What is a wire transfer

What is a Wire Transfer?

Learn about Wire Transfer with Katrina Kaif
Namastey London 2007

Movie Case Study

The scene shows Jasmeet (Played by Katrina Kaif) is in India and she needs money to get out of a difficult situation. So she calls Imran (Played by Upen Patel) who is transferring money to her in India. She receives this money through a wire transfer from London. In this blog, Learning Perspectives will explore the meaning of wire transfer.

What is a Wire Transfer?

Wire transfer means transferring money electronically from one place to another. The scene shows an international transfer of money from London to India. These are also referred to as wire payments. These transfers are not physical exchanges but are electronic.

How does this operation work?

A common way of the wire transfer in banks is SWIFT or Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network and FEDWIRE (Fedwire funds service). This network is of secure financial messaging services. SWIFT is at the forefront of the innovative application of technology within the financial sector.

A wire transfer can take place both domestically and internationally. Bank A in London would give instructions to Bank B in India. These instructions are transmitted through an intermediary bank. These banks have information about the account holder. Wiring money through banks can be done either in person, at a bank, or through online mode. When sending money to someone, one might be required to fill out a paper form too. If money is to be received from abroad following information is required. Jasmeet must have furnished the following information.

  • Full name & Address
  • Phone number
  • Account number & account type
  • International bank account number
  • SWIFT number

Time & Cost

There are costs associated with wire transfers. These are generally flat wire transfer fees. Domestic fees are $15 while international wire transfer is expensive. A domestic wire transfer can happen in a day while an international wire transfer might take 3-5 days.

Several European nations use the International Bank Account Number (IBAN) system instead. The US and Canada don’t use IBAN, but they do recognize it and process payments.

Today we have many online transfer applications such as PayPal, Paytm, WhatsApp, etc. These tools allow time-saving. Whatsapp uses the UPI (Unified Payments Interface). This is an instant real-time payment transfer system. it is developed by NCPI or the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI). UPI helps in bank-to-bank transfers through the phone. Domestic payments can be done easily however, WhatsApp payment features are currently available in India and Brazil for now. 

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