Processing time of receiving an international bank wire transfer

Updated November 22, 2016

The processing time for receiving an international bank wire transfer can vary from bank to bank. Some banks have cut-off times for transfers. If the transfer is received by a certain time of the day it will be processed the same day. The fee for sending international wire transfers can vary as well but generally they are in the range of £9 to £26. To receive a wire transfer there may not be a fee.


To send a bank wire transfer a sender must go to his bank and fill out an application which includes his name address, phone number and his bank account number and routing number. The application must also include the recipient's information such as name, address, bank name and address, account number and routing number. Some banks require a sender to arrive by a certain time in order for the wire transfer process to start the same day. This does not mean that the recipient will receive it the same day.

Swift Code

The sender of a bank wire transfer will need a swift code, which is used for international banks and is similar to a routing number for banks in the United States. These codes help to identify a bank during the transfer process. The sender will need this code prior to sending a bank an international bank wire transfer. Sometimes a bank identification code, (BIC), is needed which can be different for banks in different countries.

Time Frame

When you are receiving an international bank wire transfer the time frame can range from two days to five days. The time is dependent upon when the receiving bank processes the transfer. Wire transfers leave the sending bank and arrive at an intermediary bank which then processes the wire transfer and it finally arrives at the receiving bank. The receiving bank will then decide when they are going to process the wire transfer. An intermediary bank is not needed in all situations.

Account Balance

Prior to sending the international wire transfer the bank representative will verify that you have enough money in your bank account to cover the wire transfer. A wire transfer cannot be completed until the funds are available in your account. If you have a check that needs to clear make sure it is deposited in enough time that allows you to complete the transfer in a timely manner.


International bank wire transfers can also be tracked. When a wire transfer is tracked this prevents it from getting lost and helps pinpoint the transfer time. Once the receiving bank has the wire transfer, at your request, they can send some type of confirmation either by mail, e-mail or fax.

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About the Author

Melvin J. Richardson has been a freelance writer for two years with Associated Content, and writes about topics such as banking, credit and collections, goal setting, financial services, management, health and fitness. Richardson has worked for several banks and financial institutions and gained invaluable experience and knowledge. Richardson holds a Master of Business Administration in Executive Management from Ashland University in Ashland Ohio.