Q:

What is a bank wire transfer?

A:

Quick Answer

A bank wire transfer is a safe and quick way to send money; in cases such as a home purchase, it can be the only way to pay, says About.com. The recipient has immediate access to the funds, and senders should conduct due diligence on the validity of the recipient.

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Full Answer

For a customer who needs to send money immediately, a bank wire transfer often is his best bet, according to About.com. Senders usually have to pay a fee to wire money. Transfers are relatively safe because both parties to a wire transfer need bank accounts, and to get such accounts, they show identification and provide contact information. However, it is still possible for thieves to take advantage of wire transfers. After a sender wires the money, a thief immediately wires it elsewhere and makes the money so difficult to trace that recovering the funds is tricky after the scam comes to light.

Receiving a wire transfer is safer than sending one, explains About.com. This is because a sender must prove to a bank that he has sufficient funds in his account when he wires money. Also, for the most part, a sender cannot rescind the money after he makes a transfer. Some banks allow wire transfers to be done online.

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