Telegraphic transfers

What is a telegraphic transfer?

A telegraphic transfer, or TT, is a way of sending funds electronically. Also known as telex transfers, the name harks back to when sending money meant sending a printed message using a teleprinter. TT transfers today are online and one of the faster ways to make an international money transfers. They are primarily used for overseas wire transfers.

While you might still hear the term telegraphic transfer, these types of bank transfer are more commonly referred to as a CHAPS or SWIFT transfer. A SWIFT code is also known as a Bank Identifier Code (BIC) and the terms are often interchangeable.

CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) is a way to send electronic money in the UK. CHAPS payments should arrive in the recipient’s bank account on the same day as long as the payment has been made before the deadline, usually around 4pm if done in the bank branch, and 5pm online. CHAPS telegraphic transfer or TT payments are often used for transferring funds urgently, such as for high-value purchases like a house.

SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications. Each financial institution has its own unique swift code, so banks and other financial services can make a quick and secure international money transfer through the SWIFT network.

What is a telegraphic transfer fee?

A telegraphic transfer fee is when a banking system charges to make a CHAPS or SWIFT payment.

Some banks don’t charge for CHAPS payments, but most will charge between £20 and £25.

A SWIFT transfer will be charged as either a flat fee or as a percentage of the amount you’re sending. When factoring in the costs of an international wire transfer you should also check the exchange rates as they’ll impact how much of your money arrives at the final destination. Using a foreign exchange specialist like WorldFirst can save you money when making an international money transfer.

How to make a telegraphic transfer

You can make a CHAPS telegraphic transfer by visiting a bank branch or using online banking. To help prevent fraud and money laundering, some banks have a limit for transferring funds online. If you need to wire transfer a large amount of money, for example over £50,000, you may only be able to do this in branch.

Most high street banks will let you make a SWIFT transfer using online banking. You can also use a foreign exchange specialist like WorldFirst who offers simple and transparent pricing, which could result in significant savings for your business.

What do you need for a CHAPS transfer?

  • A debit card and a valid form of ID such as a passport of driving license
  • The name and address of the payee (beneficiary)
  • The sort code and account number of the payee as well as the name of their bank

Other details include the amount to be sent as well in addition to a reference for the payee

For a SWIFT transfer you may also require additional details such as:

  • The country you’re sending the money to
  • The currency you want to pay in
  • The recipient’s IBAN (if applicable)
  • Transfer amount and reason for transfer
  • The BIC (bank identifier code) often referred to as SWIFT code

How long does a telegraphic transfer take?

As we’ve already mentioned, one of the key things about a CHAPS telegraphic bank transfer is it happens on the same day. If you miss the deadline for making a same-day wire transfer then it may arrive in the recipient’s account on the next working day.

As a SWIFT transfer means sending funds abroad it can take several days. It usually depends on things like time differences and how many intermediary banks are involved in the transfer.

Sending funds with WorldFirst | How long do SWIFT transfers take?

Nearly half of SWIFT gpi payments are currently credited within just 30 minutes – almost 100% within 24 hours – and the majority of international beneficiaries are credited in seconds.