1. ACH Transfer
One of the most common ways to transfer money is by using an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer – sometimes referred to as an “electronic check.” An ACH essentially is an electronic transfer using your checking account information and the account information of the recipient. If you have ever used a money-transferring app on your mobile device, this is probably how the funds were sent. ACH transfers are usually free to send and arrive within two to three business days. Because an ACH is relatively fast, and usually free, it may be a good transfer option to discuss with your financial institution.
2. Wire Transfer
Wire transfers are similar to ACHs because they are also a form of electronic transfer, and you will need the recipient’s account information. Wires are faster when sent within the United States because they typically arrive within two to 24 hours. Unlike ACHs, wires can to be sent internationally, although it may take up to a week for the money to arrive.
The downside of wire transfers is that they can be expensive to send. Be sure to talk to your financial institution about any fees it may charge. The recipient should also ask about any fees they may be charged for receiving the wire. Wire transfers are also very difficult to get back after they have been sent. When sending a wire – or when providing money in any situation – always be certain you trust the recipient.
3. Money Transfer Companies
There are companies that specialize in money transfers. Rather than providing account information, the sender gives the company cash or pays with a debit or credit card, and the company sends the money to another of its locations for the recipient to pick up. This type of service is very fast – the transfer can be almost immediate. However, these companies typically charge high fees. These operations also are commonly used when committing fraud because there is an option to pick up the money using a password rather than showing a photo ID. If someone asks you to send money using this method, ask additional questions and do your research to ensure the transaction is legitimate.
Don’t forget about security!
Using a credit or debit card is usually the safest way to make a payment. With card transactions, you are typically able to file a dispute to get your money back if you do not receive the product or service you paid for. When transferring money electronically, it is often more difficult – if not impossible – to get the money refunded. When transferring money, always question why you cannot pay with a card. If you are dealing with a business, what kind of reviews do they have? If you are giving money to an individual, how well do you know the person? Do you trust them? Technology makes sending money easier, but it also makes it easier to get scammed. Always remember to play it safe!