What Happens When Wire Transfers Go Wrong?

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Money changes hands every day, and sometimes things can go wrong.

Instead of losing your patience navigating the waters of bank transfers, work with your private financial partner to get your money back quickly. Understanding how to wire money and how it might go awry will help you save time and money.

In this article, the team at Currency Converters will walk you through the basics of a wire transfer and what can go wrong in that process. We’ll also go over the advantages of working with a private financial partner, compared to a bank. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with our team. We’re happy to help.

What Is a Wire Transfer?

Before we dive into what might go wrong with your transfer, let’s cover the basics — what is a wire transfer?

A wire transfer is a transfer of funds between two different banks or financial institutions. Wire transfers are done through the SWIFT network of financial communication. SWIFT stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. It’s a global cooperative that was founded in Belgium in 1973 and provides an international standard for financial messaging services.

When you transfer funds via wire, your money is often transferred between various intermediary institutions to get from your bank to its desired destination. Typically, your funds will have to pass through 1 – 3 other banks, depending on where you’re sending it. The SWIFT network allows these various banks to talk to one another and communicate about your transfer.

Unfortunately, as you’ll learn in the rest of the article, the process of communicating between banks can be time-consuming — and people will occasionally get their wires crossed. Let’s find out how that can happen.

What Might Go Wrong in an International Wire Transfer?

Wire transfers don’t “bounce” as cheques sometimes do because banks verify the transfer funds before approving an international money transfer. While it eliminates most potential problems, a few things can still happen throughout the process:

  • You can supply a wrong or inaccurate account number.
  • A money transfer may be rejected.
  • The payment may be delayed.
  • A clerk may have skipped a beat during manual processing.

There are various reasons where a wire transfer might not arrive on time. Most of these issues will just cause delays in your wire transfer. For example, many countries have begun to increase their rules and regulations around anti-fraud and money laundering. You don’t need to worry about this — these rules are in place to keep your money safe — but this is one factor that can cause the process to take longer than it typically would in the past.

That being said, if your wire transfer doesn’t go through, it can be a big deal for you and you will want to get the situation resolved immediately. Knowing the origin of the problem will help you solve it more quickly — if you work with a trusted and accountable company.

Banks will solve the problem for you eventually, but we can get your money back faster and more efficiently. Here’s how we do it:

How Bank Wire Transfers Work

Banks will put a tracing service on all money transfers, so they can see where it went and what happened. This goes through each bank that participates, letting them communicate with each other about the status of the payment.

Some banks will issue a Federal Reference number that is associated with your specific transfer. You can use this reference number to track the progress of your funds and see whether they’ve arrived or not. You may have to pay an additional amount for this service.

While this ‘tracking’ is important, it does not result in instant information. If your transfer has not arrived or been deposited, the investigation process through the banking system can take several weeks to resolve, as it depends on the recipient of the inquiry to voluntarily respond with information.

Another drawback to the investigation process is the cost. Banks perform their due diligence in tracing funds, but this can require additional fees as they coordinate with each other to find the original sum — and these fees are collected from the sender without consultation. Tracing a payment will come out of your pocket instead of theirs.

The tools are in place with banks, but it comes at an extra price and can cost you crucial time that you just cannot spare while travelling abroad.

How Can You Recover Money From Bank Wires Gone Wrong?

You may not be able to avoid paying the bank that extra fee for tracing the electronic money transfer, since you will need their services to retrieve the original sum. However, you can get your money back far earlier than by letting them complete the process on their own.

While you may want to wait a few days to see if the problem resolves itself, you don’t want to wait too long. If you require urgent funds for an urgent business transaction, a travel emergency, or an overseas move, you don’t want to have to wait weeks for that issue to be resolved.

If you need to get your money back quickly, our team can help.

Wire Money with a Transparent Company

Instead of waiting for weeks, you can partner with the team at Currency Converters to ensure that you get your money back sooner. Much sooner.

At Currency Converters, we have a proven track record of getting your money back within an average of 1-4 days if a wire transfer fails, is rejected, or goes missing. We still depend on banks to return funds, making them necessary participants whenever you send money. But, as a private financial enterprise, we are committed to helping you and are happy to pressure them into following more quickly on every international bank transfer.

You won’t be left trying to solve a bank’s mistake by yourself when you should be focusing on your business or other things. Instead, you can rely on our trusted team to navigate the recovery process for you and use our experience to cut down on time and headaches. As an added bonus, we won’t charge you for the investigative work that we do.

Finding a company you trust to handle your wire transfers can help you feel secure sending money abroad.. We have done this for our customers with great success, and it’s just a part of bringing warmth to a cold-cash industry. Ask us about our past experiences solving wire transfer problems for our clients!

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Showing 38 comments
  • Stevie

    That’s a shrewd answer to a tricky qutiseon

  • Lex McGuire

    I did not receive a wire transfer at Bank Mandiri that was verified as being sent by the US social security department. I filed a complaint with the social security office, and the FBI because I live in Indonesia, the land of magic.
    I have complained to the Bank Mandiri personal who just says that the money did not come.
    The transfer was successful every month for 3 years and then bam. Maybe a personnel change.

    • Stanley benson

      My sister sent money to me from the uk into my usbank account, the money came through and my bank has blocked my account telling me her bank should call them to unlock it, and my sister’s bank said it is my bank that will call them as it is their policy……..what am i going to do now?

