How to track a wire transfer

Canada By Serra Pinto Avimlah May 2, 2024

One of the most common questions people ask is “How can I track a wire transfer?”

Once you initiate the transfer, you’ll receive a Federal Reference number, also known as a fed number, that confirms the transactions.

With that number, you can contact the sending bank and request a trace on the wire transfer. Many banks will do this for free, but some might charge you an additional fee.

In this article, we will cover:

  1. Why you need to track a wire transfer
  2. What information you need to track a wire transfer
  3. A step-by-step process to follow on how to track a wire transfer
  4. Common issues while tracking a wire
  5. What to do if your wire transfer fails
  6. How to ensure a smooth wire transfer

Let’s dive right in.

Why tracking a wire transfer is important

You’d want to track a wire transfer for a few reasons:


This is the most vital part of financial transactions and allows for monitoring the transfer’s progress, which ensures the funds reach the recipient in a secure way.


The timing of a transaction provides transparency on when the transfer was initiated, processed, and completed, allowing the sender and the recipient to manage their expectations.

Confirmation of receipt

It gives you and the other party peace of mind that the funds have been transferred successfully.

If you track a wire transfer, you can protect yourself against fraud, address any delays promptly, and ensure the smooth and efficient execution of your transactions.

Here’s how you can do a wire transfer.

What information do you need to track a wire transfer?

To track a wire transfer, you need the following information:

1.Sender and recipient details

These details include the sender and recipient’s names, account numbers, and financial institutions.

This information will help you find the specific transfer you want to track.

2.The transaction number

Every wire transfer has its own unique identifier number. With that number, you can track the progress of your wire and see if the bank has processed the funds.

You can also see the status of your transfer using that number.

3.The date of the transfer

This information helps you ensure you’re tracking the right transfer.

If you have the wire’s date, you can also see any potential delays or issues with it.

Step-by-Step process

Here’s a step-by-step process you can follow to track a wire transfer:

1.Log in to your bank account

Log into the account you started the wire transfer with. This process involves entering your username and password and using two-factor authentication.

2.Find the wire transfer section

It’s either in the transaction history or the account activity section of your account.

3.Discover the specific transfer

Search the recipient’s name, the transaction or the account numbers. That’s how you’ll find the transfer.

4.View the transfer details

Check the wire details to ensure you’re looking at the correct transfer. You’re looking for the sender and recipient details, the transaction number, and the date.

5.Track the transfer

Click on the “view status” button to see real-time updates of the wire’s progress. You might be able to see the current status and the estimated delivery time.

6.Contact the financial institution if needed

If you’re experiencing any issues or delays, you should get in touch with your service provider.

Common issues while tracking

When tracking a wire transfer, you might experience a few common issues.

These are:

  1. Delayed processing due to high transaction volumes, holidays, or sharing incomplete or inaccurate information.
  2. Limited tracking options or a lack of real-time tracking updates because of the financial institution.
  3. Technical issues, such as your platform giving you incorrect information.

You need to be aware of these issues before you initiate a transfer so you can track a wire.

What to do if your wire transfer is delayed

If there’s a delay in your wire transfer, you should reach out to your financial provider.

When you reach out, you first need to verify the status of your wire transfer to see if there’s an actual delay.

Here’s the information you need to share with them to confirm the status:

  1. Sender details
  2. Recipient details
  3. Transaction number
  4. Date of the transfer

If your bank confirms the delay, ask them to find the cause and share the expected delivery time with you.

Make sure you see if you’d be charged any additional fees due to the delay.

Some banks charge fees for their extended processing time.

If you contact your financial provider, you’ll understand what caused the delay and learn from it so that you can avoid it in the future.

How to ensure a smooth wire transfer process

Want to have a smooth and speedy wire process?

Here’s what you should do:

  1. Reach out to your financial institution to learn how long it takes for a wire to be processed.
  2. Share accurate information with your financial service provider.
  3. Double-check all of the wire’s information to make sure everything is correct.
  4. Learn what’s the process to track a wire transfer.

One option you might consider is Western Union Canada.

It’s an excellent alternative that offers secure and reliable transfers. You can also easily track your transfers and access the customer support team in case you have a question.