Transferring money can be a necessity when someone is away from home and a financial need occurs. This need can be planned, as when someone working away from home sends money to dependents. It may also be unplanned, as when a student or traveler is faced with an emergency and must ask for money from home. In either case, the best option is often a wire transfer, but doing this requires that the sender know how to transfer money.
One way for individuals to transfer money is through retail transfer companies like Western Union. This service allows almost instantaneous transfer of funds, and the money is available to the recipient within a very few minutes. Customers can send money from over 45,000 locations in the United States with cash or a debit card, or by phone with a debit or credit card, or even on line at wumt.westernunion.com. Other companies such as American Express offer services targeted at businesses or high net worth consumers.
Another method of transfer moves funds from the sender’s bank account to the receiver’s. This of course requires both parties to have bank accounts and to have access to them. The sender furnishes the bank with the IBAN and BIC codes for the destination and orders the transfer. Bank-to-bank transfers do not take place with the speed of wire transactions. It often takes hours or sometimes days for the recipient to gain access to the funds. In addition, each bank involved charges a fee, so that the money received is somewhat less than the amount that was sent.
The advantage of bank-to-bank wire transfers is the high level of security. Both sender and recipient are required to prove their identities, and the information is transmitted through very secure channels. Retail transfer companies, however, are somewhat less secure. There are horror stories about money being sent to persons who walk out of the receiving office and are never seen again. In addition, the US government monitors money transfer red out of their country to prevent transfers to terrorist organization or countries under sanctions, and transfers may be stopped and assets seized if the government’s representatives believe such a transfer is taking place.
To prevent problems with transferring money, customers should use the most reliable company available. Money should only be wired to persons whom the sender knows personally. Senders should ask about fees before the transaction takes place, and should also know exactly when money will become available to the recipient.
Senders should also exercise common sense to avoid being ripped off. Sending money by wire in payment for an online auction or similar transaction is extremely risky. Also, senders should only disclose personal information to companies they have reason to trust, as phishing schemes are rampant and can result in considerable losses. Anything that seems like a scam probably is.
Transfers of money take place all the time. People send money to friends and family or to complete business transactions. By choosing a reliable transfer company, asking the right questions and avoiding unsafe practices, customers can get money to those who need it without overly long delays, high fees or risk of being ripped off.