How to Receive a Wire Transfer

There are several options for receiving money via wire transfer. Receiving a transfer from the sender’s bank to your bank account is the most traditional method. Another simple option is to use a service with physical locations to have money transferred for cash pick-up or directly into your bank account. Finally, there are numerous online services and apps that can be used to quickly send and receive money. Whatever you decide, make sure it is something that both you and the sender can do from where you are.

Method 1 Receiving a Bank-to-Bank Wire Transfer

1. Gather the information you’ll need to receive a domestic wire transfer from your bank. Call your bank or go to the bank’s website to find out what information you need to give the person from whom you want to receive a domestic wire transfer. You’ll need at least your full account number, your name exactly as it appears on your account, the name of your bank, the address of your bank branch, and a wire routing transfer number.

In the United States, a wire routing transit number is also known as an American Banking Association (ABA) number or a Bank Transit Number (BTN). It is a 9-digit number that can be found on your bank’s website or in the bottom left-hand corner of your chequebook.

Tip: Keep in mind that your bank may impose fees and limits on wire transfers, so make sure you are aware of these before proceeding with the process. If you are receiving an international transfer, you should also inquire about the exchange rate your bank will use for the currency you intend to receive.

2. Gather the information you’ll need to receive an international wire transfer. Receiving an international wire transfer has slightly different requirements than receiving a domestic wire transfer. In addition to all of the other information, you will need a SWIFT code.

SWIFT is an abbreviation for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. You can usually find your bank’s SWIFT code on its website, or you can ask an employee over the phone or in person.

You may need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and a Bank Identifier Code in countries other than the United States, such as Europe (BIC).

3. Send all of the necessary information to the person from whom you want to receive a transfer. Check all of the details before sending them to ensure that all of the numbers are correct. Send the information to the sender via email or text so that he or she can easily refer to it.

If there are fees for sending or receiving the wire transfer, make sure to agree on who will pay these with the sender. It is usually expected that the sender will pay any sending fees at the bank and that you will accept any receiving fees from your bank.

4. Allow up to 5 business days for the funds to be credited to your account. The amount of time it takes for money to appear in your bank after the sender wires it varies by bank. It usually arrives in 1-2 days and takes no longer than 5 days.

You can ask the sender to check on their end, or you can ask your bank for an estimate of how long it will take for the money to appear in your account.

Weekends and holidays do not count as business days for banks, so a weekend or holiday will cause your transfer to be delayed.

Method 2 Getting Money Sent via In-Office Wire Transfers

1. Choose a service that is available in the area where both you and the sender are. Many services exist that enable people to send money domestically or internationally from a local office in one location to a receiver in another. Western Union and MoneyGram are the most common.

Many countries also have smaller domestic transfer services. However, major transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram provide both domestic and international transfer services.

Tip: You can find all of the information about their services, as well as make online transfers via Western Union and MoneyGram, on their respective websites: and

2. Check that the service’s payment method is appropriate. Check to see if there is a convenient location where you can pick up cash or have it deposited directly into your bank account. Check to see if the sender needs to bring money to a physical location or if they can send you money via the service’s website. Check that the available methods are usable by both you and the sender.

Western Union, for example, allows senders in most countries to send money via the website, which the recipient can pick up in cash at a local office. In some countries, the money can also be deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account or mobile wallet.

3. Give the sender the information he or she needs to send you money. If you plan to pick up the cash at a physical location, they will need your full name as it appears on your ID as well as your location. If they are depositing it into your bank account, they will need your bank name and account number.

Typically, this is all you need to provide the sender, but double-check by calling the service you intend to use or researching the exact requirements on their website.

4. After the transfer, obtain the reference number from the sender. Depending on how the transfer was made, the sender will receive either a digital or physical receipt with a confirmation number. Allow them to give you this number so you can track the status of the transfer.

If you need cash, you can usually get it within minutes, if not the same day. It takes 2-5 days for money to appear in your bank account if you receive it.

5. If you are receiving money in this manner, bring your ID to an office to pick up cash. Once you have your cash, go to a local office with a government-issued photo ID. Fill out a form with the necessary information at the office, show your ID, and pick up the cash.

You do not need to do anything if you receive money into your bank account or mobile wallet. Just sit back and wait for the money to appear.

Method 3 Using Online Services and Apps to Receive Money

1. Choose a service or app that is accessible to both you and the sender. There are dozens of online services and apps that can be used to transfer money between parties quickly and easily. Make certain that whichever one you select is available both where you are and where the sender is located.

PayPal is a well-known and reputable online payment service. Other popular payment methods include, to name a few, Google Pay, Venmo, and Stripe. If you want to see some longer lists of options, you can do an online search with a term like “PayPal alternatives.”

Keep in mind that each online service and app has its own set of fees and requirements for sending and receiving money. Make sure you research these and then agree with the sender on which service is best for both of you.

2. To receive money, provide the sender with your email address or account information. Many services, including PayPal, require only the email address associated with your account for the sender to transfer money to you. Make certain that you provide them with the correct email address.

Many online services and apps allow you to send payment requests to the sender’s email address. All they have to do now is accept your payment request in order to transfer you money.

3. Check your account to see when the money will arrive. When someone transfers money to you via an online service or app, you will usually receive an email notification. After receiving a notification, log in to your account to double-check that the money is still there.

Depending on the service, you can either transfer the money to a bank account or leave it there to be used in another way later. You can, for example, keep a balance in PayPal and use it to make online payments or send transfers to others. Keep in mind that transferring a balance to your bank account typically takes 2-5 days to complete.

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