About Wires

A wire transfer is a way to send funds directly from one bank to another over the "wire," meaning using electronic methods. For many years, wires have been the preferred method to transfer funds over international boundaries and to make large payments where checks or other methods are impractical or insufficiently secure.

The Federal Reserve System in the United States performs wire transfers through the Fedwire Funds Service. Galileo supports these transfers through its Program API, which enables you to send wires through participating Fedwire banks.

Sending a wire

This is the process for wiring funds at Galileo. See Outgoing wire in the Wires Workflows guide for details:

  1. On your interface, an account holder launches your Send Wire functionality.
  2. The account holder creates a destination account to receive the wire.
  3. The account holder inputs the wire amount and description and clicks Send.
  4. Using the API, you send the account and wire-transfer information to Galileo.
  5. Galileo withdraws the wire amount from the customer account.
  6. Galileo writes the transaction to a batch file.
  7. Galileo sends a batch file to a partner bank three times per day, at 06:00, 10:00, and 13:00, Galileo system time.
  8. The bank processes the file, and using the routing information in the file, sends the wire-transfer information to the destination bank over the Fedwire system.
  9. The destination bank processes the incoming information and posts the amount to the destination bank account.

Typically, a domestic wire can be posted to the destination account on the same day it was initiated. A few factors affect how long it takes:

  • Bank cutoff time. A bank that sends wires has a cutoff time that is earlier than the Fedwire cutoff time. Typically, the bank's cutoff time is 17:00 Eastern on business days, to give the bank time to process the wires and send them to Fedwire.
  • If the wire is initiated after the cutoff time, which in Galileo system time is 13:00, the wire is posted on the next business day.

Canceling a wire

You can cancel a wire using the API within 10 minutes of creating it. After that, the wire cannot be canceled. It is not possible to reverse a wire after it has been posted; instead, you would have to arrange with the recipient to return the funds using a new wire transfer.

Returned wires

If the account holder inputs incorrect information for the destination account, or if other human error occurs, a wire will be returned by the banks or by Fedwire. In that case, Galileo returns the funds to the customer account. See Outgoing wire return in Wires Workflows for details.

Receiving a wire

Galileo supports incoming wires that credit the account on the Galileo system. Galileo sends you a standard notification that a payment has been posted to the customer account, and the message contains wire-specific information.

Destination bank accounts

Before you can initiate a wire transfer, the account holder must create a destination account on the Galileo system. The account holder must provide the following information about the destination account before you can create the account:

  • The account number of the destination account as well as the name of the account owner. If the destination account is at a bank that is foreign relative to the Galileo account, it needs to be the IBAN account number.
  • The name, address, and wire routing number of the bank where the destination account resides. The wire routing number is different from the conventional routing number.
  • If the destination bank uses an intermediary for wires, the name, address, and wire routing number of the intermediary bank. See Intermediary banks, below, for more information.

Intermediary banks

Some smaller banks are not capable of handling international wire transfers, so they employ the services of an intermediary bank. See Intermediary banks in Creating a Wire Transfer for more information.

Assessing wire fees

Because wires involve high risk and high operational costs, best industry practice is to set a fairly high wire fee to prevent your customers from misusing wires. Furthermore, you might want to set a high fee for returned wires to help discourage human error. Coordinate with Galileo to set reasonable program fees, given applicable overhead.

You can assess fees manually using the Assess Fee endpoint, or Galileo can configure fees to automatically post when a wire is created or returned. See About Fees for information on fees in general.

Viewing wires

You can view wires using several methods. See Viewing the wire transaction in Creating a Wire Transaction for details:

Galileo Financial Technologies, LLC is a technology company, not a bank. Galileo partners with many issuing banks to provide banking services in North and South America.