What is a wire transfer?

When you need to send money quickly and safely, you may start to consider using a wire transfer. Wire transfers originated in the 19th century when people would use them to send money over the telegraph lines or wires, hence the name “wire transfer.” Also known as a credit transfer, today they are used to electronically transfer funds from one entity to another. They can either be initiated from a bank account, or through a cash office with cash. Here is everything you need to know about the methods, process, and reliability of using a wire transfer. The Methods There are a few different ways to send and receive the funds involved in a wire transfer. The most common transfers are either domestic, international, or retail money transfers. Domestic Transfers Wire exchanges that occur between two United States bank account numbers are conducted through the Fedwire system. This system is operated by the United States Federal Reserve and it enables financial institutions to transfer funds by assigning a unique routing transit number to each bank. International Transfers Wire exchanges that occur between an American bank or credit union and a foreign bank are executed through SWIFT. This stands for the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, and it provides a network that enables institutions to participate in transactions that are secured and standardized. Founded in 1974, by a group of international banks, SWIFT generates and exchanges messages that hold the data for the funds transfer. Each foreign institution is assigned a code called a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) or SWIFT Code that is generally eight characters long. By extending...

Master Card Introduction & Review

MasterCard is a technology company and one of the central forces in the payment industry. The company has been a leader in the industry for over four decades now and has contributed a great deal to the global economy. Providing a number of different payment options, including credit cards and debit cards, MasterCard helps make the payments industry safer, more efficient, and more available to all users. A Brief History of MasterCard The company was first established in 1966, as a group of bankers created a member-owned association that later became MasterCard. The company quickly made its presence known throughout the United States as well as Mexico, Japan, Europe, and China. In the 1980s the company established the world’s first truly global online debit program, opening up a whole new world of possibilities. Throughout the 1990s, electronic payments became even more widespread, and MasterCard responded by developing new payment technologies to offer enhanced convenience, speed, and efficiency. In 2000 and beyond, the company continued to innovate, creating unique products services, such as the MasterCard Advisors, prepaid cards, and more. From day one, MasterCard established itself as a company focused on meeting the diverse needs of customers worldwide. It met that need then, and it continues to do so today with its myriad of product and service offerings. The Products Offered By MasterCard MasterCard offers a variety of different products and services to its customers. Each product and service is designed to meet the unique needs of customers with varying needs. MasterCard is most widely known for its secure and efficient credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid money cards. Available...

Visa Card Introduction & Review

Visa is the most popular way of completing money transactions in the world. Visa accounts for over $3.2 trillion each year in volume. 52.4% of all worldwide volume of transactions is done on the Visa network. Visa is ubiquitous. Nearly all vendors accept Visa cards and most consumers have at least one Visa card in their wallet. A Choice of Credit or Debit Visa is no longer just a credit card. The Visa imprint now supports debit card transactions, which are growing in overall volume. Credit cards charge interest each month. Debit cards have many of the same benefits as credit cards, but the money is automatically withdrawn from a checking or savings account at the time of purchase. How Does This Work? A Visa credit card will charge interest payments based on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) listed in the credit card agreement. A Visa debit card will not charge interest. Credit cards have a credit line that allows you to make purchases up to a certain threshold. The debit card allows you to spend up to the amount in your bank at that time. Some charges may cause overdrafts, if your bank allows them. You’ll need to check with the issuing bank of your debit card to see if this is the case. You can add a Visa credit card to your bank account as overdraft protection, ironically enough. Benefits to Consumers The biggest benefits to consumers using Visa cards is fraud prevention and buyer protection. Fraud prevention from Visa is automatic. Consumers are never liable for charges that take place from stolen cards, identity theft, or...