Thursday, March 9, 2023

What Exactly Is an External Transfer?

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An External Transfer

External transfers allow you to move funds between your Commerce Bank accounts and accounts at other financial companies. You may also utilize the service to transfer money to other people’s deposit accounts (third-party bank accounts). Commerce Bank uses the Automated Clearing House (ACH) system to execute electronic transfers.

External Transfer
External Transfer

Whereas transfers among accounts at the same bank could be immediate, bank-to-bank transactions must often be processed before sending the money. Certain banks and credit unions do not collect a fee for external transfers, while others do, usually at $10 or less. This only applies to online transfers.

External transfers are only one sort of a larger category of transfers of money known as electronic funds transfers (EFTs). Given the variety of EFTs available, you’re probably using quite a few without recognizing them. The US government regulates all sorts of electronic money transactions.

In reality, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act was approved by the United States government in 1978. (EFTA). This law established consumer safeguards for some sorts of electronic money transactions.

Wire transfers are another sort of EFT payment that allows money to be sent swiftly between financial institutions worldwide. Sending money overseas requires the use of a wire transfer. Wire transfers are often carried out through bank-to-bank networks, such as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

The Basics of External Transfer

When you go into your online banking site, use your bank app, or contact your bank’s telephone banking number, you typically have two options for electronic transfers: internally and externally. Internal transfers are used to move cash between accounts at the same institution, such as a savings and checking account.

In contrast, external transfers send money from your account to a separate institution.

You can use an external transfer to send money to your own or someone else’s account. The procedure is typically the same regardless of where you send the cash inside the United States. External transfers could be used to transfer some money to a family member or friend, such as to resolve a shared bill or give money for a special occasion such as a birthday or a vacation.

A corporation may request that you pay for products or services using an external transfer in rare situations. You should use caution since it might be a fraud. Today, the great majority of businesses employ secure online payment channels, and external transfers have relatively few valid purposes. Because an external transfer provides fewer safeguards for your money, you should only use it to pay for products or services if you know and trust the vendor. If you are purchasing from a seller you don’t know; it is best to use a credit card or PayPal.

Signing up

How to sign up.

This service’s sign-up procedure is straightforward. After logging in to Online Banking, select “Transfers” and then “External Transfers.”

If you haven’t already joined up, you’ll be required to complete the following:

  • The first step is to read and agree to their terms and conditions.
  • The second step is to double-check your phone number.

Duration of the sign-up procedure

The sign-up procedure is instant.

You will be asked to authenticate any accounts that Commerce Bank does not hold. If you want to choose online account authentication for individual accounts, you must have an Internet connection with most major banks, credit unions, and brokerages. Authentication may take as little as a minute. Other charges, including those you choose trial deposit authentication, are typically verified in 2-3 business days.

External Transfers

How to do it?

The information required to initiate an external transfer will be the same regardless of the type of account you are transferring money from or where the funds are. This is because practically all external transfers pass via the exact mechanism (more on that below).

To make an external transfer, you can use your online banking platform or bank app, contact your bank’s telephone banking number, or visit a branch. You’ll need

  • The bank account number from which the money is sent.
  • The bank routing code of the account you wish to transfer funds to.
  • The account number to which you are transferring funds.

Sometimes the individual or organization to which you are transferring money can assist you in setting up a transfer by either supplying this data or helping you through the procedure.

Recurring transfers

Setting up your initial external transfer may take some time. Not only could you have to gather all of the necessary information, but your bank may also do additional security checks to ensure that your transfer is authentic and that the receiver is legitimate.

On the other hand, Banks regularly make it easy to control the very same transfer again. Most banking applications will add your recipient to a list of people you may transfer money to, and online banking systems also remember which receivers have already been authenticated.

You may also configure an account to make automatic external transfers. (For example, if you receive your paycheck by direct deposit, this is a recurrent external transfer from your employer’s financial institution to your account.) Most banks will enable you to establish a “standing order” to transfer a predetermined amount of money to an external report.

Fees for external transfers and wire transfers

Wire transactions are usually subject to processing costs. These rates vary by supplier, but as a general rule, domestic cables are less expensive than international wire transfers. The median incoming domestic wire transfer price in 2021 will be $5, while the median departing domestic transfer fee will be $25. International wire transfer transfers might cost anything from $45 to $50 or more.

Many banks in the United States have begun to waive costs for incoming wire transfers and only charge depositors when initiating a wire transfer. Check with your bank institution to determine if their accounts in general, or your specific account tier, waive or decrease wire transfer costs. Your bank may also charge a lower wire transfer fee if you begin the transfer using your online banking portal instead of visiting a branch and completing the wire transfer in person.

The wire transfer amount and several other criteria usually determine fees for initiating a wire transfer through a non-bank provider. Nonbank providers charge various extra fees that can raise the cost of a wire transfer, including

  • How do you get your wire transfer? There are costs associated with using credit cards, debit cards, and financing straight from your bank account.
  • When transferring money, customers can earn points, which they can redeem for lower rates.

It’s wise to double-check all costs before starting a transfer.

