What Are the Typical Steps of a Bank Wire Transfer?

The general steps of sending money through a bank wire transfer include obtaining the recipient's bank name, bank ABA routing number, bank account number and delivery instructions; contacting the bank to ask about the specific process of sending a wire transfer; and filling out the form the bank provides or completing the process online if applicable, suggests About.com. If you're the recipient, call your bank to know about the correct ABA number to use for the transaction.

The American Bankers Association designates ABA numbers, or routing transit numbers, to banks, explains About.com. The numbers serve as codes that banks use to identify other banks when transferring money between account holders and recipients from other banks. ABA numbers appear on checks and typically consist of nine digits.

Some banks allow online bank wire transfers for small amounts but require a personal branch visit for significant amounts, reports About.com. Transferring money through a bank wire transfer may incur a fee for both the sender and receiver. Make sure that you're sending to a trusted recipient, as it may not be possible to stop or cancel the payment.

Bank wire transfers are generally fast and safe, allowing recipients to obtain funds on the same day of the transactions, according to About.com. However, banks usually have numerous incoming transfers to process, so it may take some time before funds appear in the recipient's account.