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International wire transfer time: How much is too much? 

International wire transfer time cannot be determined with one aspect of banking procedures. 

Of course, with compliance, documentation transfers, and other time-consuming processes, a short period cannot be guaranteed easily for any transaction. 

Specifically speaking for a business international wire transfer, the factors may involve time taken by documentation for Form A2, FIRA, etc. It may be opening a current account at a reputed bank or you may opt for hedging to lock in the forex pricing but seek to make a payment at a later date. 

In this blog post, we break down the nuances involved in making an international wire transfer and the time it might take to do the same. 

Let’s dive right in. 

What is an International wire transfer? 

An international wire transfer is a means of moving money between two parties located in different countries. Here is a broad overview of its functioning:

  1. Initiation:

Sender's Bank: The person or entity initiating the transfer (sender) goes to their local bank, which is typically referred to as the originating or sender's bank.

Submission: The sender provides details, such as the recipient's name, bank account number, international bank account number (IBAN), and the bank's SWIFT/BIC code. The SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) code acts as a unique identifier for each bank.

  1. Processing:

SWIFT Network: After confirming the details, the sender's bank utilizes the SWIFT network to transmit a message to the recipient's bank, delivering instructions for the transfer.

Intermediary Banks: In many cases, the funds may pass through one or more intermediary banks (correspondent banks) before reaching the recipient's bank. These banks facilitate the transfer across borders.

  1. Currency Conversion:

Exchange Rate: If the sender's and recipient's accounts are in different currencies, the funds may be converted at an exchange rate. Exchange rates can affect the final amount received by the recipient.

  1. Recipient's Bank:

SWIFT Notification: The bank of the recipient receives the SWIFT message and adds the transferred funds to the recipient's account.

  1. Recipient: The recipient is notified that the funds have been deposited into their account.

How long does a wire transfer take from bank to bank in India?

International wire transfers, especially those involving currency conversion, may take longer than domestic wire transfers due to additional processes and compliance checks.

The time it takes to process international wire transfers can vary, typically spanning from two business days to a week or even longer, contingent on the participating banks.

Specifically how long does an international wire transfer take? 

Banks handle international wire transfers exclusively on business days, adhering to designated cut-off times. Typically, the standard timeframe for completing the transfer is within 24 working hours. Nevertheless, it is advisable to verify this information directly with your bank.

In contemporary times, the majority of banking procedures take place through online platforms. Despite the expectation that funds would instantly reach the recipient's bank account, the reality is that the duration of a wire transfer is not immediate.

Hence, international wire transfers may take up to 5 working days. In some cases, they may take more time.

How long do international wire transfers take?

The time it takes for international bank transfers to complete can fluctuate significantly, influenced by factors such as the countries involved, the facilitating banks, the chosen transfer method, and the potential involvement of intermediary banks. Here are some basic guidelines:

  1. SWIFT Transfers:

The majority of global bank transfers utilize the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) network. The completion of SWIFT transfers may span several business days, particularly in cases where intermediary banks play a role.

  1. Currency Conversion:

In the event of currency conversion in the transfer, extra time might be required for the conversion process. The overall transfer time can be influenced by exchange rates and the accessibility of currency trading markets during specific hours.

  1. Bank Processing Time:

The speed of the transfer can be influenced by the processing time at both the sending and receiving banks. While some banks may have quicker processing times, others might take longer due to the completion of necessary checks and verifications.

  1. Cut-Off Times:

Numerous banks enforce cut-off times for handling international transfers. If a transfer request is submitted after the bank's cut-off time, it may be processed on the following business day, possibly prolonging the overall transfer duration.

  1. Weekends and Holidays:

The speed of international transfers can be affected by weekends and public holidays in either the sending or receiving country. Banks may refrain from processing transactions on non-business days.

  1. Type of Transfer:

Various categories of international transfers, including wire transfers, ACH transfers, or electronic funds transfers (EFT), can exhibit differing processing times. While expedited or express transfer alternatives may offer faster service, they frequently entail higher international wire transfer fees.

Factors slowing international wire transfer time

While one might expect international bank transfers to be instant with the prevalence of online banking, delays can occur for various reasons:

#1 Bank holidays and weekends

Occasionally, international payments experience delays due to weekends and holidays when banks are closed. In simpler terms, if the bank is not open, your payment cannot be processed.

For urgent money transfers, verify if there's a holiday in the recipient's country. Additionally, consider sending your payment early in the week to ensure ample processing time and timely arrival before the weekend, minimizing the likelihood of delays.

#2 Fraud prevention

International wire transfer delays arise from banks implementing security measures to prevent fraud. In the SWIFT money transfers, money moves through a maximum of three correspondent banks before reaching the final destination. Following this, extra processing time at the recipient's bank can prolong the overall duration of the payment.

#3 Settling Mark up fee for differential currencies

Converting money to another currency can lengthen the duration of international bank transfers. If the payment needs to be in a different currency than the one it was initially sent in, the processing time may be extended.

#4 Incorrect payment details

Making errors in payment details, such as the recipient's name, bank name, account number, IBAN, or SWIFT/BIC code, can result in delays or the possibility of the payment being returned. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly verify these details before initiating a money transfer.

#5 Time Zones between countries 

Even though it might be midday in London, Los Angeles could be in the middle of the night. To speed up the processing of your international bank transfer, think about initiating it during the business hours of your recipient's country.

Karbon can help

Venturing into global markets? 

Explore Karbon Forex for outward remittances from India. In the SWIFT network, transfers move through a maximum of three correspondent banks before reaching the final destination. Following this, extra processing time at the recipient's bank can prolong the overall duration of the payment. Contact us to know more! 

FAQ’s on International wire transfer time 

1. How long will international wire transfers take?

With Karbon Forex, in the case of outward remittances from India, it takes anywhere from 5-6 hours at minimum to 24 hours at the maximum. 

A wire transfer stands as the widely preferred method for transferring funds between accounts across countries. It constitutes an electronic means of money transfer known for its security, speed, and convenience.

Non-resident Indians (NRIs) extensively utilize wire transfers to send money to India. The motivations behind these transfers range from urgent needs, such as assisting family members, and covering medical expenses, to planning investments.

2. How long does a domestic wire transfer take in India?

When transferring money within the same institution, it usually takes 24 hours or even instantly. In cases involving retailers or businesses, the worst-case scenario is approximately 3 days.

Occasionally, delays may occur due to form-filling errors, public holidays, or location differences, extending the processing time. However, for substantial checks or deposits, the process can take as much as 10 days.

3. Can a wire transfer take 24 hours?

Yes. With Karbon Forex, we ensure outward remittances from India take place within 5-6 hours. It may take up to 24 hours in some rare cases. 

4. How long does it take for a SWIFT transfer to go through?

Traditional bank-to-bank transfers take about 3-5 business days. 

5. What is the minimum time for a wire transfer?

For inward or outward remittances from India, it may take at least 5-6 hours to process an international wire transfer.

The views expressed in the blogs on this page are solely the opinions of the authors and do not constitute expert advice. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. We disclaim any liability for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

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