How to Wire Money Online Safely

Last updated on March 6th, 2024 at 10:48 pm

If your family needs support back home or you want to reimburse a friend, being able to wire money online is important.

Wiring money online can be a great way to send larger amounts directly to your recipient’s mobile wallet or checking account. 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 directly 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 it 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.

How to wire money online with safety in mind

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 all goes well.

Choose a wire transfer service

How to wire money online: entrepreneur using a phone

Whether you send a domestic wire transfer or an international wire transfer changes your range of options.

Financial services like Remitly, Western Union, and MoneyGram are popular options for international transfers and sending remittances.

Within the United States, payment service apps like Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal are also quite common.

Elsewhere, mobile wallets like Alipay in China or Daviplata in Colombia 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. Some banks also offer the option of making an electronic funds transfer with an Automated Clearing House (ACH) payment.

An ACH payment is processed through the Automated Clearing House network before arriving at the receiving bank account, while a wire transfer moves money directly from a bank account to the recipient.

Most checking accounts offer customers the option to wire money through online banking, but this may not be an option with a money market or savings account.

Ask yourself the following questions when selecting a wire transfer provider:

  • How long will it take? Some wire transfers can take several business days to process, while others offer same-day delivery availability.
  • What payment methods are available? Do you want to pay with a debit card, credit card, bank account, or mobile money?
  • What delivery method does your recipient prefer? Do they want to receive money through a bank, cash pickup location, or mobile wallet?
  • Do the transfer limits fit your needs? This is especially important if you’re sending large amounts of money.
  • Does the wire transfer provider offer live chat and 24/7 customer service?
  • Are the transfer fees affordable?

What about online wire transfer fees?

Before choosing a wire transfer provider, it’s important to understand the fees you may be charged—especially in the case of international money transfer fees.

In general, check for additional fees as well as the exchange rate markup to get a full understanding of what your transfer will cost.

Check the bank wire transfer fees of your financial institutions before committing to a transaction to avoid unexpected costs.

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 to make a payment with an app?

Couple using a phone

If you’re making a domestic wire transfer through a payment app, 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 the information exactly as it appears on your documents to make verification 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.

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.

What information do you need to wire money from a bank?

Entrepreneur using a tablet

If you’re sending money from your bank account directly to your payee in the same country for domestic transfers, you’ll need the recipient’s bank account information. This includes their bank account number, name, and ABA routing number.

In order to transfer funds from your account directly to a bank account in another country, you will need the recipient’s SWIFT code or BIC, their International Bank Account Number (IBAN), and their name.

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.

Not all wire transfer services offer fair exchange rates. Getting the best exchange rate is important to ensure your friends and family receive as much of your money as possible.

Most banks will include the option to make online wire transfers from a checking account through online banking. Check if there are any fees for this service with your bank first.

Once you’ve entered the required information to send a transfer online, take a moment to review everything before clicking “send.”

It’s important to note that wire transfers are usually irreversible. There’s a chance that the payment can be stopped if the receiving bank is notified before the transfer is processed, but some transfers are made within a matter of minutes.

Making the right money moves

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 5 million people around the world.

Download the app to get started!