How Long Does it Take to Transfer Funds?

Florence Desiata

It’s wonderful how many things you can do by tapping on your smartphone or clicking on your laptop. That includes sending money electronically wherever you are in the world.

Funds are usually received as quickly as people send them, but it can take days at other times. This raises the question; how long do bank transfers take? Find out here.  

Bank Transfer Time Frame

A bank transfer could take between 1 and 5 business days, depending on the financial institutions sending and receiving the funds, the methods used, the time of day sent, and whether you’re transmitting within the U.S. or internationally. 

Types of Transfers 

You’ve probably used all of these methods, but take note of how long they take to process your money: 

Transfer TypeLength of Time
Standard Bank1 to 2 business days
ACH Transfer3 to 5 business days
Wire TransferDomestic – same day
International – 3 to 5 business days
Checks2 to 4 business days
Peer-to-Peer AppsReal-time

Standard Bank Transfers

The earlier in the day, you make a bank transfer, the more likely it is that it will appear in the recipient’s account the same day. Banks have “cut-off” times, so deposits made after the cut-off time will be processed the following working day.

Automated Clearing House (ACH) Transfers

ACH transfers, which banks and credit unions use, can take between 3 and 5 days, as mentioned above. Customers can use them to move money from one institution in the U.S. to another.  

Wire Transfers

You can electronically wire money between your bank account to another person’s, domestically and internationally. International transfers naturally take longer because of international financial regulations and because banks in other countries may have additional policies when accepting money from other countries.


Processing of checks isn’t as quick as wire transfers, but it is faster than ACH transfers. Banks can clear them in as short as 2 days, as long as it doesn’t exceed the amount of $5525.

By law, you should be able to access the first $225 of a check the next business day after depositing it. And the rest should be available on the following business day. If the check amount exceeds $5525, the bank may take longer than 2 business days to clear it. 

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Payments App

These electronic payment apps allow family and friends to send money to one another. You can also use it to make grocery purchases; the other party will receive payment in real-time. Here are some examples:

  • Google Pay
  • PayPal
  • Venmo
  • Zelle
  • Cash App

When transferring from a P2P app to a bank account, however, it can take several days.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Way Is The Fastest To Transfer Money?

A wire transfer will be the fastest method if you send funds domestically. 

Which Method Would You Suggest When Moving A Large Amount?

ACH and wire transfers are the most reliable for sending large sums, while you can use checks for small and significant amounts. 

Are Electronic Payments Free of Charge?

Wiring funds through traditional banks and non-bank companies such as Western Union, Wise, or MoneyGram can be free but can also go up to $50. The least expensive are incoming domestic transfers, and the most costly are outgoing international ones. 

P2P payments are convenient and primarily free but can charge a certain amount if you want to send funds from the app to a bank account instantly. 

The Bottom Line

People usually want their money instantly, and there are many options, all with pros and cons.

One thing’s for sure. With technology getting more advanced by the day, what usually takes days could only take a day or less, providing us with further convenience.

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