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Telegraphic Transfer

Telegraphic Transfer (TT) or wire transfer is a legacy term referring to electronic transfers such as domestic payments via CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) in the UK or FedWire in the United States or international transfers via SWIFT. Traditionally telegraphic transfers have been more expensive justified by their security and speed of transfers, especially in the case of cross-border payments – the SWIFT payments can take 2-4 business days to reach the recipient’s bank account at the other end of the world. The origin of the name is based on the fact that banks used telegraph wires and later specially designed “telex” machines connected via a secure network to communicate with each other in order to arrange transfers. Although somewhat outdated, the name is still popular in some countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.


How long do Telegraphic transfers take?

CHAPS payments should arrive in the recipient’s bank account on the same day as long as the payment has been made before the deadline, usually around 4pm if done in the bank branch, and 5pm online. CHAPS telegraphic transfer or TT payments are often used for transferring funds urgently, such as for high-value purchases like a house.

Most high-value international transfers are still made using the SWIFT network (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and the network of international banks that hold commercial relationships and dedicated accounts called correspondent accounts. This is why it can take from 1 to several days depending on the countries between which a transfer is made and the number of correspondent banks in between.