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5 Things to Know before Sending Money Overseas

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Sending money internationally through a wire transfer is a simple process, but for somebody who is sending money overseas for the first time, it may seem overwhelming and even a little nerve-racking. But if you have all the necessary information before you walk through your local bank doors, it's as painless a process as any other financial transaction. Read on below to learn five things you should know before transferring money to an overseas location. 

Collect Basic Information

Just like you do when transferring money domestically, you'll need to gather some basic information about the recipient and their bank before sending money to a person located in another country. Among the information you will need is the account holder's name and the address affiliated with their account, as well as their account number. You'll also need the name of the financial institution with which they bank. In certain cases, you may also be required to include the address of the specific bank

Look Up the SWIFT Code

When transferring money internationally, there's one crucial piece of information that people often forget to look up, primarily because it's not required when transferring money inside the country. That piece of information is called the SWIFT code (sometimes referred to as a BIC code), and it's a short series of letters and numbers that uniquely identify an institution, financial or otherwise. Luckily, you can find the SWIFT code for any bank in the world online in just a matter of minutes

International Transfers Are Not Immediate

If the person you're sending money to needs the money within 24 hours, you may be out of luck. That's because most banks don't clear an international wire transfer until one or two business days after it is sent. So if you're sending money to someone on a Friday, they shouldn't expect to have the funds until Monday at the earliest.


If you suddenly realize when you get home from the bank that you've included an incorrect piece of information on the transfer form, you can usually cancel the transfer and any associated fees within 30 minutes of sending the money. 

Additional Fees

There are almost always additional fees associated with sending money overseas. The amount varies by bank, but will be charged to the sender's account unless otherwise requested. There may also be a fee associated with a central international bank that disperses the funds to a local bank. 

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