Paying by Wire Payment

One of the safest, most efficient ways to move money from your account into someone else's is to send a wire payment through your financial institution.

Wire payments between Canadian financial institutions are protected by a strong legal framework that enables trusted near real-time payments across Canada. This gives you an extra layer of confidence and security, which is especially important when you're dealing with a large amount of money or a time-sensitive situation.

Our framework doesn't cover wire payments sent or received through cash stores or other money transfer businesses. If you have questions about wire payments offered by those businesses, you should contact them.


How to send a wire payment through your financial institution

Contact your financial institution to find out whether they offer wire payments. Financial institutions may charge service fees for sending or receiving wire payments. It's a good idea for you and the recipient to confirm the amount of service fees and decide who'll cover them ahead of time.

Your branch needs the following information about the recipient:

  • name as spelled on the account
  • address
  • financial institution information, including:
    • account number where the funds are going (excluding spaces and special characters)
    • the branch name and address (including postal code)
    • the branch's routing information (3-digit Canadian financial institution number and 5-digit branch transit number)
  • the financial institution's SWIFT Business Identifier Code if available
  • the amount of the payment
  • the value date (YY/MM/DD format)
  • who will be paying the service fees (you, the beneficiary or both parties)

Routing information

If the recipient gives you the routing information, you can verify the information for most Canadian financial institutions in the Financial Institutions Branch Directory.

SWIFT Business Identifier Codes (BICs) identify financial institutions and provide payment routing information in a standardized format that's recognized worldwide. BICs are also called SWIFT codes, since they're used by the SWIFT system for international wire transfers. BIC/SWIFT codes are available free of charge on the SWIFT website.

How your wire payment will travel

The recipient's financial institution will receive the wire payment message via our Large Value Transfer System (LVTS). They will deduct applicable fees and use the information in the payment message to deposit the payment in the recipient's account. Often, this happens in near real-time. The payment is final once it is in the recipient's account, and the recipient can use the funds immediately.

To learn more about wire payments, check out Module 06 (Large Value Transfer System) of our educational video series – the Learning Exchange.