How To Transfer Money From One Bank to Another

Desmond Rhodes
A back pocket holding several different credit cards.

Whether you need to move money around between your accounts, pay a business that uses a different bank, or simply pay your friend back for that cup of coffee they bought you this morning, transferring money from one bank — or account — to another is relatively straightforward. There are a variety of ways you can transfer your money from bank to bank, and in our tech-savvy world, there are apps that make the process even more comfortable.

While transferring money from one bank to another may be easy, there is specific information you are required to know — as security threats are a constant for banks. If you aren’t familiar with how to send money between banks, you could miss a payment, lose money, and fall prey to other financial misfortunes. Knowing how to transfer money from one bank to another will make sure you have minimal hassles at the bank, online, or over the phone to ensure your payments are made on time and securely.

Table of Contents

Bank to Bank Transfers

People, banks, and businesses would like to be paid as fast as possible. To make this so, there are many types of ways you can transfer your money from bank to bank. On many occasions, it just comes down to what method is most comfortable and convenient for you.

In-Person Bank Transfer

An in-person bank transfer may be the least most complicated method of transferring money. If you have cash, take it to the bank of the person you owe, and pay it into the account of said person. Although in-person may be the most direct way of transferring money, you may need to transfer money across the country, internationally, or to a bank that is not available in your city. For these types of money transfers, more conventional methods have been created.

Online Bank Transfer

Most every bank has online banking and an online bank transfer feature. Here, you can log into your account online, select which account you would like to transfer from, and deposit the money into another account or bank. If this method sounds complicated, your bank will usually detail the instructions of this process to facilitate the transfer.

Over the Phone Transfer

You can also call your bank to make a transfer over the phone. Your bank will usually have customer service representatives, whether human or automated, that will walk you through every step of this procedure.

Cashier’s Check

A cashier’s check can be purchased through your bank. Essentially, your bank uses its funds to make your payments. A cashier’s check is one of the most guaranteed and timely ways to make a payment. Your check can bounce, but a cashier’s check is highly unlikely to. Since your bank will use its funds to send to another bank, cashier’s checks are generally used for large payments such as purchasing a car or house. Purchasing a cashier’s check from your bank is as easy as talking to your teller in person, online, or over the phone.

How To Transfer Money Between Your Bank Accounts

In any of the ways to transfer your money mentioned above, and if you are transferring money between accounts you own, you will need to provide additional information. This will mostly be to ensure that your money is going into the correct account, as well as preventing fraud. Whether online, in person, or over the phone, these are the general steps for when you own both accounts.

Provide the Routing Number

When you open an account at a bank, you are given a routing number associated with that account. Banks will use this nine-digit designation to keep track of precisely of where your money is coming and going. You will likely be asked for your routing number when making a payment over the phone or online. You can find your routing number at the bottom of a check, or on your online banking account.

Link Your Accounts

You can easily link your different accounts online to move around your money between them seamlessly. Because they are moving within your accounts, transferring money between your linked accounts can be instant. For example, you may need to transfer money from your savings account to your checking account. Going online and linking your accounts can make this a very quick and secure process.

Verify That You Own the Account

In many cases, and especially over the phone, you will be asked to verify your bank account. A bank teller may ask for your routing number, a username and password, or may conduct a small test transfer between your accounts to confirm that the money is getting taken out of and going to the correct account. Verification may be used to prevent fraud or to check if your account is open and in good standings to make a payment.

How To Transfer Money to Someone Else’s Bank Account

While transferring money between your accounts and the banks may be simple, sending cash between you and someone else’s bank account may be more complicated. You already know all of your own banking information — however, when transferring money to another person’s bank account, you will need additional information such as:

  • The name of the person or business
  • Date the payment or transfer is to be made
  • Account number
  • Routing number
  • Often, the name and/or address of the bank

Along with additional information, the processes and methods of transferring money between different banks may be different.

Make an Online Bank Transfer

Even if you don’t own both accounts, some banks allow you to make payments directly into accounts at other banks through their online services. In this instance, it will be similar to you making online payments between your own accounts. However, you will likely need to provide the information above as well.

Use a Wire Transfer

While wire transferring costs a little extra money to send, it is a quick and secure way to move money domestically as well as internationally. Using a non-bank provider such as Western Union, no physical currency is actually transferred. Instead, the money is sent electronically to the person you owe. You will have to pay the amount up front, and a wire transfer cannot be canceled once it is posted. Since there is no canceling a wire transfer, you will want to make sure all of the additional information mentioned above is correct before sending.

Use a Payment App

Need to pay that friend back for lunch? Or, want to buy something but don’t have cash on hand? We now have the technology to make payments quickly and easily through our smartphones. Through payment apps, we can transfer money to virtually anyone, and principally from bank to bank. If you do not want to wire transfer, or if your bank does not let you transfer to other banks online, consider the following payment apps to move your money or make payments:

  • PayPal: With PayPal, you can transfer money to any US bank account. Additionally, PayPal offers the ability to transfer money to many international accounts as well. It takes just a few minutes to receive payment from a credit or debit card with PayPal, and as long as you are paying through a secure connection, PayPal is secure and encrypted. PayPal also offers purchase protection to protect online sales.
  • Venmo: Venmo is similar to PayPal in that it is secure, and expedient in payments. It differs, however, in that Venmo has a social element to it and is used primarily to send money between friends. Use it when you don’t want to do with the hassle of splitting the bill at lunch, or utilities with your roommate.
  • Square Cash: Square Cash, or Cash App, allows you to send and request money, and also even deals in bitcoin trading. Cash App does much of the same as PayPal and Venmo; however Square Cash acts as a mobile credit card, in which you can withdraw money using a debit Visa card at ATMs.

Write a Check

An old-fashioned way to transfer money (either to yourself or another account) is to write a check. Write down your name, or the person you owe, in the section marked “pay to the order of”, and deposit the check at your bank. You can even deposit the check through your smartphone via the proper apps.

Request a Check

If you cannot write a check, you can ask your bank to do it for you. You can get a check payable to you, and have it mailed to your address. You can always sign the check over to the person you owe.

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