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Q: International Fund Transfers ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: International Fund Transfers
Category: Business and Money > Accounting
Asked by: dougz-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 27 Jun 2006 17:30 PDT
Expires: 27 Jul 2006 17:30 PDT
Question ID: 741601
I would like a complete explanation of how international fund
transfers work form the US to an overseas bank account.  The answer
will likely include a reference to S.W.I.F.T. and include a brief
history of how this process evolved.  I would like to know who is
involved in this process, how it works, what types of businesses or
persons use it.  A COMPLETE explanation.  Specifically, answers to
questions like:
1) I send a check to my sister in Spain, she deposits it, how does the
money get from my account to hers?  and
2) I purchase a gift in Egypt with a credit card and pay the bill. 
How does the money get to the merchant from my bank?
A GREAT, COMPLETE, answer would be like the answer to question ID
244497, ACH (Automatic Clearing House) asked by david_corbett-ga on 13
Aug 2003

Thanks a bunch!

Clarification of Question by dougz-ga on 05 Jul 2006 08:58 PDT
I know precious little about this topic and a cursory web search was
confusing to me.  The answer to this question could propose topics for
additional research.  Comment 1 breaks the question into six
1.  Payer initiated transfers (now almost all via SWIFT), 
2.  Check collections
3.  Credit card transactions
4.  Telegraphic transfers
5.  Settlement of international bills of exchange
6.  Letters of credit.
If this is the appropriate way to categorize the question, great. 
But, maybe it is more appropriate to categorize by geography... US to
Europe, US to Asia, etc.  Or maybe by multinational bank... I really
do not know.  I would hope Researchers would include a point of view
with their answer so I can become smart enough to ask additional

Perhaps this is too tough (and too broad) a question.  I have no
desire to uncover issues regarding security.   I am looking for
Process.  It is unlikely I would reject an answer.

Thanks for your comments, myoarin-ga.  I hope this clarifies the
question for Researchers.  I hate to withdraw the question, because
someone may have started working on an answer and it would be unfair
to have the question evaporate from under them.  If a Researcher wants
me to withdraw the question and rephrase it, I think they can suggest
it with an e-mail (as I read the FAQs).

Clarification of Question by dougz-ga on 05 Jul 2006 09:04 PDT
In response to Comment No. 1:
Having not used this service before, I based my question's style on
the ACH question's style.  I am not too happy with my question's tone
and content;  I hope it does not put off or frighten Researchers.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 05 Jul 2006 09:33 PDT

I spent some time looking into your question.  I haven't found a
straightforward to answer it, as the actually means of transferring
funds is quite complex, overloaded with jargon, and involves a
surprising number of different parties.

However, I did find one resource that gives a pretty comprehensive
overview of electronic funds tranfers between banks:

Take a look at this, and let me know if it is helpful at all.



Clarification of Question by dougz-ga on 26 Jul 2006 05:16 PDT
I read your article... but it is too technical to be useful for me. 
All about the mechanics of security in these transfers,.. how to
ensure security... and my question is not focused on that.

I am really interested in the process... transfer goes from "A" to
"B", checked at "B" then to "C" and "D" gets the money and "A" gets

I will rephrase the question and try again, later.  Thanks for your efforts.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: International Fund Transfers
From: myoarin-ga on 04 Jul 2006 16:54 PDT
This is a free comment by a retired banker and NOT an answer to your
question, which only an official G-A researcher can post, one with a
blue name.

Asking for a "complete" description of international funds transfers
may have scared off Researchers, since "all", "every", "complete" of
anything is almost impossible to provide with assurance.  The
Researcher can only post one answer, adding clarifications, but the
answer might still not be complete, allowing the questioner to reject
the answer.

For example:  I have read that there are private, relatively informal
methods of intl funds transfer in some parts of the world that are
apparently quite efficient, but it might be impossible to describe
them in detail, secrecy about the systems being part of their

You have mentioned three major forms of intl transfers:  payer
initiated transfers (now almost all via SWIFT), check collections, and
credit card transactions.  Others would include telegraphic transfers,
settlement of intl bills of exchange and letters of credit.

If you would be satisfied to limit your question to the first three
types, you are more likely to get an answer, and even more likely to
get answers if you post individual questions asking about just one
form of transfer.

Here are a couple of sites about SWIFT:

Good luck!

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