6 ways to transfer money to someone else's bank account

Adam Rozsa
3 minute read

Whether it’s to pay back a friend or family member, split utilities with a roommate, or maybe even make a payment overseas, sometimes you need to transfer money into someone else’s bank account. 

If you’re not sure where to start, or what transfer method will be right for you, read on to find out what you need to know. 

You'll learn all about sending money within the US and also how to save when sending money overseas with Wise, which is 6x cheaper compared to other alternatives.


📝 Here are the 6 ways to transfer money to someone else

1. Cash

One of the most common ways to transfer money to someone else is to do it in cash. You can withdraw cash from your own bank account either at a bank branch or by using an ATM. 

Then you can deliver the cash to the owner of the recipient bank account in person, allowing them to deposit it themselves, or you can go to a branch of their bank and ask to deposit money into their bank account.

However, some banks and other financial institutions don’t allow depositing cash into another person’s account because of the high likelihood of fraud with cash payments. So this might not be the best way of doing this.

ways to transfer money into someone’s bank account

2. Wire transfer

If you’ve ever heard someone in a movie say they’ll “wire” money to someone, this option might sound daunting. But it’s actually easier than you’d think. Wire transfers are just a method banks use to move money between each other electronically. 

For most banks, you’ll have to go make a wire in person. If your bank is in another part of town, or you have a jam-packed schedule, this can be an issue. 

Wires are a bit pricey, too: depending on your bank, the price may range anywhere from $15 - $35 or more. If you’re looking to make an international wire transfer, costs go up even more.

On top of the upfront fee from your bank (which may range from $35 - $60), you’ll be hit with poor exchange rates and flat bank fees from possibly up to 3 correspondent banks.

International transfers also take a bit more time. Anywhere from 1-5 business days, depending on your recipient’s country.

💡 Cost and even speed-wise, you’re almost always better off using Wise over your bank for an international wire (SWIFT) transfer.

recipient needs to sign up for

3. Sending money online

Maybe you’ve heard of these apps and services that let you transfer money online on a website or via an app.

In this scenario, your recipient will already need to be registered with the service. From inside the service, you can send them money.

Once your recipient knows you’ve sent them money, and it’s waiting in a balance for them.

This works with services like:

 But, let’s face it, your granny’s probably never going to sign up for it.

Which means if you’re sending money to someone who isn’t so tech-savvy, you may need some other options that don’t require them to buy a smartphone and download some apps.

4. Wise

To send money straight from your bank account to another account, inside or outside the US, Wise can be a great option.

Their smart, new technology connected local bank accounts in respective countries, skipping hefty international bank fees and helping normal everyday folks save up to 6x compared to other alternatives.

You can sign up for a Wise account for free. No monthly charges. You’ll find just small, fair fees when you switch between currencies or send money within the US or abroad.

Once you’re all set up, you can begin holding a balance in dozens of currencies — sending your money all over the world. Or just inside the US. 

You can also get the Wise card, which you can use to pay for goods and services all over the world.

Get a free Wise account today

deposit dollars into recipient account

5. Check

A common way to transfer money is simply by writing a check, which can you can deliver in person or send in the mail.

Simply fill out a check, paid to the order of the other person, or “cash.” Either you or your intended recipient will then need to deposit the check into their bank account.

While checks are getting less and less common these days, there are many banks still accepting them.

6. Money order

If you’re going to mail the money, a money order is a more secure alternative to cash or a check, since it can be traced and canceled if it gets lost or stolen. 

The fees for money orders depend on the provider, expect to pay around $2 for domestic money orders and up to $12 for an international one.

As you pay in advance for a money order, it means there’s no need to keep sufficient funds in your account while you wait for it to be cashed.

💡 You can buy a money order at places like the Post Office, a Western Union location or Walmart.

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 TransferWise 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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