I am going to make an international transfer: what do I need to bear in mind?


In an increasingly global world, international bank transfers are becoming more common by the day: many people have a child studying abroad, plan a trip abroad for their holidays or make purchases with foreign companies. But what do you need to bear in mind when sending money by transfer to another country?

Here are the tips to consider in these cases:

  • Remember that transfers are irrevocable. It is very important to enter the beneficiary's account number correctly, as the bank will automatically execute the transaction based on the account number entered without further verification. The other data entered in the transfer order (including the concept or the beneficiary) are messages intended for the recipient of the funds, not for the bank.
  • The country to which the transfer is made is significant:
    • If the country belongs to the SEPA  area, it is as if you made the transfer within Spain: your money will be available, at the latest, the next working day after the funds arrive at the bank. Also, the costs must be shared between the sender and the beneficiary, i.e. the bank where you ordered the transfer will charge you its costs and the beneficiary's bank will charge the beneficiary its costs.
    • If you make the transfer to a country outside SEPA, the time it takes for the funds to reach the receiving account may be longer and the costs do not necessarily have to be shared. Also, if a correspondent bank is involved, your bank should inform you that the correspondent bank may charge its own fees.
  • In any case, the bank must provide you with the following information: a reference that allows you to identify the transaction together with information on the beneficiary, where available; the amount in the currency used; a breakdown of all charges and fees that you have to pay, together with the exchange rate to be applied, if applicable; and the date on which the order is deemed to have been received.
  • But what happens if, despite everything, the transfer is not executed or it is executed incorrectly?
    • If the error is yours, your bank must make reasonable efforts to try to recover the amount transferred, by contacting the receiving bank. However, you should be aware that the receiving bank cannot refund you the amount of the transaction, unless it has the consent of the beneficiary or a legal mandate.
    • If your bank is responsible for having made the transfer without taking into account the number you have given or for having duplicated the order, it is understood that you have not authorised the transaction, so it could be reversed without needing the consent of the beneficiary, although the beneficiary should be notified.
Did you find this information useful?