A Bit of Wire Transfer History
In 1871, Western Union rolled out a new product that took advantage of their enormous nationwide telegraph system. It was a money transfer service conducted by telegraph operators using passwords and codes. The fund transfer request would travel from office to office across telegraph wires. When Western Union exited the telephone business at the end of the decade, these wire transfers, now valued in the millions per year, became the company’s sole focus.
Though companies around the world now use state-of-the-art communication systems to move funds, the process is still known as a “wire transfer”, and remains separate from slower but cheaper ACH transfers.
Types of Wire Transfers
There are a number of ways that individuals can wire money to each other:
- Bank account to bank account: This the most frequent wire transfer method used for funding poker accounts. An individual initiates a transfer from his or her bank to the recipient’s bank, bank and account numbers.
- Credit card to bank account: Similar to the above method, but the sender uses a cash advance from a credit card to move a payment to the recipient’s bank. This a more expensive option for the sender due to credit card fees and a higher interest rate.
- Domestic: Moving money between accounts in the same country costs less and happens faster because the transaction stays within one system.
- International: Transferring funds between accounts in different countries takes longer and picks up larger fees.
- Money transfer services: Companies like Western Union and MoneyGram move funds between offices or customers. Transfers can be started with checks or cash rather than cards or bank accounts.
Wire Transfers in 5 Easy Steps
Here’s the path a common wire transfer takes:
- The sender fills out a wire transfer request from his or her bank. These can be obtained in person, or online through one’s banking website. The request form requires the recipient’s banking information, including ABA, IBAN and/or SWIFT numbers. These codes direct where the money goes.
- The sender’s bank transmits the instructions as a message across the SWIFT network to the recipient’s bank.
- Once the message is accepted, the recipient’s bank uses its own reserves to fund the account.
- The two banks transfer funds and settle their fees using the Fedwire or CHIPS systems.
- Funds are not instantly placed in the individual’s account, though domestic wire transfers usually complete within one day.
How Do I Start a Wire Transfer for My Poker Account?
Now to the important part. These are 5 easy instructions to funding your online poker account with a wire transfer:
Do you already have an account with the poker site? No? It’s time to set one up. Enter in the requested information (email, password, etc.), then at the end of the process you’ll have a chance to make a deposit on the poker room’s “Banking” or “Cashier” page.
- Yes? Log in, then click on the website’s “Cashier” or “Banking” link.
- On the “Cashier” or “Banking” page, select “Wire Transfer” from the list of deposit options.
- The poker site will provide you with wire information and instructions.
- You must make the wire transfer using your bank’s request form. On a separate secure window, log in to your bank’s website. Look for a menu entitled “Transfers” or “Transferring payments”. Among these transfer options should be Wire Transfers.
- Fill in the wire transfer form with your poker’s information and submit the request.
Alternately, you can go to your bank to fill out and submit a physical wire transfer form.
When choosing a deposit amount, please make sure that it satisfies the poker site’s minimum and maximum deposit limits.
Wire transfers happen quickly but not immediately. Occasionally they may sit in a queue with other wires at either bank. But if you are submitting a domestic transfer, it should hit your poker account within 24 hours.
Once the money appears in your account, it’s yours to play with.
How to Withdraw Money From my Poker Account Using a Wire Transfer?
When it’s time to cash out, you can request a wire transfer of your funds into your bank account. Here’s how:
Review both the poker’s and your bank’s policies and fees. The poker may limit withdrawal sizes.
- Click on the “Cashier” or “Banking” link.
- Look for the “Withdrawal” link or tab. Select it.
- From the withdrawal options, choose “Wire Transfer”.
- You will be prompted for your bank’s wire information. Log into your bank’s website on a secure window. Go back to the “Transfers” page you’d used for your deposit. In the Wire Transfer section your bank should provide the necessary wire information.
- Fill out the poker’s form exactly as your bank’s site has instructed. This ensures the speed and accuracy of the transfer.
- Submit the form once it is complete.
The time frame for poker sites with wire transfers vary when it comes to withdrawals. But once the poker room releases your winnings (and your bank accepts the transfer) the money should post to your account quickly, as long as wire transfer has been submitted from a domestic bank. International bank transfers will take a day or two longer.
What About Fees?
All wire transfers incur fees. Banks charge each other fees for the service, and these expenses are passed on to the customers. Senders are hit with higher charges. Expect your sender fees to range from $25 to $50, depending on your bank and the transfer’s domestic/international status.
Most banks also charge for incoming wires, though these fees are lower than those for outgoing wires. So you should anticipate your bank charging you a fee for receiving your winnings. Also note that some online poker sites may elect to pass their wire fees onto you for each transaction.
How to Keep My Account Safe?
Though the wire transfer process is very secure, you can do a few things to further protect your money.
Double-check your deposit and withdrawal requests before submitting them. Wire transfers cannot be stopped or canceled once they’re being processed.
Make sure you provide your banking information only in the necessary fields on the bank and poker wire forms. Do not include your information in any emails.
Do not gamble or process any financial transactions while connected to an unsecured public wireless network.
When will my wire transfer deposit show up in my poker account?
Domestic wire transfers usually take one day to complete. International wire transfers may take two or three days. The poker will add your funds to your account once the transfer is done.
When will my wire transfer withdrawal post to my bank account?
Every poker has its own schedule for releasing withdrawals. Add to that the time it takes for domestic or international wires to clear. So the time frame ranges from two to twelve days.
Can I make international wire transfers?
Yes, but know that international wires will take longer to process and incur larger fees than domestic wires.
Will I be eligible for the poker’s welcome bonus if I fund my account with a wire transfer?
Yes! But it’s a good idea to review the poker’s fine print on how the bonus actually works.
How secure is a domestic wire transfer?
Because the transfer passes through a minimum of systems, all of which are monitored by the federal government, wire transfers are one of the safest payment methods available.
Are there limits to how much I can deposit to or withdraw from my poker account when using wire transfers?
Your wire transfer limits depend mostly on the poker’s policies. Every poker has minimum and maximum requirements for deposits, as well as limited withdrawal sizes. Check with your bank to see if it limits outgoing or incoming wire transfer amounts.
Using Wire Transfers with Your Poker Account
Though wire transfers ring up plenty of fees, they are one of the most secure payment options available. Make sure to limit your fees by using a bank account rather than a credit card. Know the poker’s policies, as well as your bank’s, so you can process wire transfers confidently and focus your attention on the games at hand.