How long does a transfer take to become effective?

Do you know how long a transfer takes? We explain what how this banking operation works

A bank transfer is an operation through which a person (the payer) gives instructions to its bank to charge an account of theirs and to send a certain amount of money to the account of another person (the payee of the transfer) in the same or another bank. What are the characteristics of transfers?

  • They are identified using the IBAN code, an international alphanumeric reference unique to every bank account.
  • The maximum payment period in euros within the European Union is one business day from the date the order is issued by the issuing bank.
  • As for the expenses that making a transfer involves, every customer assumes the fees that their bank applies.
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What are the characteristics of transfers?

  • They are identified using the IBAN code, an international alphanumeric reference unique to every bank account.
  • The maximum payment period in euros within the European Union is one business day from the date the order is issued by the issuing bank.
  • As for the expenses that making a transfer involves, every customer assumes the fees that their bank applies.

What types of transfers are there?

Banking transfers can be classified according to different criteria.

  • According to the geographic area:
    • National transfers: When the person sending the money and the person receiving the money are in Spain.
    • Foreign or cross-border transfers: When the person sending the money does so from Spain and the person receiving it is in another country, or when the person sending the money is in another country and the person receiving it is in Spain.
  • According to the execution time frame:
    • Ordinary transfers: those with a usual time frame for receiving the money.
    • Urgent transfers: those with a less-than-usual time frame for receiving the money.

Other more specific banking transfers include the Fund Movement Orders (FMO, or OMF in Spanish) that use the accounts of entities in the Banco de España.

How long does a transfer take to become effective?

If the transfer is in euros and both banks, the one that sends the money and the one that receives it, are in the European Union:

  • You will receive the amount of the transfer the next day following the day they sent you the money, provided that it is a business day. Every bank can establish a time from which the orders received will be carried out the next business day. Therefore, if they send you the money after that time you will receive it two days later.
  • If the transfer is made between accounts of the same Bank, you can receive the money in your account the same day that they sent it to you.

For operations made in currencies other than the euro, in which both the bank that sends the money and the one that receives it are in the European Union:

  • If you have established a longer time frame with your bank, it may not exceed four (4) business days from the time of receipt of the order by the bank.

In any case, if you cannot wait and you would like it done quicker, you can make an OMF transfer (the Spanish abbreviation for a Fund Movement Order), and they will receive it in a few hours, although it also has a higher fee.

What fees do I have to pay for transfers?

Every company charges different fees for carrying out a transfer. You can consult your bank's Fees and Charges applicable to transfers to find out what they are going to charge you.  Some banks charge a smaller amount if the transfer is carried out over the internet.
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What is the SEPA area?

SEPA stands for Single Euro Payments Area. Essentially, this is the European territory within which payments can be made and received in euros under common conditions, rights and obligations.

The SEPA includes the 28 member states of the European Union (EU), and also Switzerland, San Marino, Monaco, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.

What is the main regulation that regulates transfers?

  • The Payment Services Act (Act 16/20019, in force since November 2009.
  • Order EHA/1608/2010 on transparency of the conditions and information requirements applicable to payment services.
  • Regulation 260/2012 of the European Parliament and Council, which sets out the technical requirements that transfers must meet.

We hope we have answered your questions about this topic. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further question; at BBVA we are here to help you.

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