      • Fredrick Wells

        I have not been able to collect my winnings from PCH sweepstakes and Michigan lottery because of a screw up in system

  • Dave wember

    can you help identify and to resolve a ‘bank transfer gone wrong” within two banks within the united states in a situation where the receiving bank claim to have the receiving account under review before the said funds transfer was executed by the instructing party?. can you help facilitate a refund of funds back to the instructing party’s account?.

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Dave, it is unlikely that we can help with an existing situation that involves other banks. However, you are welcome to give us a call at (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can provide any advice.

  • Jason

    Good morning! I sent a wired amount of funds from a European account in France mistakenly to a Dollar account in Russia and not the refund is being delayed for over 5 days! Is there a way you can help here monitor the return?

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Jason, we would have to know more about the situation to provide proper advice. I would recommend giving us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can help.

  • Kingsley obeng boateng

    International wire was sent to me but my bank are asking for to many documents with I can’t provide because some are to personal, so what will happen to the money?

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Kingsley, we would have to know more about the situation to provide proper advice. I would recommend giving us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can help.

  • Evan

    Someone made an international transfer for me from Greece to turkey for 5days I haven’t got the transfer
    What do I need to do?

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Evan, we’re sorry to hear about that. We would have to know more about the situation to provide proper advice. I would recommend giving us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can help.

  • Destiny

    I sent an international wire transfer and my bank messed the address up now they are saying there really isn’t anything they can do about it.

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Destiny, we are sorry to hear about your situation. I would recommend giving us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can help.

  • Roger Mottee

    I would like to know if an international wire transfer by SWIFT will be rejected if the name mismatch the account number of the beneficiary?
    Thank you

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Roger, give us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can advise.

  • sorena

    I sent an amount of money using wire transfer through TransferWise. I entered the recipient details correctly however I sent the wrong currency. I sent USD when I should have sent GBP. now the recipient bank isn’t able to accept the wire transfer? can you advise on what to do to get the money back?

    • Currency Converters

      Hi Sorena, give us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can advise.

  • Janice Robinson

    I wired some money on June 19 from some information I got through an agency that a relative is using to get his luggage sent to me. The agency didn’t ggive me the complete information. I went back to the bank that afternoon to give them the complete information. The wire had already gone out. Now I can not get my money back because the Wells Fargo Bank has closed the account and the Copart Inc won’t send it back.

  • Janice Robinson

    I had a money wire go wrong because of not complete information from an agency. The beneficiary name was Wells Fargo Bank because that was the only name given to me. It’s now been almost 3 weeks since it has been wired. The Wells Fargo has declined the request and where the money went into has refused to send it back. I have been to my bank and called Wells Fargo. All I have been is getting the run around.

  • Lillian.K.Gibbs

    I was asked to deposit a wire check into the ATM, recently. When I took the wire check to my bank, the teller told me it was a fraudulent check. She hardly looked at it. It’s from the Shell credit union, and should be good. Why would she say this?

  • Phil Dudley

    I was sent money from Cambodia to my account in Indonesia and haven’t gotten the money and it have spent 3 days already and still haven’t reflected on my account please what should I do?

    • intrigue

      Hi Phil, give us a call at +1 (519) 884-0043 and we’ll see if we can advise.

  • Auni Talmizi

    Hi my name is auni, i’m having troubles with a money wire to u.s. Can i get my money back once the payment is rejected due to lateness?? I don’t have enough money to give a refund the bank asked me to do to get my money back. What should i do? Hope to hear from you soon🥺

  • Mark Gibns

    Sent a wire transfer from schwab to BOA. Accidently keyed in the acct# wrong. Been 2 days and it hasnt bounced back into my acct yet?

  • Antoine Wassef

    I closed an account in Switzerland and asked them to transfer the fund to my Australian bank but for one month now I didn’t receive it.
    Transfer datails are correct
    I need help about it!

  • Senthil Raj

    Hello there,

    I initiated an international wire transfer from US to a bank (ICIC Bank Ltd.) in India. This was initiated on the 26th of May and it was supposed to have reached by the 3rd of June 2022. But the funds have not reached the beneficiary bank until today the 8th and when I called the Bank (Digital Federal Credit Union) whose services that I leveraged, they are saying that there is nothing they can do but to send an email to the beneficiary bank and wait for a reply. Is there a way to get the money back? I am really concerned now.

  • SB

    Hi Senthil what a coincidence we are having the same issue on May 26th we sent money from USA to ICICI bank and so far no one knows where our money is. We called all the banks and no one knows where the money is

  • Aruoture theresa nonye

    Money send to me from Germany was not received because of wrong acct number it was send on 29 November 2022 what can I do to recover it

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  • Marcell Boszormenyi

    How is it possible that an international transfer ended up in a totally different country/bank?
    I have acquired the swift identification and showed it to my bank. The problem is that the money was traced and found in Belgium and my bank cannot see anything regarding this issue in their system. The Belgian bank is impossible to contact and even though they have my money they didn’t send it back to the sender’s account.
    What should I do?

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  • Oludele Timileyin Emmanuel

    Please my money is in USD but I gave GBP account not knowing it won’t enter but it shows payment successful from my sender… But I didn’t see anything, can you please help

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