What you can expect when initiating your wire transfer
A lot of people are not familiar with wire transfers. They can be intimidating, especially when its your first time. If you need to make a wire transfer today or tomorrow you came to the right place. From a Personal Banker perspective, I have the inside scoop.
As a Personal Banker, I processed hundreds of wire transfers and a common theme that I saw, was that not many knew what a wire transfer entailed. In addition to that, they didn’t know what was required.
All of these tips are to help you have a smooth experience. Not being prepared creates a headache for the banker processing the wire, his or her manager and for the wire transfer department. Of course, you will also be in the mix too. You need to make sure you have the proper information necessary to process your wire transfer beforehand.
If this is your first time going to make a wire transfer don’t sweat it. This should pretty much cruise you through your process.
Not only will you know what is typically required, you will feel more confident you won’t lose your money. Yes, this is possible. That’s why I decided to create this. Just keep in mind, every bank has its own process.
Here is a bankers behind the scenes tips of what you need to know about wire transfers
This is where you walk in, give your name and wait to be called by a banker who has the authority to initiate wires. Not all do. The banker will call you over to their office to greet you and ask you what they can do for you. Once you say you need to do a wire transfer, they will scream in their own heads — Nooooooo!!! Their knees will buckle and they’ll wish they could pass it on to the next banker. 😂 Just kidding. Ok — no I’m not.
A good banker on the other hand, uses this as an opportunity to get to know more about you and your financial behaviors. The banker will begin the preliminary questions and feedback as to what they will need from you in order to process your wire correctly.
Before anything, in order to initiate a wire transfer you will need to go to your bank where you hold your funds. You cannot go to a random bank and just initiate a wire transfer. You need to go to the bank that has the funds you want to wire. I have had clients who have done this. This is uncommon information and a process that is very new to some and that’s totally understandable.
Need To Be An Owner Of The Account
You need to be an authorized owner of the accounts in order to wire funds to begin with. What does this mean? It must be your account, that you operate.
If you are a beneficiary on that account, you cannot make a wire transfer. Only an authorized owner has the authority to release funds.
I have wired millions of dollars over time, and when you are moving this sizable amount you must be the owner of that account. If you own that account with your partner, you can wire funds. You don’t need the other owner of the account to be present or consent. Keep that in mind.
This is probably the most sensitive part of the wire process other than you signing your funds away. In order to make an accurate wire transfer, you will be responsible to bring accurate wire instructions. The banker is going to process what you bring them. Try to get a printed wire instruction sheet directly from the recipient. If you get this, you are golden.
Within these wire instructions you will need to ensure that you have the following:
- Recipients Account Number
- Name and Address of the Recipient
- ABA/Routing Number
- SWIFT (International Wire Transfers Only)
- Notes (optional)
If you are coming in with written wire instructions, do your best to revise and verify that the written instructions you have are accurate.
Release of Funds
Releasing funds from an account can be risky. The bank wants its protection, so they will have you sign a document attesting that you have reviewed the information and everything is correct. Once you hit submit, that money is gone very, very, quickly. Be prepared to sign.
You Will Get A Wire Receipt KEEP IT
At the end of your wire transfer process, the banker should hand you a wire receipt. This receipt is highly important. Do not throw it away. File it and keep it for your records. The bank does have their own copy that they can recover, but you should keep your own.
The amount of the wire transfer may require extra identification. Make sure that you take two forms of identification with you. From my experience, a major debit card or credit card should suffice for a second id. A great practice is to call your bank and ask them what identifications they require to initiate a wire transfer.
Initiating a wire transfer sucks for both of us. It sucks for the banker because here we are putting our jobs on the line when we key the information in and release the funds and it is a slow process for you. This is not an in and out quick process. So please don’t show up to your local bank in a rush to send your funds out because the place you are sending it to is about to close or has a deadline. Plan it out!
Plan and organize yourself
Don’t show up without instructions, and then call your friend to read you the account number over the phone as they are driving. I can’t tell you how often something like this happens. Get all of your information together prior. Get any instructions that you need directly from the recipient.
There are fees associated with wire transfers. They can be steep. The banks that I worked for, charged 25 dollars or so for domestic wire transfers and 50 dollars or so for international wire transfers.
If you own a business account and are sending money from your business account, you can expect a heavier hit with the wire transfer fee.
There are 2 different fees associated with wire transfers. You have your initiation fees and you have your receiving fees. That’s right, your bank can charge you for receiving a wire transfer. So choose your bank wisely and consider other options of transferring money such as online banking or Zelle are both great options if you don’t need to send a high amount. If you have a good relationship with the banker, they can sometimes waive your fee or refund it to you. 😉
Routing numbers can be found online
Often times clients are scrambling for their information. While I don’t recommend you take this route due to risk, you can resort to finding somethings online if you find yourself in that situation..
A quick google search for your banks SWIFT code or Routing number can be done and sometimes it works. Just depends on how attentive the banker is who is assisting you.
If you can, avoid this by getting a printed wire instruction directly from the recipient. An email works well too, print it out and take it with you to your local bank. Often times, you don’t even have to do or say much if you walk in with printed wire instructions.
Hope this helps!