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How to Wire Someone Money


Despite best intentions, sometimes wiring money can be necessary. Fortunately, it’s usually not a difficult process, but timing can be important.


Before automatically contacting a sending bank or organization, you should have a few things on hand:

  1. Available funds for transfer. This may seem a ridiculous itemization, but approximately 3% of transfers are canceled due to lack of sufficient funds.
  2. Transfer fees amount. Most banks and money wire organizations charge a fee for both initiating and receiving a money transfer. Know what fees are involved. Know whether the receiver has funds to remit any receipt fee that may be incurred.
  3. Account information. If wiring into a bank account, have the full name on the account, correct and full name of the receiving institution, the account number, and the routing number.
  4. Receiver Information. If wiring funds to a commercial transfer organization, have not only the name of the receiver, but also the exact location, including address, at which the funds should arrive. For example, if using Western Union, know the Western Union address where the recipient will pick up the money.
  5. Transaction dates. Ensure you know the timing of both the transmission and receiving availability. If initiated late in a business day or on a weekend or holiday, the funds may not be available for the receiver until the next business day.
  6. Identification. Some organizations require photo ID of the sender; all non-bank transfers require it of the receiver.

After Transfer

After the transfer has been initiated, keep the receipt or confirmation. Notify the receiver of the transaction or reference number that will be needed to claim the funds and when they will be available. Without the transaction information, the receiver cannot get the money, and the sender cannot trace misdirected funds.


Responsible financial organizations and wire transfer companies adamantly advocate wire transfer wisdom and caution.

  • Never wire money blindly.
  • Never wire money to someone you do not know personally or with whom you have no account.
  • Never wire money based on an email request for money, even if the email address seems familiar.
  • Always get verbal confirmation of the request and when possible, of funds receipt.



Federal Register/Vol. 72, No. 192/Thursday, October 4, 2007/Proposed Rules; found at:

Federal Reserve; “A summary of the roundtable discussion on the role of wire transfers in making low-value payments,” May 16, 2006; found at:

Western Union Consumer Services/FAQs; found at:

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