International Wire Transfer

Let’s say that you’ve decided to stay in the United States a little longer than you planned, and you didn’t bring any more money from home to support yourself while you’re living the good life overseas. You could write home and ask for a check, but that could take forever! First, you’d have to wait for the check to come in the mail, then you’d have to wait for your bank to collect the funds from your home bank, which normally takes much longer than it would to release a check. You could have your funds from home stuck in limbo for several weeks! It’s much better to send funds internationally with a wire transfer!

An international wire transfer, or bank funds transfer, is a way to move money without using a check or cash. It’s pretty useful for fabulous ESL students because it allows you to transfer funds quickly from a bank in your home country to a bank in the United States (if that’s where you are studying) – which is one key advantage to opening a bank account in the US. There is never a funds hold placed on a wire because your bank in the United States is actually receiving the funds directly from the overseas account. So how would you go about transferring funds with an international wire transfer? Glad you asked!

To receive a wire, you’ll need three pieces of information. The first thing you’ll need is your account number. This is not the same thing as your debit card number. This number tells the bank back home where your money is. You will also need your routing number, which tells the bank back home where your American bank account is located within the framework of the American Bank. You also will need your swift code, which will tell your bank back home where your account is within the American banking system. It’s similar to an IBAN number, which does much the same thing for European financial institutions.

Happy wiring!


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