Following a bank transfer is a useful way to track your money and find out the status of a transfer. Whether you’re sending a gift to a friend, or supporting family overseas, knowing exactly when your transfer has reached your receiver’s bank account can bring you valuable peace of mind.
Find out how to track a bank transfer and understand the different types of transfer you can make.
In this article
What is a bank transfer?
A bank transfer is the transfer of money between two bank accounts. The accounts involved in the transfer can be part of the same bank, or members of different banks. You can even send money to someone who lives in another country with an international bank transfer.
To make a bank transfer, you may need the following information about your receiver:
- Their full name and contact details.
- Their IBAN (International Bank Account Number).
- BIC or SWIFT code to identify their bank.
The different types of bank transfers
There are two main types of bank transfer: unique transfers and automatic transfers.
A unique transfer is a one-time payment that can be made online. You might use a unique transfer to send money to a friend or family member for a single payment.
An automatic transfer, also known as a standing order, occurs on a set date and is a recurring payment. This type of transfer is set up for regular payments, like monthly telephone or rental bills.
International bank transfers
When it comes to sending money internationally, SEPA payments can be made to countries that are within the Single Euro Payments Area. SEPA transfers allow cashless euro payments to be sent anywhere in the European Union, and to many counties outside the EU too, like Iceland, Norway and the UK.
A non-SEPA transfer will be in a foreign currency, to a country outside the SEPA area. Discover more with our guide on how to make an international transfer.
How to follow a bank transfer
Once a transfer has been credited to your receiver, it’s in progress. Thanks to modern-day banking, this process can be tracked online easily by looking at your current account. You can contact your bank for an update on any transfers too, with some offering email or text notifications, alerting you of your transfer’s status.
You can also follow a transfer when you send money with a money transfer service like Western Union. Once you have your receipt, you’ll be given a 10-digit Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN) which you can enter into our tracker to follow the status of your transfer.
How to follow international payments
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT for short, is the messaging system behind most banks and financial institutions.
tracking number associated with your transfer. You should be able to find this number on your transfer receipt or confirmation email.
What can cause delays?
The time it takes for a transfer to be completed can vary. If you are sending a bank transfer to another account in France, this could be completed almost immediately. International payments generally take longer, ranging from 24 hours to several days.
If your transfer is delayed, it could be because your bank has decided to block the transfer, or because the receiver’s account number has been entered incorrectly.
A bank transfer could also be delayed if it’s made during a weekend or public holiday when the bank is closed. For more details, read our guide on what causes a delay to a bank transfer.
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