Common International Money Transfer Terms

Terms Related to International Money Transfer
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Are you facing issues while understanding money transfers? Are the terms too difficult to understand? Don’t worry. We understand that international money transfer is not everyone’s cup of tea. But at times when you are required to make a transaction to transfer money abroad, you need to understand terms like ACH, Wire Transfer, Exchange rate etc. In this blog, we have mentioned all the major terms which, directly or indirectly, come into the bucket while transferring money abroad. 

Basic International Money Transfer Terms

There are some basic international money transfer terms which you might have heard and already know. However, terms related to any kind of personal finance shall be understood properly as terms are always comprehensive and never ambiguous so that the users should not face any issues post transactions. Let’s check the basic terms related to international money transfers: 

  • Direct Debit: Direct debit is the instruction set by you for a third party whom you are allowing to debit the money from your account. For example, you have an account with SBI and you are making a transfer through Western Union. In this case, you will allow a mandate to Western Union so that they can debit the amount from your SBI account on the stated date. 
  • Foreign Exchange Rate: The exchange rate is applied when you transfer money to another country. For example, you want to transfer INR 1 lakh to Canada. On the day when you are making the transfer, the ongoing exchange rate of INR and CAD will be applied. The foreign exchange rate keeps on changing as per the economic scenario and it also varies from bank to bank or merchant. 
  • International Bank Account Number: The international bank account number is a unique code which is majorly used to identify your specific bank account for any cross-border payments. You can find the IBAN of your account at the top of bank statements or passbook’s front page. You can also visit your bank for IBAN details.
  • Remittance: The money sent by a person who is living in a foreign country to their family living in the home country is known as remittance. 

Also Read: Are you worried about high money transfer costs while studying abroad? Check this blog on Tips to save money on Foreign Exchange while studying abroad

Merchant-Specific International Money Transfer Terms

There are certain terms which you will come across when dealing with merchants who provide money transfer services. Terms related to the mode of transfers and debit instructions are also sometimes difficult to understand. Let’s check some of those important terms:

  • Acceptance for Settlement: Acceptance for settlement is the stage in the processing of payment at which it has passed the entire process of risk management and other tests and the payment can now be settled under the rules and procedures of the system.
  • Access Products: These are the payment instruments which allow the customers to access their deposit accounts from where you can make the transfers. For example, electronic funds transfers at the point of sale can be called access products.
  • Assured Payment System: The arrangement in an exchange-for-value system under which the timely completion of the settlement of a payment instruction with an irrevocable and unconditional commitment from a third party like banks, unions etc.  
  • Authentication: All those methods which are used to verify the origin of a message or to verify the identity of the person is called authentication. This is a type of confirmation that a message has not been modified or replaced in transit. 

Also Read: Struggling with Finance for study abroad? Check out this blog on How to Get an Education Loan

International Money Transfer Terms Based on Mode of Transfer

Transferring money abroad is very easy these days. You can transfer money using different modes of transfer like International wire Transfer, internet banking, international money order etc. However, sometimes understanding the steps to transfer money is difficult due to technical terms. Here is a list of terms related to the mode of international money transfer:

  • SWIFT: Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, popularly known as SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative that provides safe, reliable, and secure financial transactions for its members. 
  • SEPA: Single Europe Payment Area aka SPA is a method of payment for financial transactions performed within Europe using EUR. All the countries which are part of the European Union and recognise the Euro as the currency are collectively called SEPA zones or Euro zones. 
  • International Wire Transfer: International Wire transfer is an electronic transfer of funds from one person or entity to another across the world. International wire transfers are administered by banks and transfer service agencies across the world. 
  • Telegraphic Transfers: Telegraphic transfers are a type of electronic method of transferring funds. This is mainly used for international wire transactions. To transfer the funds using telegraphic transfer mode you need the receiver’s complete bank account details, including the SWIFT code.
  • SWIFT Code: SWIFT codes are 8-11 digit numbers that are used to identify bank accounts at the time of sending or receiving global money transfers. SWIFT code reflects the bank, country, exact location, and the relevant branch code. 
  • Sort Code: Sort code is a 6-digit number that shows the bank and related branch where the account is held. Sort code is also called the branch sort code and this is different from SWIFT code. 
  • BIC: Bank Identifier code or BIC code is another name for the SWIFT code. The BIC number identifies your bank. BIC is equivalent to the sort code and very similar to a US routing number.
  • ACH: Automated Clearing House or ACH is a method of transferring money electronically from one bank account to another. It is a convenient way to perform transactions of funds between bank accounts. ACH is used for transactions like deposit of paychecks, monthly debit standing instructions towards a loan etc.


What is a wire transfer?

Wire transfer is an electronic payment system for transferring money from one person or entity to another across the world. 

How much extra charge do I have to pay while transferring money abroad?

The charges and commissions depend upon the bank or the merchant with whom you are performing transactions.

Can I exchange my currency at the airport?

Most of the international airports have money transfer services set up by different merchants. However, currency exchange at the airport usually attracts higher charges and exchange rates. 

This was all about terms related to international money transfers. Always compare the banks or the merchants and choose a service provider with a good track record. 

To know more about the loan application process, the best bank accounts for students, forex and banking experience for global students or international money transfers, reach out to our experts at 1800572126 to help ease your study abroad experience. 

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About Shekhar Suman

Shekhar is a versatile writer with a passion for sharing knowledge and creativity. With expertise in crafting informative blogs on study abroad and finance, Shekhar helps readers navigate the complexities of education and financial planning. Most of his writings blend the practicality of finance and the beauty of language, making a meaningful impact in both spheres. Beyond his professional pursuits, he finds solace in the writing Shayari.

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