How To Transfer Money From One Bank To Another

Read on to find out more.

Updated: May 18, 2024
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

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In our current digital age, transferring money from one account to another has become an increasingly common practice.

Whether you're moving to a new country, looking for a bank with better rates or services, or even something as simple as sending money to a friend who's not at the same bank, there are plenty of reasons why people need to make bank transfers.

However, people can naturally be fairly apprehensive when it comes to spending large sums of money, so the whole process can become quite daunting if you’re unfamiliar with what to do.

So, to help keep you up to speed, we'll be breaking down how to transfer money safely over the course of this article. We'll be going over all the main steps involved when making a transfer, as well as providing a few useful tips along the way to facilitate a smooth and stress-free experience. Let's begin!

Choosing The Right Method Of Transfer

Thanks to all the technological advancements we’ve grown to love today, there are more ways of shifting money between bank accounts than ever before — each with their own unique set of pros and cons. 

Although, when there are so many different ways of transferring money, how are you supposed to know which is the right method for your specific needs? Well, it can be challenging at first to memorise each of your options, but once you’ve learnt it once, you should be good forever.

In this section of the article, we’ll be going over each of these different transfer methods, highlighting their respective pros and cons and offering a few recommendations on which one you should go for.

Wire Transfer

These are one of the oldest and most popular methods of sending money between banks, and it's for good reason, as they're typically a fast and secure method. These types of transfers are initiated by the sender and will normally take anyone from 24 to 48 hours to complete.

However, it’s important to mention that there’s a catch in the form of pretty steep fees. These normally range from around £10–£40 per transfer, but this depends on how much you’re transferring at once.

Despite the costs though, if you need to transfer a large amount of money quickly, a wire transfer might be the best option for you.

ACH Transfer

Have you ever heard of an ACH transfer? It stands for Automated Clearing House, and it’s a fairly cost-effective way of sending money from one bank account to another. While they’re normally a bit slower than wire transfers, taking around 2–3 business days to complete, their silver lining is that they usually come with much lower fees or none at all.

So, if you’re looking to send smaller quantities of money at a time or make recurring payments, an ACH transfer is something you should pay attention to.

Online Banking

In terms of an all round service, online banking may actually be the most efficient method out of all the previous options. In today's age, the majority of banks will let you transfer money between accounts or to someone else’s account.

Most people have their banking app on their phone, so this transfer method is particularly convenient and easy to navigate. While they’re also without any fees (depending on your bank), the downside is that it can take several days for the transaction to complete, and there are usually limits on the amount you can transfer.

Third-Party Apps

Third-party apps extend to things like PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App if you’re in the United States. These are typically the easiest to use out of all the other options, and best of all, the transactions are normally completed within a matter of minutes.

However, as with all of the options covered so far, third-party apps aren’t without their limitations. For instance, depending on the conditions of the app, you’ll have to pay a fee each time you make a transfer, regardless how small. In addition, there can often be caps on the total amount you can send in a day.

So, which method should you choose? Ultimately, this is going to depend on your specific needs and preferences. 

If you’re looking to send a large quantity of money quickly, a wire option is most likely the best option.

For smaller amounts of cash that you need to process immediately, an ACH transfer or online banking might be the more cost-effective choice.

And finally, if it’s speed and convenience you’re looking for, there’s no better option than a third party app such as PayPal.

Regardless of whatever transfer option you settle on, make sure you’re considering the fees, speed of transfer, security, and how convenient it is. Ultimately, there’s a transfer method for every circumstance, so you’re bound to find a method that meets your needs.

Gathering Necessary Information

When it comes to bank to bank transfers, there’s no use getting started without having all the relevant information at hand first.

If you take the time to double-check all the recipients' information before making a transfer, you’ll be able to avoid all potential complications that could arise, like frustrating error messages.

In this next part of the article, we’ll go over a short checklist of information you’ll want to have at hand, including where to find it and how you can ensure its accuracy.

1. Sort Code And Account Number

First thing’s first, you’re going to need the recipient’s sort code and account number when trying to make online bank transfers. The account number is used as a unique ID for their specific bank account, while the sort code refers to a six-digit code that represents their bank account details.

This information is normally pretty easy to source, and can be found simply by asking the recipient directly what their transfer details are. However, just ensure each digit is entered accurately, as one wrong number could result in your funds being sent to the wrong account.

2. Identification Or Authentication Codes

This step normally depends on the bank’s specific policies, but you’ll typically have to provide some sort of authentication to complete the transfer. This could be something like a 2FA code, and it’s mainly just so the bank can verify your identity and protect against any fraudulent activity.

3. Transfer Amount And Currency

Finally, you'll need to specify the amount of money you wish to transfer and the currency you want it sent in. Not every bank will let you do this, but it can be an effective way of completing an international bank to bank transfer.

In addition, some banks might require some extra data, like the purpose of the transfer. Make sure you’re checking all the details beforehand so you can avoid any surprises or unexpected charges.

Confirming The Transfer

So, you’ve sent money from one bank account to another, but what happens after the transfer? How can you actually confirm that the money has arrived safely?

In this next section, we’ll go over how you can double-check your money has been sent successfully, as well as how to resolve any potential issues that arise.

Check Bank Statements

This is normally the first step you should take after making a transfer, but depending on your bank, it may take a few hours or days to show up on your statement. So, if you haven’t seen it come up just yet, be patient and wait a couple of days before checking.

Confirm Receipt With The Recipient

This is probably the most obvious way to check if someone's received the money, by simply asking them. They should be able to verify that they’ve received the funds by checking their bank account or other third party app. Remember, there’s a chance that the transaction might just be delayed if it’s not immediately there, so have patience.

Preventing & Resolving Transfer Errors

While transferring money from one bank to another is generally a smooth process, errors and complications can always crop up on occasion. 

Let’s take a look at a few practical ways you can prevent transfer errors to round things off:

  1. Before making any transfers, be sure of the recipient's name, account number, and bank details. One small mistake can cause a lot of stress, so don’t rush this part.
  2. Make sure your contact information is all up-to-date with your bank or third party app so they can get in touch if necessary, 
  3. Choose a platform with a solid reputation and a history of secure transactions.
  4. If you notice an error or issue with the transfer, report it to the bank or third-party app immediately. The sooner you report the problem, the simpler it'll be to sort out.


Can I Still Transfer Money Between Banks On Weekends & Holidays?

Are There Any Limits On How Much I Can Transfer Between Banks?

How Can I Track The Status Of A Bank Transfer?

Can I Transfer Money Between Banks Using A Credit Card?

What Happens If The Recipient's Bank Account Is Closed?

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