US Bank Transfers without IBAN Number
Thread poster: Nehad Hussein

Nehad Hussein  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:23
English to Arabic
Feb 11, 2015

Dear colleagues,

I come across a new money related situation and am sure some of you have experience that I can benefit from. I am UK based linguist. As part my plan of contentious education for the year, I decided to take online course in the same field. The only problem is that I have to pay to an account in the US where my instructor is based. She was kind enough and shared all her bank details apart from the IBAN which she confirmed that US bank does not have.

When I called my bank, they insisted in return to know the IBAN number or transfer could not be completed.

From your experience, what shall I do know.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
IBAN Feb 11, 2015

As far as I can see, US banks don't use the IBAN system.

Why don't you try a company like Transferwise instead, since your bank is being difficult? Transferwise is likely to be cheaper than your bank anyway.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:23
German to English
Swift code Feb 11, 2015

Hi Nehad,

Your UK bank will need the SWIFT code and (ABA) routing number of the US bank account, together with the name of the account, the account number, and (normally) the physical address of the bank. That’s all. However, if the account is with a bank that doesn’t have its own Swift code (many smaller US banks don’t), you’ll need the Swift code and further details of that bank’s "correspondent bank" as well (the US instructor will have to provide you with that information).

I must say I do rather like the idea of "contentious” educationicon_smile.gif

HTH,
Robin


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Edwin den Boer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:23
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
Alternatives Feb 11, 2015

If it's a small, local bank, it might be easier to wire a payment to the US that will arrive in the form of a check, instead of going through a series of correspondent banks. I don't understand how that works exactly, but my bank in the Netherlands offers this option through internet banking, and the one time I used it, it worked fine.

For a payment to someone that you can contact personally, a non-bank payment service would probably be more efficient, e.g. Transferwise, PayPal, Skrill or bitcoin. Maybe even Western Union - that won't be the cheapest option, but in that case, the recipient doesn't need to create an account with them.


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Nehad Hussein  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:23
English to Arabic
TOPIC STARTER
Your response in highly apprecited Feb 11, 2015

Thanks Robin and Edwin for your reply. The amount is not that big but I thought to use online transfer for more convenience, which turned to be the opposite.

Thomas idea is good but I do not know Transferwise. Has anyone tried it before? Anyway, the bank offered a small charge of £4 and I do not think I can save more fees with any other alternative.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Transferwise Feb 11, 2015

Nehad Hussein wrote:

Thomas idea is good but I do not know Transferwise. Has anyone tried it before? Anyway, the bank offered a small charge of £4 and I do not think I can save more fees with any other alternative.


I know someone who has and who was happy about it. It is backed by Richard Branson, by the way.

Your bank may not tell you about correspondent/intermediary bank fees that may be taken out underway, and they may not tell you how much commission they take on the exchange rate. Many British banks grab 3% without telling you. Transferwise is transparent about fees.


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2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:23
Member (2000)
English to Italian
+ ...
Wire transfer to check Feb 11, 2015

Edwin den Boer:
If it's a small, local bank, it might be easier to wire a payment to the US that will arrive in the form of a check, instead of going through a series of correspondent banks. I don't understand how that works exactly, but my bank in the Netherlands offers this option through internet banking, and the one time I used it, it worked fine.

I am interested in this service, Edwin.

How is that called? Or how does your bank call it?

Thanks a lot
Cheers
Gianni


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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 19:53
English to Hindi
+ ...
IBAN is used only in Europe Feb 13, 2015

IBAN is used by only European banks. Banks elsewhere, such as in the US or India, use the alternative SWIFT. Many European agencies and people are unaware that IBAN is not universal and is a European thing. Worse, many of them have not heard of SWIFT either, which makes explaining things to them even more difficult.

I have repeatedly faced this problem of European agencies demanding my bank's IBAN number. Mine is an Indian bank and it has no IBAN, only SWIFT.

The best thing to do would be to ask to be put in touch with someone in the finance department of the agency who will have a better understanding of these things. At least that is what I do when faced with this issue.


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
Danish to English
+ ...
Not only Europe Feb 13, 2015

Balasubramaniam L. wrote:

IBAN is used by only European banks.


Mostly, but not quite. It was created in Europe, but some non-European countries use it. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Bank_Account_Number .

That's not helpful in countries that don't use it, of course.

The SWIFT code (same as the BIC) only identifies the bank, not the account number, as the IBAN does.

The IBAN format has check digits built-in to help eliminate typing errors and thus payments going astray.


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:23
English to Portuguese
+ ...
P2P contrivances Feb 13, 2015

As this is a transaction between individuals, not companies, you may use either:
http://www.westernunion.com
http://www.moneygram.com

Typical fee on your side will be ~USD 5.00 for up to USD 3K, and your payee can get it in cash at thousands of locations everywhere less than 20 minutes after you've done it during business hours.


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Edwin den Boer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:23
Member (2009)
English to Dutch
Bank cheque Feb 13, 2015

2G Trad wrote:

I am interested in this service, Edwin.

How is that called? Or how does your bank call it?

Gianni


It's simply called a bank cheque, although I wired the money. Sorry, I can't find it as a payment option from my bank anymore. I did find a minimum cost of EUR 20 for cashing a cheque, so this is probably not suitable for small amounts.

Maybe an American colleague can tell us more? Or you could ask your own bank. I could tell you a lot about cryptocurrency, but I'm not a expert on medieval payment systemsicon_smile.gif


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US Bank Transfers without IBAN Number

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