Wire Transfer Vs Telegraphic Transfer
29 Oct 2021

Wire Transfer Vs Telegraphic Transfer

Is there a difference between wire transfer vs telegraphic transfers? Find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Telegraphic transfer was the term used to denote international money transfers in the 1900s
  • Today, wire transfer is used as a synonym for telegraphic transfers.
  • Wire transfer uses the SWIFT network to transfer money from one country to the other.
  • It takes anywhere up to 5 business days for the recipient to receive money.
  • Charges for wire transfer vary from bank to bank and depend on the transfer amount.

You may need to initiate international fund transfers for many reasons like sending money to your loved ones, managing business expenses abroad or moving money from an international bank account to another. When you research how to initiate international fund transfers, you will generally find two methods: wire transfer vs telegraphic transfer. But are the two forms of fund transfer different? In this article, we attempt to eliminate the confusion surrounding transfer vs bank transfers via Telegraph. Read on to find out.

Wire Transfer Vs TT – Is There A Difference?

During the 1990s, a telegraphic transfer referred to the transfer of money to another country using a telex, which meant sending money via an antiquated cable, radio, or telephone system. The system inspired the name ‘Telegraphic Transfer’. People used to visit their bank, and the bank would send a coded message to the bank of the recipient.

Nowadays, the term telegraphic transfer is used synonymously with a wire transfer. This is attributed to the fact that the new electronic system has replaced the old fund transfer system in the wake of electronic and technological advancements. While a new term has been coined, at the core, the meaning is the same. Therefore, when you hear someone say telegraphic transfer, it means wire transfer.

What Is Wire Transfer?

Wire transfer is ideal for international money transfers. This method is typically used for transferring money from India to another country or from abroad to India.

The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication network (SWIFT) is the most common way of wire transfer. While some banks let you initiate a wire transfer online, you can also visit your bank to complete the fund transfer process. You will have to give information about the beneficiary of the funds, such as their name, address and contact number. As per RBI guidelines, you also have to provide their bank account details, such as their account number and SWIFT code, along with adequate reasons for fund transfer. You will need to pay for the transaction upfront, and the bank initiating the wire transfer will send a message to the recipient bank with payment instructions through SWIFT. Once the recipient bank receives all the information, the amount will be deposited into the bank account of the beneficiary.

Charges for wire transfers vary from bank to bank and typically depend on the money transfer amount. Also, it may take up to 5 working days for the amount to get transferred into the beneficiary account.


As is apparent, there is no real difference between wire transfer vs telegraphic transfers. As the banking industry evolved, the word telegraphic started having an archaic reference, which is why today we refer to international fund transfers as wire transfers. However, if you go to a bank and tell them you wish to send funds abroad, they will not differentiate between wire transfers vs telegraphic transfers because the two terms are, after all, synonymous.

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*Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. We recommend you get in touch with your income tax advisor or CA for expert advice.