What Details Do You Need in a Bank Transfer?

a month ago   •   4 min read

By Silverbird Content Team

Getting the wrong details in a bank transfer can be a sticky business for global SMEs. Let’s say you make a high value payment to the wrong recipient, what happens?

At best, your money is lost for weeks, sometimes months. At worst, the money is lost forever. Ultimately, you’ll find yourself locked in a tedious back-and-forth between you and your customer as they chase you for late payments, and vice versa.

The result: poor cash flow.

But don’t worry. In this article, we’ll cover everything – from sending money abroad to making transfers to a business account.


This article at a glance

A bank transfer necessitates the filling in of certain details that ultimately identifies the correct recipient. This article will cover all the details you need for a bank transfer, as well as the details you need to receive money.


What are the required details for a bank transfer?

Let’s start with the basics. If you want to make a bank transfer at a high street bank in the United Kingdom (UK) or through online banking, you’ll need to include the following details:

  • The full name of the recipient
  • The amount of money you want to transfer
  • Your recipient’s 6-digit sort code
  • Your recipient’s 8-digit account number
  • A payment reference (usually with your name, so the recipient can identify the source of money)
  • Date of transfer

Bank transfer times vary according to the bank in question. An immediate transfer can reach the recipient's bank account immediately, or take up to 2 hours. Bank holidays – like the Easter holiday season – are something to keep in mind because they can slow up the transfer time by several days.

Additionally, your bank may also require:

  • The recipient’s address
  • The name and address of the high street bank you’re transferring money to

Are there extra security details required?

There are now. Scam cases are on the rise and banks have put extra security measures in place to ensure that your bank transfers are safe.

Most notable of all is the Strong Customer Authentication (SCA). The bank sends a verification code to your email or mobile phone to verify your identity, ensuring that you’re the person authorising the transfer.

Certain high street banks like the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) now issue a warning when you carry out a bank transfer, prompting you to think twice about whether you know and trust the person to whom you’re sending the money.

Once verified, you’re asked to confirm the name, account details and the transfer amount before you make the transfer. Make sure you get this right, otherwise you’ll find yourself dogged down by a long and arduous process to retrieve the money.

What details do I need to receive a transfer?

If you’re expecting someone to carry out a bank transfer to your account, make sure that they have the following details:

  • The full name of your recipient
  • The amount of money you want to transfer
  • Your recipient’s 6-digit sort code
  • Your recipient’s 8-digit account number
  • A payment reference (usually with your name, so your recipient can identify the source of money)
  • Date of transfer

As a recipient, you’re not required to key in your own bank account details – that’s down to the sender. Your job is to make sure you’ve submitted the right details.

How do I transfer money abroad?

Sending money abroad can be done through either a high street bank or an online payment provider. However, it requires a few extra details. If you’re paying your suppliers, it’s critical to get these details right.

What details do I need for an international bank transfer through a high street bank?
International bank transfers are more complicated because they typically go through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) network, with every financial institution assigned a SWIFT code for security measures. This code is also called the Business Identifier Code (BIC).

You will need:

  • Your recipient’s name or company name
  • SWIFT code or BIC
  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

Additionally, you will have to confirm the foreign currency with which you would like to transfer money, as well as the name of the country you’re transferring money to.

How long does it take to transfer money abroad?
It all depends on what kind of service you use.

If you opt for a high street bank, an international transfer can take as long as 5 days to process. This is because a single payment has to go through the SWIFT network, with every intermediary bank taking a cut of the payment.

As such, high street banks charge a transfer fee for outgoing transactions – every transaction made through your business account will be imposed a transfer fee that ranges between 0.06–2%. While this seems like pittance, the transfer fee incrementally adds up over time.

However, if you were to use a money transfer provider, your payment would arrive on the same day – sometimes, in seconds.

How do I transfer money to a business bank account?
To carry out a bank transfer to a UK business bank account, you will need:

  • Your recipient’s name or company name
  • Your recipient’s 6-digit sort code
  • Your recipient’s 8-digit account number

Sometimes, your high street bank may ask you to verify that you’re transferring to a business account instead of a personal account. Take our advice – note the company’s registered company number and business address to make your accounting easier.

If you want to carry out an international transfer to a business bank account, you will need:

  • Your recipient’s name or company name
  • SWIFT code or BIC
  • International Bank Account Number (IBAN)

I’m in a rush to make a high-value international bank transfer. Are there any alternatives to a high street bank?

Silverbird is your only option.

Silverbird is the only online payment provider that caters exclusively to international merchants making high-value international transfers.

Send your money securely. Enjoy world-leading FX rates. Multi-currency accounts primed for international merchants. Local EU/UK bank details. Competitive exchange rates.

With a Silverbird global account, you’re not limited to only SWIFT international payments when sending money abroad. Silverbird also provides local payment solutions in 20 countries to make business international transfers as frictionless and affordable as possible.

Have peace of mind with Silverbird’s safeguarding process which protects 100% of your money in reputable UK and EU banks.

Better still, Silverbird doesn’t slap on extortionate fees to every transfer.

Don’t just take our word for it – start onboarding today.


Author: Melissa Yeo
Illustration: Kate Faldina

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