When transferring money through a wire transfer, it’s important to know when you can expect the funds to arrive in the recipient’s account.
Of course, we know that wire transfers aren’t processed instantaneously. Therefore, you may find yourself wondering when the money will arrive.
Wire transfers usually take no longer than five business days to complete – but are weekends counted on that? Do wire transfers go through on weekends, and how do weekends affect the total length of time it takes for the funds to be transferred?
In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know.
Are Wire Transfers Processed On Weekends?
Unfortunately, wire transfers are not processed on weekends. Wire transfers only go through on business days (Monday-Friday), excluding national bank holidays.
This means that if your transfer is urgent, it is best to ensure that is processed ahead of time, with extra days to spare.
You should take special note that banks only process wire transfers once per day, and that wire transfers may not be processed until the following day.
Therefore, you should be careful about processing wire transfers on a Friday – particularly late in the day. Many banks will not guarantee that the wire transfer will be processed that same business day, particularly if it is already late in the day. For many banks, 3 P.M is a cut-off time.
You may be safe doing a wire transfer on a Friday morning, but it is not guaranteed.
If your wire transfer is not processed before the cut-off, it will instead be processed on Monday. This can add several days to the total amount of time it takes for the funds to be transferred.
It’s important to remember that banks are a business, with real people running them. Bank employees have family and friends they wish to see, hobbies they want to enjoy and a life outside of work.
At the same time, banks have likely concluded that it is not particularly profitable for them to remain open on weekends. Remember that banks make the majority of their money from large corporate accounts, many of which also do not conduct business on the weekends. Therefore, many banks in their entirety are not open at weekends at all. If they are, it’s often in limited capacity.
Can You Still Submit Transfers On Weekends?
Even if the bank won’t process the wire transfer straight away, you may be wondering – can you still submit them on weekends?
Fortunately, the answer is yes. As long as your bank is open, you are able to begin the process of initiating a wire transfer.
Note however that it will not be processed until Monday morning at the earliest. Therefore, if your bank tells you that it will be 2 business days before the funds reach the recipient’s account, you shouldn’t expect the money to arrive before Wednesday.
As you might imagine, the earlier you can begin the process of wiring the money, the better. Starting your wire transfer on a weekend is still better than waiting until Monday. This is because even if you get there on Monday morning, there is a chance that the wire transfer process won’t actually begin until Tuesday.
Therefore, it is best to start as early as possible, even if this happens to be on a weekend.
Of course, this assumes that your bank is open on weekends. While some banks are, (such as Bank of America, Chase, and TD Bank), many are not. Smaller, regional banks are more likely to be closed on weekends than larger national banks.
How Long Do Wire Transfers Take?
Domestic wire transfers are typically processed and fully completed in 24 hours, though they can take up to two business days.
International wire transfers take longer – while many will complete within 2 business days, others can take up to 5 business days. This will depend on your specific bank, as well as where the money is going to or coming from. Some countries are slower to pay, such as Cuba or Afghanistan.
Again, a business day is any weekday Monday-Friday, that is not a national bank holiday. Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days, even if your local bank branch is open.
What Dates Are The National Bank Holidays?
If you’re wondering whether you’ve got a national bank holiday coming up, don’t worry!
Below, you’ll find a complete list of all of the national bank holidays. Note that wire transfers won’t be processed on these days, so you should factor them into your total time estimate.
- New Year’s Day
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- President’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Are Wire Transfers The Fastest Way To Send Money?
If your transfer is urgent, you may be wondering if there are any quicker alternatives to wire transfers.
Although wire transfers are a safe and secure way to transfer funds (even internationally), there are much quicker ways to process payments.
For example, credit cards can process payments in a matter of minutes. Additionally, using specialized services like PayPal, Venmo or Cash App can transfer money and make it accessible to your recipient almost instantaneously.
However, these platforms may charge a fee for their services, and limit the total amount of money that you’re able to send or receive. Wire transfer fees are typically fixed, and usually go no higher than $50 regardless of the amount of money that you’re transferring.
This is why wire transfers remain such a predominant way to transfer large amounts of funds, even across international lines.
How Do You Track A Wire Transfer?
Being able to track your wire transfer is important, particularly if it seems like it’s taking too long to arrive. If you start your wire transfer on the weekend, it can certainly feel like it takes a long time!
Obviously, you want to make sure that your money safely reaches its intended recipient, and alert the bank if there are any problems. While delays occasionally happen, they are almost always sorted out without you needing to intervene at all.
However, having the ability to track your wire transfer can give you some peace-of-mind.
When you make a wire transfer, you will be issued a Federal Reference Number as a confirmation. This can act similarly to a tracking number on a package – if you provide to you rbank, they will be able to trace the entire movement of your wire transfer.
Do not be afraid to give them a call or visit your local banking branch for more information.
What About Bank / ACH Transfers?
Unfortunately, ACH transfers operate similarly to wire transfers.
Although they are typically processed more quickly, ACH transfers do not go through on weekends. Keep in mind that the Federal Reserve system is closed on weekends, which affects all sorts of bank payments.
This includes credits (money arriving in your account) and debits (money leaving your account), including automatic ACH payments.
However, it is recommended that you keep a cushion of money in your bank account ahead of time to prevent yourself from incurring any overdraft fees.
Wire transfers are a safe, secure, and cheap way to send or receive money – both domestically, and internationally.
However, one of the downsides of wire transfer is their slow speed. Wire transfers can take several business days to complete, and they are unfortunately not processed on weekends.
Therefore, you should begin the transfer more quickly if your funds need to arrive by a certain date.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any other questions about wire transfers, feel free to ask them using the comment form below.
Wishing you the best,
– James McAllister