General Question

round_pie's avatar

How do banks or goverments transfer large sums of money to each other?

Asked by round_pie (90points) July 25th, 2008

Is there some kind of secure, international wire system?

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Yes. Here is some information from Bank of America. It works the same way for them.

“The International Bank Account Number (IBAN) is the international standard for identifying international bank accounts across national borders.

The IBAN is comprised of a maximum of 27 alphanumeric characters within Europe and a maximum of 34 outside of Europe (German IBAN: 22 characters). At present, the United States does not participate in IBAN. Therefore, Bank of America does not have an IBAN number.

When sending wire transfers to countries that have IBAN numbers, we recommend including those numbers in your wire transfer documentation. According to the European Directive, only the account-keeping bank may calculate the IBAN / check digits. To obtain the IBAN numbers of another bank, please visit that banks website or contact them directly to obtain that information.”

Allie's avatar

I believe it’s all electronic now. There are some reserves that have the actual money locked up in vaults, but not like what’s transferred from bank to bank.

AnswerMan1980's avatar

I think mostly using what’s called an ACH transfer.

Spargett's avatar

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ninjaxmarc's avatar

very carefully with prejudice.

crunchaweezy's avatar

They use handbags.

SeventhSense's avatar

There is no more money in society. All forms of currency are just fiat currency. Up until the 60’s one could actually exchange cash for its equivalent in silver but they did away with that. And thus was the beginning of the end of value. How else could we run up trillion dollar debts. You exist as an item to discharge debt by your SS#. And the US is the only government in the world that can hold its national debt on the currency it prints. When you get a student loan, do you think anything of value is added or transferred from the government? Where’s the gold? There is none. No there is just debt added to you.

avalmez's avatar

Fedwire for inter-bank domestic transfers. ACH is a service that also allows book entry electronic transfers but it’s been awhile for me and i don’t recall the details too well.

Where foreign currencies are concerned, money doesn’t acually leave it’s country of origin. Rather, banks that let you open, say, a JPY account actually open a corrresponding account in Japan, either with a branch or affiliate. Even if you have a “a JPY account” with a US bank, that account actually only references an account in Japan that actually holds the funds.

SWIFT facilitates FX, for e.g., suppose you buy JPY with USD. In that case, you will need a JPY account before the fact (as described above, that account is ultimately in Japan), and the opposite side of your tx (the person supplying JPY to you for USD) must have a USD account in the US.

SWIFT effects the exchange by:

1. Wire transfer of JPY to your account in Japan, from another account in Japan that belongs to the seller of JPY.
2. Wire transfer of USD from your account to the US based USD account of the seller of JPY.

Hence, you end up exchanging JPY for USD and neither currency ever left its country of origin!

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