid-market exchange rate for all transactions

  • Hold money in 10 different currencies

Get a Wise Account
in minutes

Please see Terms of Use for your region or visit Wise Fees & Pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information


  1. CFI - Expedited funds availability act
  2. Divvy - How long does a wire transfer take?
  3. Assembly Payments - Slow to pay countries

Sources checked 03.20.2023

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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