How to transfer money online to friends and family

You may have to fund a kid in college, pay your kid’s piano teacher, or share the cost of dinner with a friend. Whatever the reason, at one point or another, most people need to send money to a family member, friend, or someone else. There are several ways to send money online, each with its own benefits.

1. Use their contact information

If you have the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number, you may be able to send money securely through an online service or app. For example, your bank’s app may include Zelle®, a fast, secure and easy way to send money to friends, family and others you trust, offered by most major banks in the US. A standalone Zelle app that friends can use with their debit cards if their banks don’t participate (terms and conditions apply). Only use an app like Zelle with friends or family, not with people you don’t know well, such as someone who is reselling concert tickets or making some other transaction online. With this approach, you can easily send money to your loved ones no matter where they bank in the US.

  • Delivery time is usually a few minutes if the recipient’s email address or US mobile number is already registered with Zelle.
    Learn more in this video about how to send money online with Bank of America.

2. Type in their account number

If you have the recipient’s account number and transit route number, you can use online banking or an application to transfer money to your account. You can do this with someone you regularly send money to, such as a family member. This is also a great way to transfer money between your own accounts.

The fees depend on the bank, but can be free.
The delivery time can be immediate or take two to four days.
Tip: A transit routing number, also known as a check routing number, ABA number, or transit routing number (RTN), is a nine-digit code that identifies the bank, branch, and location. Bank of America customers can find their routing numbers on the Routing Number FAQ page.

3. Set up a wire transfer

To send a large amount of money, bank transfers can be a solution. Please note that fees are generally charged for wire transfers. To make a bank transfer, you can call, visit, or go online your bank or a wire transfer company. In any case, make sure you use a reliable source.

  • Fees vary by institution, although they may be free depending on the type of account the customer has. Businesses may charge for sending and receiving wire transfers, and the fees may increase if you send the money to someone outside of the US.
  • Delivery time is generally one day or less.

4. Have your bank send a check

Not everyone is ready and wants to receive wire transfers. You may be able to use mobile or online banking to have your bank send you a personal check or cashier’s check. The recipient can deposit or cash it at their bank or they can make mobile deposits in their bank’s app. Regular checks may require recipients to wait several days before accessing the funds. For cashier’s checks, recipients can receive the money immediately when they cash the check.

  • You may or may not be charged for ordering or depositing checks; ask your bank for the details of the policy.
  • The delivery time depends on the delivery by post and the time it takes for the recipient to deposit the money. Domestic mail generally takes one to three days. Although rare, checks occasionally get lost in the mail. Ask your bank what procedure to follow if this happens.

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