Wire transfer vs ACH payment

Although wire transfers and ACH payments are both common types of electronic funds transfer in the US, they notably differ in speed and cost.


Speed comparison

The wire network processes transactions in real time, so wire transfers are usually delivered quickly - within minutes or hours. An ACH payment, on the other hand, can take several days to settle (more on this in Chapter 3).

Cost comparison

Sending a wire transfer within the US is expensive, costing the payer an average $25 per transaction (and fees can be even higher for international transfers). On top of that, some financial institutions may also charge the recipient a fee to receive the funds.

An ACH payment can be orders of magnitude cheaper per transaction than a wire transfer - something we explore more in Chapter 2.

Which is better?

Because of their high cost and speed, wire transfers are best for large or time-sensitive transfers, either within the US or abroad. But if time-sensitivity isn’t an issue, an ACH payment offers significant advantage over a wire transfer, with its lower cost.

‹ View table of contents Next page ›

Latest features

How to scale a fintech: Strategic advice from industry leaders

Learn from the leaders of Monzo, TransferWise, Funding Circle and more, with over 30 pieces of wisdom for scaling your fintech. Get your free copy now.

How borrowers want to repay their loans: key insights from customers

We asked 400 borrowers who have taken out at least one personal loan within the last two years about a number of key aspects of their repayment experience, including preferred payment methods, important features and common reasons for missing a repayment.

5 strategies for reducing delinquent loans with better payments

Delinquent loans are a constant concern for lenders of all sizes. If your level of loan delinquency becomes too high it can have serious negative effects on your business, including increased collection costs and reputational risk. This article explores 5 ways to reduce loan delinquency with better payments.

View all


Reference guides

View all