How to Wire Money Internationally

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Running out of money while traveling abroad or having to send money to someone in another country can cause major anxiety. You may not be sure how someone will be able to send you money you need, or whether money that you send to another country will be safe. Luckily, wire transfers can be the solution to both of these problems. International wire transfers are one of the most common methods of sending money from one country to another and are also considered to be one of the safest methods of sending money worldwide. Wire transfers are easy to initiate and receive, and can be done in two different ways.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo identification
  • Name of individual that you are sending money to (consumer-to-consumer transfers)
  • Bank name, address and account number that you are sending money to (for bank-to-bank transfers)

Bank-to-Bank Wire Transfers

Visit the bank where the account you are sending money from is held and tell the teller you wish to do a wire transfer. Depending on the bank, the teller may be able to assist you directly or they may direct you to another bank employee who will be able to help you with the wire transfer.

Fill out the required paperwork to authorize the wire transfer. Though this may vary slightly from one bank to another, the paperwork will include your account number, the amount that you wish to transfer, the name of the recipient, the name and address of the recipient's bank, and the account number that the funds will be transferred into. The teller or bank employee who is performing the wire transfer for you may fill out some or all of this information, though you will still be required to sign the form before the transfer can be completed.

Wait for confirmation and a receipt for your wire transfer transaction. Depending on the bank that the money is being transferred to, the funds may be transferred directly from your bank to the recipient's bank or it may be transferred to a third-party bank first as an intermediary.

Consumer-to-Consumer Wire Transfers

Contact the person to whom you are sending money, to find out which consumer-to-consumer wire transfer service (such as Western Union or MoneyGram) they have access to. You will need to visit the same transfer service in your location so the wire transfer can be completed within their network.

Fill out the wire transfer paperwork for international consumer-to-consumer wire transfers. Depending on the service you use, there may be different forms for different countries or there may be a generic "international" form for all wire transfers to another country.

Pay the wire transfer amount and wait for a confirmation and receipt once the wire transfer has been completed. Depending on the service used and the country where the recipient is, the money may be available immediately, or there may be a delay of up to 10 minutes or longer.

Contact the person to whom you are sending the money, to let them know the wire transfer has been completed and that they can go pick up their money. Remind them they will need to bring a photo ID to claim the money.

Tips & Warnings

  • An additional fee will be required in addition to the amount that you are transferring; the amount of this fee can vary depending on whether your wire transfer is bank-to-bank or consumer-to-consumer, and may also vary from one bank or wire transfer service to another.

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