Banks make a domestic wire transfer to send funds to financial institutions residing in the same country or financial zone. When sending funds to financial institutions in a foreign country or financial zone, banks have to make an international wire transfer.

The differences between these two wire transfers affect the number of fees banks charge, and the duration it takes to complete the transfer.

Read on to discover what these differences are, and how they can affect your wire transfers.

  1. US Domestic Wire Transfers
  2. US International Wire Transfer
  3. EU Domestic Wire Transfer
  4. EU International Wire Transfer
  5. Transfer Your Funds

Domestic International Transfers

US Domestic Wire Transfers

Banks in the US use either the Fedwire or the Clearing House Interbank Payments System (CHIPS), to make domestic wire transfers. Transactions that use the Fedwire system have to follow the Federal Reserve Regulation J, charging approximately between $25 and $35 varying on the institution. 

Fedwire

US banks that use the Fedwire to make transfers, rely on the American Bankers Association (ABA) routing transit number to identify the receiving bank.  The ABA routing transit number has nine digits of code that identifies a US bank.

Fedwire transfers are fast, and the receiving bank credits their customer’s account almost immediately. A customer can access the funds as soon as the bank gets a notification of the funds getting credited to its Federal Reserve account.

The following are instructions demanding the receiving bank of the transaction; the routing number of the receiving bank, account number, name and dollar amount to be transferred. 

CHIPS

CHIPS Operating Rules, govern wire transfers that use the CHIPS system. The system is operated by the New York Clearing House Association. However, with CHIPS, funds are cleared at the end of the business day.

At the close of the day’s business, the CHIP system adjusts each bank’s net balance at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

US International Wire Transfer

When making international wire transfers, US banks use either Fedwire or CHIPS system to carry out the wire transfer. However, they rely on the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) codes, to send the wire instructions.

SWIFT is not a funds transfer system, rather, it is a non-profit global association of over 9,000 banks.  All SWIFT communication follows SWIFT Operating Rules.

Both domestic and international wire transfers from the US can be costly. That is because there are no regulations limiting the fees that US banks can charge for a wire transfer. International transfers could cost up to $43 per transaction while $8 to $10 charges are deducted from recipients’ accounts.

US International Wire Transfer Fees

When you make an international wire transfer, you may pay additional fees, which ordinarily don’t apply to local transfers. These fees included currency conversion fees and intermediary bank fees. Therefore, you have to consult the sender, about how you can split the transfer fees.

It’s customary when making an international wire transfer, for the sender to pay any fees charged by the sending bank, while the receiver pays any fees charged by the intermediary banks, as well as the receiving bank.

That works best because both the sender and receiver can then consult their banks easily, to know how much fees they are likely to get charged.

Similarities between Domestic and International US wire Transfers

When making a US Domestic Wire Transfer or US International Wire Transfer, your bank may request you to provide them with at least two types of identification. Often, one of the IDs must have your image on it, while the other should have your current physical address.

You can use your state ID, driving license, or passport as your photo ID. The other ID must be an official document, which includes a bank statement, valid driver’s license, debit or credit card, or your health insurance card.

And if you are a business, then you need to provide a copy of your articles of incorporation, in place of a photo ID. However, if you already have an account with your bank, chances are you have already provided them with these documents.

In that case, you can simply request the domestic wire transfer online, or visit your local branch. If you do it online, your bank may give you a call to confirm the transfer, if the amount exceeds a certain limit, or it is the first of its kind that you are making.

You will also need to specify a reason for transferring the funds. That is important if the amount you are transferring exceeds $10,000, or you are sending multiple amounts that exceed $10,000 within a period of 30 days.

Your bank will inform the relevant agencies involved in monitoring banking fraud.

EU Domestic Wire Transfer

EU domestic wire transfers are executed using SWIFT or Bank Identification Code (BIC), an international code used by banks for transactions of which each bank has its own unique code and the International Bank Association Number (IBAN) to identify the receiving bank.

Irrespective of the method used to make a wire transfer, all EU member Banks have to adhere to the Single Euro Processing Area (SEPA) regulations.

SEPA

The SEPA regulations state that all wire transfer charges within the EU member states, must not exceed the national fee to complete the same wire transfer. Therefore, most EU Banks do not charge a fee for acting as an EU intermediary or correspondent bank. However, banks can charge exchange fees for converting currencies.

The Single Euro Processing Area ( SEPA) is a European Union payment-integration initiative consisting of thirty-six countries — the 19 Eurozone states namely Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain and eight non-Eurozone states — Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden; the four member states of the European Free Trade Association and the four microstates including the United Kingdom.

It employs three individual schemes to function which are the SEPA Credit Transfer, SEPA Instant Credit Transfer, SEPA Direct Debit.

When using SEPA, the recipient (payee) debits the sender’s (payer’s) account, using a form known as the SEPA Direct Debit Mandate. The debtor must sign the form, before the creditor is allowed to debit funds from their account, at least once.

SEPA Post Brexit

UK residents may continue to enjoy the convenience of making wire transfers under SEPA, but they may be required to provide additional information, such as their physical addresses.

EU International Wire Transfer

International wire transfers originating from or destined to the EU member banks use SWIFT/BIC and IBAN to effect a wire transfer. However, EU international wire transfers do not follow SEPA rules, when the sending or receiving bank is not a SEPA member.

That makes the cost of sending and receiving wire transfers to the EU, comparable to those of countries outside the US. However, it is still cheaper to make an international wire transfer from the EU, than from the US.

Transfer Your Funds

Generally, most international transfers are done using SWIFT (Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) which employs a secure messaging system activated for information transfer between banks, such as international wire transfer instructions. It has a network of over 10,000 banks and financial institutions spread across 200 and countries.

SWIFT ensures the making of the international wire transfer process an easy and simple one which basically entails SWIFT sending instructions to make a deduction from your bank account and an addition to the recipient’s bank account. The relevant information required to make transfers often differ from bank to bank but mostly include name and address of recipient’s bank, recipient’s account number/ IBAN, BIC or SWIFT code of recipient’s bank, amount to transfer, and currency to be received in, the reason for making the transfer and fee payment requirements between sender and recipient — a sender can either decide to cover all fees or share fee payment with the recipient.

Note also that despite the stated transfer duration of both domestic and international transfers, some factors can affect how long it takes for a recipient to receive the transfer. Factors including detailed errors, time zones, currencies, bank holidays, and weekends. It is fairly important to ensure demanding and stating correct details before transfers are made. Double-check SWIFT and BIC codes, account numbers, and recipient information.

We hope that you found this guide to be informative, and engaging. If you need a safer and fast way to send money, then check out our recommendations for the best deals.