Different from a payment by card or check, a bank transfer allows you to transfer money from one account to another, without an intermediary. The bank transfer can be used to make a payment, a refund or to move money for any reason, in a completely dematerialized way. So, how to make a bank transfer? How long does it take and what are the fees? At the end of this article, you will know everything about this subject!
The principle of the bank transfer
By definition, a wire transfer is a remote transfer of money from a sending account to a receiving account. The first sends the funds and the second receives them. A bank transfer can be done on the internet, from an application, by phone or in a branch. It is a dematerialized money transfer.
A distinction is made between internal and external transfers. The first one concerns money transfers between two accounts of the same bank, and the second one between two different banking institutions.
A transfer can also be punctual (occasional and done manually) or permanent (programmed and automatic). If you have a bank account, you have the possibility to program transfers that are made automatically on a specific date. A very practical solution to avoid forgetting or to force yourself to save!
Finally, depending on the destination of the money sent, there are also :
- Domestic transfers (made within the same country) ;
- International transfers in the SEPA zone (made in euros between European countries);
- International transfers outside the SEPA zone (made outside Europe in a currency other than euros).
Note that it is not mandatory to have a bank account to be able to make transfers! Using a prepaid card allows you to make bank transfers in the SEPA zone.
How to make a bank transfer in France?
You need to make a domestic transfer, i.e. from your French account to another account domiciled in France? No problem! All you need is the recipient’s bank details. To do this, you can ask for his bank account details (RIB) on which you will find :
- The full name of the account holder;
- The name of the bank ;
- The IBAN ;
- The BIC code.
The IBAN and BIC codes are the “identity card” of a bank account. They allow to identify it and are thus essential for the implementation of bank transfers and direct debits.
You are wondering how to make a bank transfer from your customer area on your bank’s website, or from your banking application? Just go to the “transfer” tab to proceed with the money transfer! If you have never transferred money to this person or organization before, you will first have to register them so that they can be added to your list of beneficiaries. Validating a new payee can take anywhere from a few minutes to 3 full days while the bank verifies the veracity of the payee’s information.
Once the beneficiary has been validated, all you have to do is enter the amount of the transfer and confirm the transfer, and you’re done! Most banks apply a double security to transfers made on the internet, via the reception of a confirmation code received by text message.
You can also make a bank transfer in a branch or by phone with your advisor.
A domestic transfer is not charged and usually takes 24 hours to be credited.
How to make a bank transfer abroad?
Sending money outside of France by bank transfer is no more complicated than making a domestic transfer. However, transfers abroad involve different delays and fees.
Making a bank transfer in the SEPA zone
The SEPA zone, created by the European banks, designates the euro payment area composed of the countries of the European Union, as well as Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino. Any bank transfer made within this zone requires the same procedures as for a domestic transfer, namely the entry of the beneficiary’s details, the amount, and the validation of the transfer using the security code.
Depending on the bank, SEPA transfers can be charged according to the amount transferred, be subject to a fee for each transaction or be completely free of charge.
The delay of a transfer in SEPA zone is about 48 hours.
How to make an international bank transfer outside Europe?
You need to make a transfer abroad, in a currency other than the euro? A non-SEPA bank transfer requires the same information as a money transfer in Europe, in other words the BIC and IBAN codes of the beneficiary account! This type of international transfer is made in the same way, but is priced differently. Transfers outside the SEPA zone are subject to higher fees. To anticipate the total cost of a transfer outside the Euro zone, take into account
- The processing fees charged by the issuing bank;
- Any fees charged by the receiving bank;
- The currency conversion rate (or exchange rate).
An account domiciled abroad is credited approximately 48 hours after the transfer request.
Easier than a payment by check or cash, the bank transfer has many advantages. In particular, it saves time and avoids travel! Proposed by some merchant sites, it also allows in some cases to make online payments.