Wire Transfer

Wire transfer is a method of electronic funds transfer (EFT) from one person or organization to another. A wire transfer can be made from one account to another account or through a transfer of cash at a cash office, such as Western Union. Wire transfer is a single transaction compared to bulk payment systems such as ACH and check clearing and settlement. Wire transfers can be used domestically and internationally and can be offered in a number of ways: incoming wire transfer, outgoing wire transfer and in some cases a repetitive wire transfer can be established where it makes sense for the business or consumer involved.

Different wire transfer operators provide a variety of options relative to the immediacy and finality of settlement and the cost, value, and volume of transactions. Central bank wire transfer systems, such as the Federal Reserve's FedWire system in the United States are more likely to be real time gross settlement (RTGS) systems. RTGS systems provide the quickest availability of funds because they provide immediate "real-time" and final "irrevocable" settlement by posting the gross (complete) entry against electronic accounts of the wire transfer system operator. Other systems such as CHIPS provide net settlement on a periodic basis.