International bank transfers: what you need to know before sending
Whether you’re growing your business internationally, supporting loved ones overseas, or sending a gift for a special occasion, banks and money transfer services like Western Union can make sending money abroad a breeze. In this article, you’ll discover the details you need to make an international bank transfer with ease.
In this article
- What details do I need to complete an international bank transfer?
- How do I carry out an international bank transfer?
- What details do you need to receive money from abroad?
- FAQs and guides
What details do I need to complete an international bank transfer?
To send money abroad to a bank account, you’ll typically need the following information from your receiver:
This is the name on your receiver’s bank account and could be a business name or a person’s name.
Account number or IBAN
You’ll either need one or the other. IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number. It’s an internationally accepted numbering system that identifies individual bank accounts worldwide. Banks use IBANs to reduce transcription (human) errors and ensure payments arrive in the correct location.
BIC or SWIFT code
A BIC (Bank Identifier Code) identifies bank accounts and the country where an international payment is destined to arrive. SWIFT (Society for World Interbank Financial Telecommunication) codes are often the same as BIC codes and function in the same way. Using either a BIC or SWIFT code will suffice when you need to make an international payment.
National Clearing Code
A National Clearing Code (NCC) is a code banks use when their customers don’t have an IBAN. You don’t need to confirm an NCC if you have your receiver’s IBAN already. American banks sometimes refer to NCCs as Federal Wire Numbers while Mexican banks sometimes refer to them as a CLABE.
You’ll need the name of the bank you’re sending the payment to.
You’ll also need the full address of the bank branch where the beneficiary’s account is held.
Message to the beneficiary
This is optional but you can add a personal message and/or state what the payment is for.
How do I carry out an international bank transfer?
International bank transfers are like domestic transfers, except a few more details are required. The steps you need to take to send money abroad vary depending on the service provider. When you send money internationally with Western Union, you will need to follow the process outlined below:
- Create and verify your free profile. Register online in a few minutes and verify your profile by uploading a form of government-issued ID.
- Choose the destination and input the amount. You can send money to millions of bank accounts and people around the world.
- Enter your receiver’s details. Their details will be automatically saved in your profile if you’ve sent money to them before.
- Select your preferred payment method. You can usually pay for your money transfer online via bank transfer, debit card, or credit card. If you prefer to pay in cash, you can visit an agent location near you.
- Your money is on its way. Depending on your chosen money transfer method, the funds can arrive in minutes.
What details do you need to receive money from abroad?
You don’t need to do anything to receive money from abroad if your sender has all the information they need.
There should also be no need for you to enter your account details online, as your sender will submit your details instead.
In fact, if you sender has made a bank transfer directly to your account, all you need to do is think about how to spend it!