Still rarely offered by merchant sites, payment by bank transfer is nevertheless a fast and secure method of payment. It allows you to send money from one account to another, remotely and in a dematerialized way. How to make a bank transfer in complete security? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this payment method? We explain it all to you!
Bank transfer: how does it work?
When shopping online, you have probably already had the choice, at the time of payment, between a bank transfer and a payment by card. Although the latter is more commonly used, it also involves risks (e.g. hacking of your credit card details). Conversely, payment by bank transfer is a secure method of payment, also offered by many service providers and professional organizations.
The bank transfer is done remotely, in a dematerialized way and supervised by the bank. Much faster than cashing a check and less risky than a card payment, this secure payment method allows you to pay remotely by transferring funds from one account to another. But how exactly does it work?
A bank transfer is made between a sender and a beneficiary. The sender sends the money and the recipient receives it. As the sender, your account is debited with the amount of the purchase, while the recipient’s account is credited.
There are three different types of bank transfers:
- The domestic transfer: made between 2 accounts in the same country;
- The European transfer: also called SEPA transfer and denominated in euros;
- The international transfer: money transfer to a country outside the European Union.
How to make a payment by bank transfer?
To make a bank transfer, you must have the bank details of the beneficiary at your disposal:
- Full name ;
- Name of the bank ;
- IBAN code ;
- BIC code.
Often, the addition of a new beneficiary gives rise to a validation period (from a few hours to a few days), while the bank confirms the validity of the bank details. During this stage, the transfer is not yet possible.
At the end of this period, you can easily proceed to the transfer from your online customer area, by phone with your banker, or by visiting your branch. In general, it will be necessary to confirm the transaction with a code issued by your bank, received by e-mail or text message.
Note: it is not mandatory to have a bank account to make a payment by bank transfer. Rechargeable payment cards, such as prepaid Mastercard, are fully compatible with this payment method. They allow you to receive and make transfers in euros to a beneficiary located in the SEPA zone.
As far as rates are concerned, it is important to know that domestic and European transfers of less than €50,000 are generally charged at the same price and cost only a few cents. With some banks, they are completely free.
As far as international transfers are concerned, the fees charged are higher. You also have to take into account the exchange rate (currency conversion) and the rates applied by the receiving bank.
Why pay by bank transfer?
Are you wondering whether it is better to make a bank transfer rather than pay by card or cheque in a given situation? By taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of this method of payment, you will have all the keys to choosing the best option.
The positive points of bank transfer
The bank transfer is a secure method of payment, governed by control measures. Made from one bank to another, it eliminates any risk of loss or theft, unlike payments by card or check. So you can pay for your purchases with complete peace of mind!
Payment by bank transfer leaves a record of the money transfer. An additional security in case of problem at the reception.
Finally, it is a practical and fast means of payment, which even allows you to send money easily abroad.
The main disadvantage of the bank transfer payment is that it is not instantaneous. Between the addition of the new beneficiary and the receipt of the money, it usually takes several days. Funds are usually received between 1 and 3 business days. At the time of payment, the recipient cannot immediately verify the receipt of the requested amount. This type of payment implies a relationship of trust between the sender and the recipient of the money. This is one of the reasons why few merchant sites offer this solution.
Another small disadvantage: making a bank transfer requires the availability of the RIB or IBAN number of the recipient. Using this information can be complicated at first, and there is a (small) risk of entering the wrong number at the time of entry.
Payment by bank transfer is a secure method of payment and should be preferred if you want to avoid the risk of fraud, loss or theft of your means of payment. Before you start, take into account all the advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation, as well as the possible fees applied.