Whether your family needs support back home or you want to reimburse a friend, knowing how to wire money online is important. Wiring money online can be a great way to send larger amounts directly to your recipient’s checking account, as well. With the rise of online banking and digital money transfers, it’s also easier than ever.
What is a bank wire, exactly? To be clear, it’s either transferring funds from one bank account to another, or, making an electronic payment using a money transfer service. In that case, you may or may not be sending to a bank account.
Getting started may seem confusing. Luckily, the steps are simple in most cases. This guide will break it down for you.
Wiring money online safely
Safety first. There are many wire transfer scams out there, and they often target immigrants, young adults, and the elderly. Fortunately, money transfer companies and banks are heavily regulated and follow standards to ensure safety. That said, it’s still important to take safety steps.
The following tips will help:
- Use two-factor authentication when sending with a mobile app.
- Sign out of websites if you use a public computer.
- Always use your own phone to wire money if using an app.
- Use your own Wi-Fi or data connection if possible.
- Make sure that your chosen service offers account security for sending money.
- Don’t send payments to people you do not know.
- Never share your account information with others.
Learning how to wire money online is easy, and taking a few extra steps like this will ensure that all goes well.
Choose the right service
Your reasons for wiring money will affect your choice. Whether you send a domestic wire transfer or an international wire transfer, for instance, changes your range of options.
Financial services like Remitly, Western Union and MoneyGram are popular options for international transfers.
Within the United States, payment apps like Venmo or Paypal are also quite common. Elsewhere, mobile wallets make it easy to transfer money to someone else with the same mobile wallet provider.
You can wire money directly from your bank account, too, though this may be more expensive than app-based options.
Look for the following qualities when selecting a wire transfer provider:
- Same-day delivery availability;
- Several payment methods available, from debit cards, to credit cards, to bank accounts, to mobile money;
- Delivery methods your recipient prefers, whether a bank, cash pickup location, or mobile wallet;
- Transfer limits that fit your needs, especially if sending large amounts;
- Live chat and 24/7 customer service; and
- Affordable transfer fees.
What about online wire transfer fees?
We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to international money transfer fees for more detail on this topic.
In general, check for additional fees as well as the exchange rate markup to get a full understanding of what your transfer will cost.
NerdWallet offers a handy guide to the bank wire transfer fees of popular financial institutions like Bank of America, which could be helpful to consult before transferring money through your bank.
At Remitly, we pride ourselves on low fees and good rates. You can check the specific rates for your country of choice by logging into the app or selecting your country on our homepage.
What information will you need?
If you’re sending domestically, you will need to sign up with your app of choice and add your payment method; the app will verify your details. After that, you probably just need your recipient’s account email or phone number.
When sending internationally, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself to verify your identity. Enter information exactly as it appears on your documents to make verification go faster.
Gather the following information to send money internationally:
- Your name as it appears on your ID.
- Your phone number and address.
- Your date of birth exactly as it appears on your ID.
- The account or card numbers you’re using to send money.
Sending the money: how it works
After verifying your identity, you can proceed to send a transfer. Be sure to have these essential details available:
- The recipient’s name. Use the exact name on their ID.
- The recipient’s address. This should also match their ID.
- The recipient’s phone number so they can get alerts when money has arrived.
- The recipient’s bank account number and/or routing number (if sending money directly to their account).
You will need to enter how much money you want to send. As mentioned, keep in mind that exchange rates can change frequently, so check current rates before sending. Learn more about how foreign currency values fluctuate in our exchange rate guide.
Once you’ve entered the required information to send a transfer online, take a moment to review everything before clicking “send.”
Sending money to friends and family members can be easy. As long as you choose a reputable provider and follow the correct steps, the recipient could receive their funds within a single day, or even minutes.
If you need to send money to a different country, Remitly makes international money transfers faster, easier, more transparent, and more affordable. Our reliable and easy-to-use mobile app is trusted by over 3 million people around the world.