📣 New IDC report on AP automation! Get your free copy >

Resources Home


How Long Do Diff...

Resources Home

How long does it take to transfer money?

It has never been easier to transfer money across accounts using electronic transfers.
Find out how long some of the most popular money transfer methods take to see which type best suits your needs.

It's never been quicker or easier to send money across the world thanks to a variety of electronic transfer options. Popular transfer methods include wire transfers, Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments, and direct deposits. If you’re sending a payment and time is of the essence, it’s important to know which method is best suited to you.

How long do wire transfers take?

Speed is one of the biggest benefits of sending money with wire transfers. Banks can complete domestic wire transfers within 24 hours, and recipients will not have to wait for the funds to clear before withdrawing them. But bank employees still need to review and authorize the transfer of funds, which may cause delays.

Mistakes made by the bank about the recipient’s details or errors can hold up a wire transfer. Banks may also only process wire transfers on business days, which can cause delays as a result of bank holidays and weekends.

You should find out when your bank’s cut-off time is for wire transfers to ensure your transfer arrives on time. The cut-off time is usually 5 pm, but it can vary between banks. Banks will process requests made after this time the following business day.

The term ‘wire transfer’ can also sometimes refer to non-bank transfer services. These services can be faster than bank-to-bank transactions, but may not offer the same level of security.

How long does an international wire transfer take?

International wire transfers can take much longer than domestic transfers. The funds may arrive within two business days. But they may also take up to five days, depending on your bank or credit union.

Some banks allow you to send international wire transfers online in just a few minutes. Other banks may require you to make the transfer request in a branch. As with domestic wire transfers, you should ensure you submit your request before the bank’s cut-off time to minimize delays.

If you need the funds to arrive in the recipient’s bank account as soon as possible, you may be able to expedite the process. Some banks offer this service if the recipient account is within the same financial institution, and the sender has previously sent a transfer. There is usually an additional fee for this service.

How long does an ACH transfer take?

There are differences in the way banks process ACH and wire transfers. Network operators process ACH payments in batches three times a day rather than on an individual basis. The ACH network is responsible for processing around 25 billion electronic payments for every U.S. financial institution each year. This means ACH transfers can take several business days to clear.

Timelines for ACH credits and debits are set out by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA). Accountholders initiate ACH credits themselves, and the ACH should process these within one to two business days. Organizations automatically “pull” funds from the customer’s account for ACH debits, making them ideal for recurring bill payments. The ACH should process these transactions the next business day.

Delivery times may vary as some banks and credit unions place holds on these funds. Some financial institutions offer expedition for ACH transfers, but there may be an additional charge.

How long does a check deposit take?

The ACH processes deposits into current accounts as well as ACH credit and debit transactions. Banks place holds on deposits to ensure the funds clear into the recipient’s account before the withdrawal. These hold times vary by financial institution, but it should take between two to five business days for a check deposit to clear.

The bank is more likely to place a hold on a check if it is from out of state or for a large amount, as the teller will need to contact the issuing bank to confirm the funds are available. You should be able to withdraw checks the next business day if they are paid from the same financial institution as yours, from within the same state, or for small amounts. Cashier’s checks, direct deposits, and checks from the U.S. Treasury will also clear quickly.

Banks outline their deposit policies, including holding times, and should notify you if there is a hold on your account. Even if the funds are showing in your checking account balance, they may not be available to withdraw. Make sure you understand the difference between your checking account’s actual balance and available balance to know which funds are free for use.

And for an even faster way to send payments worldwide — check out the free Brex business account.