What problems can arise with money transfers via SWIFT

What problems can arise with money transfers via SWIFT

SWIFT transfers are an essential part of your banking experience. But as with any service, you can face problems when sending money using SWIFT. 

This time, Genome’s team will describe the main problems that can occur when making a SWIFT transfer, so you can be aware of them and, in some cases, avoid them.

Problems you can face during SWIFT wire transfers

Bank SWIFT transfers timeframes

The timeframes of SWIFT transfers are usually the part people complain about the most. No wonder, as these types of payments usually take much longer than domestic and SEPA transfers. 

In general, it is expected that a bank SWIFT transfer takes 3 to 4 business days to complete. But, the timeframes are even wider – from 1 to 5, and sometimes even 7 working days. 

And there are many reasons the transfer you sent or are about to receive may arrive later than expected:

  • Bank holidays, weekends, and holidays. Unfortunately, most banks don’t operate on weekends and during celebrations. So, for instance, if you order a transfer on Friday evening, it will be sent on Monday and take several days to reach the beneficiary. Fortunately, financial institutions usually warn their clients about banking holidays. Thus, we recommend planning your bank SWIFT transfers beforehand. 
  • Different time zones. If you make a transfer to a person that lives in a far-away country, it will likely have a vastly different time zone compared to your place of living. This factor can contribute greatly to the payment delay.
  • Fraud prevention. Your SWIFT wire transfer can also be delayed due to security reasons, as banks must perform fraud protection and anti-money laundering (AML) operations to comply with existing regulations. 

There are other reasons as well, which we will discuss further in the article. 

Fees and conversion rates

Another problem clients can face is that SWIFT transfers are more expensive than domestic and SEPA payments. And sometimes, people don’t check the pricing for SWIFT wire transfers beforehand and get overwhelmed with the fees they need to pay. 

There can also be issues with currency conversion. For instance, you can send your beneficiary the amount in dollars, which will convert to a local currency, resulting in the recipient receiving less money than they have expected, or you will have to pay an additional fee for the conversion. 


Open an account

in Genome online

Get Started

And, of course, the conversion times can be another reason your transfer is delayed. Thus, be mindful of all fees and charges before sending someone funds. 

SWIFT transfer destination

SWIFT is the most common system for sending transfers, as it operates in over 200 countries and territories. Nonetheless, there are still banks and financial institutions that don’t provide clients with such an option.

So, when planning a transfer to someone, or choosing a provider to open an account with, make sure that the bank supports SWIFT transfers if you are positive that you will need them for your financial operations. 

If your recipient’s bank does not have a SWIFT payment option, find another way to send them money. For instance, SEPA transfers are much more suitable for payments within the EU – they take 1 to 2 business days and are much cheaper. The downside is that they can only be carried out in euros. 

SWIFT wire transfer rejection

Sometimes your SWIFT wire transfer can be rejected. Most commonly, the reason is that you filled in incorrect payment details or missed something. For your bank SWIFT transfer to be sent successfully, you need to enter the recipient’s full name, or the company’s name, their SWIFT code, account number, or IBAN, and the reason you are sending them money. Some banks may also require the beneficiary’s address. 

Thus, after you have filled in all the required payment details, make sure to double-check everything before clicking the Send button. You will usually be able to save the beneficiary’s transfer details inside your app, so you won’t have to check it every time you send them funds.  

Make SWIFT transfers securely with Genome

Genome provides a SWIFT* payment option as well! Start a personal or business wallet on our platform and gain access to SWIFT transfers in euros, British pounds, and US dollars. 

We also offer SEPA payments, as well as instant internal transfers, all available from one straightforward dashboard – make, receive, and schedule payments online! 

*Please note that SWIFT transfers are temporarily unavailable.

All you need to do is apply for a personal or business wallet online and enjoy all the financial benefits we provide. From multi-currency accounts, dedicated IBANs, and money transfers to shared business accounts, merchant accounts, and virtual and physical Visa cards.  


Open an account

in Genome online

Get Started


How safe are SWIFT transfers?

The SWIFT system encrypts your payment information during the transfer instead of sending the money directly from one place to another. Overall, SWIFT ensures data confidentiality and integrity and has security protocols in place.

How long does a SWIFT transfer take?

The time varies a lot. The transfer can take from 1 to 5 business days to complete, and sometimes even longer. The time it takes to carry out a SWIFT transfer rests on many factors: if there are any intermediaries between your and beneficiary’s banks, if any holidays or weekends take place, time zones, security reasons, etc. 

What causes delays in SWIFT transfers?

There can be many reasons, which we have listed above. To put it short, most commonly, your transfer is delayed due to weekends, holidays, different time zones, etc.

What is a SWIFT code for a wire transfer? 

SWIFT code is also known as BIC, which means a Bank Identifier Code. So, it is all in the name – this is a code that allows identifying banks when you make a SWIFT transfer. These codes are 8 to 11 symbols long, containing information about the bank code, the country and location it’s in, and sometimes its branch.