How to transfer money between banks in Canada

Canada By Mitchell Steiman Apr 20, 2022

In a financial pinch, money transfers can help family and loved ones in need. You might need to help a friend pay a bill, cover a family member’s medical expenses  or assist a relative with their rent. Whatever your plans, learn how to transfer money between banks within Canada, the different transfer methods available, and the typical delivery times and costs.

How to transfer money from one bank to another in Canada

A bank-to-bank transfer allows you to move funds between the different accounts in your name. It could be to build up a nest egg in one, pay a bill through another or make your money management more efficient with everything in one place.

Follow these steps to set up a bank-to-bank transfer:

  1. Link your accounts. Log in to your online banking profile and choose to add an external account.
  2. Provide the key account details. Enter any information requested about the account where you plan to send money. This should include account numbers and the type of account.
  3. Verify that you hold both accounts. To prove you’re the holder, you may be asked to provide your username and password for the receiving account. Alternatively, you could approve a couple of small test transfers.
  4. Choose one-off or regular transfers. Finally, think about how often you want to send money between the two accounts, then set up your transfers accordingly.

How to transfer money to someone else’s bank account in Canada

From money transfer services to apps, there are many ways to move funds to a friend, relative or a company’s bank account. In some cases, you don’t even need an account yourself.

Here’s a full rundown of how to transfer money to someone else’s bank account in Canada.

Money transfer services

With Western Union, you can send money electronically. Whether they’re based in Calgary, Toronto or elsewhere across Canada, you can send funds to their bank account on the go through our website or app.

Download the Western Union app today


Payment apps offer a convenient way to transfer money between banks in Canada, especially for smaller sums. For instance, you can send a few dollars owed to a friend or pay your share of a takeout bill via your phone. They’re often referred to as peer-to-peer or person-to-person apps, but the process is the same. You start by registering your bank account with the app of your choice. After that, you can transfer funds to a loved one’s app account and then on to their bank account.

Cash transfers

While they may seem a little old-fashioned in an increasingly digital world, cash transfers allow you to send small amounts of money without your own bank account. Depending on the provider, you might have the opportunity to make an in-person wire transfer from a physical location. Shop around to find money transfer services that accept cash payments.

Send a cheque

A cheque could be an option if you’re in no rush to move money to someone else. This paper-based method instructs your bank to send a specific sum to another person’s account. However, a cheque can take a few business days to clear.

What you need to transfer money between banks in Canada

The following items and details are usually required each time you transfer money between banks in Canada:

  • Your receiver’s bank details. Ensure you’ve gathered the bank name, location, and unique routing number. You’ll also need a specific account number.
  • The type of receiving account. You may be asked for information on whether it’s a chequing or savings account, and for personal or business use.
  • Personal information. The name and address of your loved one might be requested, along with certain details about you.
  • Official identification. A government-issued ID like a passport or driver’s license can help verify your transfer.
  • Source of funds. Whether it’s your own bank account, cash or a card, you’ll need sufficient funds and a recognized payment method.

How much does it cost to transfer money between Canadian bank accounts?

Transfer fees are the main charges when sending money to Canadian banks, rather than international accounts. The exact cost is unique to each transfer and can depend on:

  • Your chosen method. Bank-to-bank transfers are often free, but app payments and wire transfers regularly include a fee.
  • Specific bank and account charges. No two banks are the same when it comes to fees. Some may have specific charges for business account transfers, for example.
  • The amount sent. The more money you plan to send, the more your fees can potentially increase.
  • Promotions and discounts. Money transfer services may advertise fee reductions as one-off or introductory offers.

How long does it take to send money between banks in Canada?

Your choice of transfer method and provider affects how long it takes to send money between Canadian banks. Timings are unique for each circumstance:

  • Bank-to-bank transfers often take two or three business days to go through.
  • Wire transfers can sometimes take up to seven business days.
  • Payment apps often complete transfers the same day for smaller amounts.

On average, domestic transfers are typically quicker than international ones. Sending money between two accounts held with the same bank can often prove the quickest method – especially if they’re both in your name.


How much money can you transfer between banks in Canada?

Different limits apply based on how you intend to transfer money from one bank to another in Canada. For example, a limit of $999 applies to bank transfers made to other accounts with Western Union. Each bank and third-party provider has its own rules, so be sure to research these rules and regulations before starting a transfer.

Electronic transfers of $10,000 and above made in and out of Canada may be reported to the Canada Revenue Agency by your bank. This is part of the country’s efforts to keep an eye on tax avoidance. The same goes for multiple transfers made within 24 hours that add up to $10,000 or more.

What is the best way to transfer money between banks in Canada?

The best way to transfer money between banks in Canada depends on your personal circumstances. There’s no definitive answer, as it comes down to factors like your payment preferences, the transfer fees you’re willing to pay, and whether you hold a bank account of your own. Whichever method you prefer, Western Union can help you send money to your family and loved ones. You can go online, use the Western Union app, or pick-up cash in-person at an agent location.