How to track an international wire transfer?

In today's globalised economy, international wire transfers have become an integral part of conducting business and personal transactions across borders. Whether you're sending or receiving funds from another country, being able to track the progress of your wire transfer provides peace of mind and helps control your cash flow. However, the process of tracking international wire transfers can be complex and confusing, with various factors and intermediaries involved. This article serves as a comprehensive guide, offering valuable insights and step-by-step instructions to help you navigate the intricacies of tracking international wire transfers. From understanding the process to utilising banking tools and online platforms, we will equip you with the knowledge and resources necessary for a smooth and secure wire international money transfer tracking experience.

How do international payments work?

International payments are transactions that involve the transfer of funds between individuals, businesses, or financial institutions across different countries. These payments are essential for global trade, cross-border transactions, and remittances.

The process of international payments typically starts with the sender providing the necessary information, such as the recipient's details and the amount of transferring money to be transferred, to their bank or a payment service provider. The sender's bank then initiates the payment by transmitting the funds to an intermediary or correspondent bank in the recipient's country. This intermediary bank acts as a bridge, facilitating the transfer between the sender's bank and the recipient's bank. The funds are typically transferred using the SWIFT network, a secure messaging system used by banks worldwide.

Once the recipient's bank receives the funds, they credit the amount to the recipient's account, converting it into the local currency if necessary. The recipient can then access the funds through withdrawal or utilise them for various purposes.

It's important to note that international payments may incur fees and charges at various stages of the process, such as transaction fees, currency conversion fees, and intermediary bank fees. To track international payments, individuals can use online banking platforms, if such service is integrated, or contact their bank for updates on the transaction's progress.

Are wire transfers instant?

No, wire transfers are not typically instant. While the speed of wire transfers can vary depending on the banks involved and the countries of origin and destination, they generally take some time to process.

Domestic wire transfers within the same country may be completed on the same business day or within a few hours. However, international wire transfers often take longer due to additional factors like currency conversion, compliance checks, and the involvement of intermediary banks. International wire transfers can take several business days to be processed and credited to the recipient's account. It's important to consider these timelines when planning wire transfers to ensure the funds are available when needed.

How to track an international wire transfer?

Tracking an international wire transfer is crucial to ensure its successful delivery and provide peace of mind for both senders and recipients. Here are the steps to track an international wire transfer:

  1. Gather necessary information: Collect all the relevant details related to the wire transfer, including the sender's name, recipient's name, transaction reference number, and the date of the transfer.
  2. Contact your bank or payment service provider: Reach out to your bank's customer service or visit the nearest branch (if they have any). Provide them with the transaction details and ask for assistance in tracking the wire transfer. They will have access to the necessary systems and information to help you.
  3. Utilise online banking: If you have online banking access, log in to your account and navigate to the section for wire transfers. Check for any tracking features or options available. Some banks provide real-time tracking updates for international wire transfers.
  4. Correspond with the sender: If you are the recipient, communicate with the sender to ensure they have provided accurate information and initiated the wire transfer correctly. Request the sender to share any tracking or reference numbers they received from their bank.
  5. Utilise SWIFT tracking: SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is a network used by banks to facilitate international transfers. Some banks allow customers to track wire transfers using the SWIFT code or reference number associated with the transaction. Inquire with your bank if this option is available.

By following these steps and staying in contact with your bank, you can effectively track the progress of your international wire transfer and address any potential issues that may arise during the process.

What do you need to track an international payment?

To track an international payment, you will typically need the following information: the sender's name, recipient's name, transaction reference or confirmation number, date of the payment, and the amount transferred. Additionally, it is helpful to have the sender's bank details (name, federal reference number, and location) and the recipient's bank details (name, location, and account number).

With these details, you can contact your bank's customer service or access your online banking platform to inquire about the status of the payment.

How long do international wire transfers usually take?

The duration of international wire transfers can vary depending on several factors. On average, international wire transfers typically take 1-5 business days to process. However, the timeframe can be influenced by variables such as the countries involved, the intermediary banks used, the compliance and security measures implemented, and any potential delays due to weekends, public holidays, or time zone differences.

Additionally, factors like incomplete or inaccurate recipient information, currency conversion requirements, and additional compliance checks can impact the transfer time. It is advisable to consult with your bank or financial institution to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific transfer details.

Are there fees for wire tracing at banks?

The fees associated with wire tracing at banks can vary depending on the financial institution's policies and the specific services offered. Some banks may charge a fee for providing wire transfer tracking services, especially if it requires additional manual intervention or resources, in this case it can easily cost 50-200 EUR.

