A lot of people may find the terms wire transfer and bank transfer confusing because these can mean so many things. Some people think they mean the same thing, while others think they are two different things.
So let’s cut through the confusion and define the terms more much more clearly.
What’s a Bank Transfer?
A bank transfer is a term you use to describe a process in which you transfer money from one bank account to another. This can be just a simple process of having two kinds of bank accounts and then moving your money from one account to another. For example, if you have a checking account and a savings account, you can take $1,000 from your savings account and put it in your checking account. That’s one kind of bank transfer.
However, the more common use of the term refers to the process of moving money from one location to another, through banks. For example, if you have an account with an international bank in the US and you want to send money to someone in France who has an account with the same bank, you can just do a bank transfer. It’s a secure way of sending money abroad and this kind of transaction can take only a minute or so to complete.
It may also be possible for you to send money from your bank account to the recipient’s bank account abroad, even if the recipient’s bank is different than your own. You just need to check if your bank offers this service.
What’s a Wire Transfer?
A wire transfer is a more generic term, and it means sending money electronically from one place to another. A bank transfer is in fact a kind of wire transfer, but there are other kinds of wire transfer aside from using a bank.
For example, you can use a credit union or a commercial wire transfer such as Western Union to transfer money from one place to another. You can even use them to transfer money from one country to another.
For example, you can go to a Western Union near you, so you can do a wire transfer to a relative in France. You give them the name of the recipient, and Western Union gives you a code called Money Transfer Control Number or MTCN (for example, 123456789) to give to the recipient. You should then inform the recipient about this secret code number. Once the money is already transferred, the recipient then finds a Western Union location to get his funds. The recipient will need to show proof of identification and must also provide the MTCN in order to be able to get his money.
There are several ways to send money abroad. They all involve different fees, speeds of transactions, and levels of security. You just need to find the right method which fits your needs.