A Bank Transfer or Instant Bank Wire Transfer is a means by which a consumer can make transactions for online products and services without having to issue credit card details. A consumer wishing to use this mode of payment orders his/her bank to transfer a specified amount of money to an internet merchant so that he/she can purchase products, services or online casino and other gambling credits from them.
This payment instruction will include an IBAN and BIC code, which are issued by the merchant. IBAN stands for International Bank Account Number and BIC is a Bank Identifier Code. These enable the consumer's banking institution or cash office to transfer funds to the correct vendor institution. The consumer bank/cash office then transmits a secure message via a worldwide inter-bank telecommunications network such as SWIFT or Fedwire, ordering the receiving bank to effect the payment instruction. Once the recipient of the funds or the merchant has been advised that the transfer has been successfully concluded, the transaction is complete and the services, products or gaming credits will be released to the consumer.
The bank transfer is usually completed anything from several hours to several days, which might not make it the fastest way to conclude transactions online, but it is certainly considered the safest. This is because intensive identity checks are performed by the bank, and wired transfer information is transmitted through highly encrypted communication devices to protect the consumer against fraud and identity theft. In addition, this form of payment has no chargebacks. However, instant bank wires and transfers should only be conducted if the recipient is trustworthy, as there have been many reported incidences of online scams, particularly within the internet based auction sector. In these cases, the recipient collects the money transfer without providing the products or services the consumer paid for.
Instant bank wire and transfer fees are usually in the region of £20 for transfers under £10 000, but expedited transfers (less than 24 Hours) can be billed as high as £40. Foreign exchange rates also need to be considered when wiring money abroad.
As far as online payment technologies is concerned, instant bank wires and transfers are certainly the most secure means of payment delivery (assuming the consumer is dealing with a reputable vendor), and is a recommendable means of fund transfer for the more cautious internet spender. However, e-wallet solutions, credit card payments, debit card payments and pre-paid cards appear to be faster and more convenient, not to mention less expensive.