It's advisable to check with your bank to understand their specific fee structure for wire tracing. However, many banks offer basic tracking services as part of their standard customer support, and there may not be an additional fee associated with it. It's important to clarify any potential wire transfer fees with your bank beforehand to avoid any surprises and to determine if there are any alternative options available for tracking your wire transfer.

Factors that can delay a wire transfer

factors that can delay a wire transfer

Several factors can contribute to delays in wire transfers. Understanding these factors can help manage expectations and take necessary steps to minimize delays.

  1. Compliance and Security Checks: Banks and financial institutions conduct rigorous compliance and security checks to ensure regulatory requirements are met. These checks can sometimes result in delays if additional verification or documentation is needed.
  2. Incomplete or Inaccurate Information: Any errors or missing information in the wire transfer instructions, such as incorrect account numbers or recipient details, can lead to delays as banks need to resolve these issues before processing the transfer.
  3. Time Zones and Public Holidays: International wire transfers can be impacted by time zone differences and public holidays in different countries. Banks may not process transfers during non-working hours or on holidays, leading to delays.
  4. Correspondent Banks: In international wire transfers, the involvement of correspondent banks, which act as intermediaries between the sending and receiving banks, can introduce additional processing time and potential delays.
  5. Currency Conversion: If the wire transfer involves currency conversion, the process can add an extra layer of complexity and potential delays, as banks need to ensure accurate exchange rates and compliance with currency regulations.
  6. High Transaction Volumes: During periods of high transaction volumes, such as peak business hours or busy financial seasons, banks may experience delays due to the increased workload.

To minimise delays, it is essential to provide accurate and complete information when initiating a wire transfer, verify the recipient's details, and ensure compliance with all necessary requirements. Maintaining communication with your bank or financial institution and promptly addressing any issues that arise can help expedite the wire transfer process.

What happens if the recipient hasn't received the money?

If the recipient has not received the money from a wire transfer, several steps can be taken to address the issue.

Firstly, it is essential to verify that the wire transfer was initiated correctly and that the correct recipient information was provided. Contact the sender to confirm the accuracy of the details provided and request any tracking or reference numbers associated with the money transfer control number used with the transaction.

Secondly, reach out to your bank or financial institution and inform them about the situation. They can investigate the transfer, verify the status, and identify any potential issues or delays. It is advisable to provide all relevant information and documentation related to the wire transfer to assist with the investigation.

Additionally, consider contacting the sender's bank to inquire about the transfer from their end and ensure that the funds were properly sent. Promptly addressing the issue with all parties involved, including the person who sends money, the recipient, and respective banks, can help identify any potential errors or complications and work towards resolving the situation to ensure the recipient receives the funds.

What happens if I entered the incorrect information for my transaction?

If you entered incorrect information for your wire transaction, it can lead to complications and potential delays in the transfer process. The consequences can vary depending on the severity of the error and the policies of the banks involved. In such cases, it is important to take immediate action:

  1. Contact your bank: Notify your bank about the error as soon as possible. Provide them with the correct and accurate information to rectify the mistake. They may be able to intercept the transfer or take appropriate measures to resolve the issue.
  2. Verify recipient information: Double-check the recipient's details, including their name, account number, and bank information. If the information provided was incorrect, inform your bank immediately, so they can assist in redirecting the funds or initiating corrective measures.
  3. Additional charges or retrieval fees: Depending on the situation, your bank may charge additional fees for correcting the error or attempting to retrieve the funds. It is advisable to clarify any potential charges with your bank.
  4. Time is of the essence: Act quickly, as the chances of rectifying the error decrease as the transfer progresses. The sooner you notify your bank, the better the chances of resolving the issue successfully.

However, it is important to note that even with swift action, there is no guarantee that the funds can be recovered or redirected. The recipient's bank may need to be involved in the process, and additional fees and processing time may be incurred. Prevention is always preferable, so it is crucial to double-check the accuracy of the recipient bank's information before initiating a wire transaction.

Can an international wire transfer be cancelled?

Cancellation of an international wire transfer can be challenging once it has been initiated. The feasibility of cancelling a wire transfer depends on various factors, including the stage of the domestic wire transfer itself, the policies of the banks involved, and the specific circumstances surrounding the transaction.

If you wish to cancel an international wire transfer, it is crucial to act swiftly. Contact your bank immediately and provide them with the necessary details, including the transaction reference number and any other relevant information. Your bank will then attempt to communicate with the corresponding or intermediary banks involved in the transfer to stop or recall the funds. However, success is not guaranteed, especially if the funds have already been credited to the recipient's international bank account number or if the transfer has reached an advanced stage of processing.