Rates from Financial Institutions

Financial institution Cost Approximate delivery times
Alliant Credit Union transfer fee $0. 1 commercial day.
Ally Bank transfer fee is $0. Three commercial days.
American Express National Bank’s transfer fee is $0. 1-3 commercial days; 3 or more commercial days for transfers initiated at the bank where the funds should arrive.
Axos Bank transfer fee is $0. 3-5 commercial days.
Bank of America transfer fee To Bank of America account: $0. From Bank of America account (3 business days): $3. From Bank of America account (next day): $10. 3 commercial days; option for next-day delivery.
Bank5 Connect transfer fee To Bank5 Connect account: $0. From Bank5 Connect account (standard delivery): $0. From Bank5 Connect account (next day): $3. Up to 3 commercial days; option for next-day delivery.
Barclay’s transfer fee is $0. 2-3 commercial days.
Boeing Employees Credit Union transfer fee is $0. 2-3 commercial days; option for free next-day delivery.
Capital One 360 Bank transfer fee $0. 2 commercial days.
Chase transfer fee $0. 1-2 commercial days.
Citibank transfer fee $0. Three commercial days; option for free next-day delivery.
Discover Bank transfer fee is $0. Up to 4 commercial days.
Navy Federal Credit Union transfer fee Is $0. 2-3 commercial days.
PNC Bank transfer fee is $0. Three commercial days.
Synchrony Bank transfer fee $0. Up to 3 commercial days.
TD Bank’s transfer fee is $0. 1-3 commercial days.
U.S. Bank transfer fee To U.S. Bank account: $0. From U.S. Bank account: Up to $3. 3 commercial days; option for free next-day delivery (incoming transfers only).
Wells Fargo’s transfer fee is $0. To Wells Fargo account: 3 commercial days. From Wells Fargo account: 2 commercial days.

What Is the Variance Between EFT and ACH?

The distinction between EFT and anon-bank is one of the most prevalent sources of misunderstanding regarding foreign transfers. ACH stands for “Automated Clearing House,” It is quickly becoming a preferred method of making external transactions.

The ACH network serves as a financial center, allowing individuals and businesses to transfer funds from one bank account to another. ACH transactions include direct deposits and direct payments and business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-consumer (G2C) transactions. In 2021, the contemporary ACH network grew significantly, with 29.1 billion payments worth $72.6 trillion, and at the same time, ACH payment volume increased by over 74%.

ACH transfers are not the same as regular EFT transfers. When you have to use your debit or credit card, you are initiating a real-time EFT transaction. On the other hand, ACH payments are handled in batches every day.

This implies that, based on the two financial institutions engaged in the transaction, funds transferred by ACH might take one to four days to go from one account to another. Larger banks are frequently able to handle ACH payments faster than smaller institutions.

What Are the Different Types of EFT Transactions?

The United States government adopted the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) in 1979, which specified consumer safeguards for particular forms of electronic money conveyance. The EFTA protects the following forms of EFT payments:

  • Checks issued electronically: When you instruct a vendor that it is OK to utilize your checking account information to produce a digital check and deliver that check for payment,
  • Deposit through direct deposit: When you notify your company that you want your paycheck deposited immediately into your bank account,
  • Payments via phone: When you notify a corporation over the phone that it is acceptable to utilize your financial information to start a payment,
  • Transactions at ATMs: When you use an ATM to withdraw or deposit money from your accounts, or to transfer money across accounts,
  • Transactions using debit cards: When you are using your debit card to make a transaction at a shop or on the internet,
  • Transactions on the internet: When you do business using your financial institution’s online banking system,

External transfer transfers are another sort of EFT transaction that allows money to be sent rapidly between banking institutions. These EFT transfers do not use the ACH network but particular bank-to-bank networks such as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or Fed external transfer.

ETFA protection benefits

At first glance, it may appear intimidating to give your bank account details to a company and allow them to debit your account each month. And besides, maintaining your bank account details private is one of the most important pieces of digital security advice. The great news is that EFT payments are safeguarded by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, which gives you legal redress if something goes wrong with a specific transaction.

Here are some of the safeguards afforded to customers by the ETFA:

  • Customers have 60 days from the unlawful transaction to report it to their banking institution for inquiry. If you miss the 60-day deadline, your financial institution is not required to investigate the occurrence.
  • Debit cards that have been lost or stolen: The EFTA restricts your responsibility for unlawful transactions to $50 if you notice your debit card has been stolen or lost within two days. If you do not disclose the loss or theft within 60 days, you may be held accountable for unlawful transactions.
  • Punishment for infractions: If your bank breaches the EFTA standards, you may be able to recover damages from them in court.
  • Limits on withdrawals: To protect you against excessive and potentially unlawful withdrawals, your bank is obligated to set daily withdrawal restrictions on your debit card.

It is critical to understand that punctuality is critical in minimizing your exposure to unlawful transactions. It’s critical to go over your financial records regularly to look for unusual activities. You may also set reminders with your bank, which will be notified through text and email to assist in attracting the notice of unauthorized transactions.


These are purely the opinions of the author based on observations and analysis of financial platforms and a study of public reviews and ratings on what exactly is an External Transfer and its purpose. Excerpts from various sources have been used to clarify the facts in this article. A glossary of all the sources used can be found at the end of the article. This article is for educational purposes only and is not financial advice.

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