It is important to note that cancellation requests may incur fees, and the recipient's bank may need to be involved in the process. To increase the chances of a successful cancellation, it is crucial to act promptly and provide accurate and comprehensive information to your bank.

How much is the fee for recalling an international wire?

The fee for recalling an international wire transfer can vary depending on the policies of the banks involved and the specific circumstances of the international wire transfer. It is advisable to contact your bank directly to inquire about the fees associated with recalling an international wire transfer. For example, the fee can vary greatly for cases when the payment has already left the sender's bank, or if it is still within the sender's bank and undergoing internal compliance checks.

How can I keep my international money transfer safe?

Keeping your international money transfer safe involves taking several precautions to ensure the security of your funds. Here are some essential steps to consider:

  1. Choose a reputable service provider: Select a trusted and regulated financial institution or money transfer service to handle your international transfer. Research their reputation, security measures, and customer reviews before proceeding.
  2. Verify recipient information: Double-check and verify the recipient's details, such as their name, account number, and bank information. Ensure the accuracy of the provided information to avoid any transfer errors or potential fraud.
  3. Use secure channels: When initiating the transfer, utilize secure and encrypted channels, such as online banking platforms or reputable money transfer apps, to safeguard your personal and financial information.
  4. Be cautious of phishing attempts: Be vigilant against phishing scams and fraudulent emails or messages pretending to be from your bank or money transfer service. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or sharing sensitive information in response to unsolicited requests.
  5. Keep transaction records: Maintain a record of all transaction details, including reference numbers, dates, and amounts. This documentation can be valuable for reference and dispute resolution if any issues arise.
  6. Monitor your accounts: Regularly review your bank and transaction statements to identify any unauthorised or suspicious activity. Report any discrepancies or fraudulent transactions to your bank immediately.
  7. Stay updated on security practices: Stay informed about current security practices, such as two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and regularly update your devices and software to protect against potential vulnerabilities.

By following these precautions, you can enhance the safety and security of your international money transfers, reducing the risk of fraud or unauthorised access to your funds.

How to speed up the money transfer process

how to speed up money transfer process

To speed up the money transfer process, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Provide accurate information: Double-check and ensure all the necessary information, including recipient details and bank account information, is accurate and complete. Errors or missing information can cause delays.
  2. Add support documentation: Help the banks understand your payment and pass the mandatory checks easily. Are you transferring a large sum of money to your supplier? Attach an invoice or agreement to demonstrate its legal basis and don't forget to describe it in the payment reference field.
  3. Use electronic transfer methods: Opt for electronic transfer methods such as wire transfers or online payment platforms. These methods are generally faster compared to traditional methods like checks or physical cash transfers.
  4. Opt for expedited services: Some financial institutions or money transfer services offer expedited or express transfer options for an additional fee. Consider utilising these services if time is of the essence.
  5. Check cut-off times: Be aware of the cut-off times for initiating transfers. Banks and money transfer services typically have specific cut-off times for same-day processing. Ensuring you initiate the transfer before the cut-off time increases the chances of faster processing.
  6. Utilise local/instant payment methods: Explore instant payment options like real-time payment systems or digital wallets that provide near-instantaneous transfers. These options can significantly speed up the money transfer process. Are you making regular payments to your business partners in the EU or US? Consider opening a local EUR or USD account for quicker payments via SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) or ACH (Automated Clearing House) systems.
  7. Communicate with your bank or service provider: If time is critical, communicate with your bank or money transfer service provider. Inquire about any available expedited processing or ask for updates on the status of your transfer.
  8. Plan for time zone differences and holidays: If you are making an international transfer, consider time zone differences and holidays in both the sending and receiving countries. Transfers made outside of regular business hours or during holidays may experience delays.

By following these tips, you can expedite the money transfer process and increase the likelihood of a faster and more efficient bank transfer experience. However, it's important to note that the exact speed of the transfer can still depend on factors beyond your control, such as the policies and processing times of the involved financial institution.


Due to the complex nature of international transfers, tracking a payment is, unfortunately, a very common request from businesses worldwide. Unlike traditional banks that may prioritise top-tier clients and their requests, MultiPass offers equal responsiveness and dedicated support to all customers. With MultiPass, you gain access to quick local payments in EUR, GBP and USD, as well as reliable worldwide payments in over 70 currencies. Apply today or contact us to discuss your business case!

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