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Global Transfers Guide

ATB’s Global Transfers make it easy to send money across international borders. Here are answers to a few common questions.

With ATB Global Transfers, most money transfers are completed in one to three business days, though transfers to certain countries can take up to five business days. (Head here to for a list of relevant countries.)

Here’s how to get started.

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Step 1: Collect recipient banking information

The first thing you need to send a global transfer is banking information for the transfer recipient, just like you need to know someone’s address to mail them a letter. Ask your recipient to contact their bank and send you:

  • The legal name of the bank
  • The account number
  • Their routing information

Routing information can be tricky, as different countries use different names for it. Ask your recipient to get their information directly from their bank to make sure they get correct information.

The transfer won’t go through if any of this isn’t right, so be careful and double-check your information.

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Step 2: Do a test transfer

A test transfer is a low-stakes way to make sure you’ve got the right banking information for a new recipient. Sending one is always a good idea setting up a new recipient. (Note that special countries don’t allow test transfers. A list of them can be found here.)

To do a test transfer:

  1. Log in to ATB Online or open the ATB mobile app and navigate to the Global Transfers tab.
  2. Enter the recipient’s banking information.
  3. Select the test transfer option to send a $15 payment to your recipient with no transfer fee.
    Remember: most Global Transfers take one to three business days to go through, and transfers to special countries can take up to five business days. (A complete list is available here.)
  4. Check back with your recipient to ensure they received the test transfer before sending additional transfers. If they have, you’re all set up to send larger sums with peace of mind.

If they haven’t received the money, something went wrong along the way. Double-check your recipient banking information and reach out to our dedicated Global Transfers team at 1-866-282-4932, 7am-11pm, seven days a week.

FAQs

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How can I check the status of my Global Transfer?

Use the Global Transfer History tab in ATB Online or the ATB mobile app to see the status of a Global Transfer.

Remember that it usually takes between one and three business days for a Transfer to complete. Weekends or bank holidays may delay a Transfer further. (For certain countries it can take up to five business days; head here for a complete list.)

You might see the following status types in the Global Transfer History tab:

  • “Validating” means we’re in double-checking the details of your Transfer.
  • “Processing” means that the funds have not yet been sent to your recipient.
  • “Sent” means the funds have been sent by ATB and the Transfer is in transit to your recipient's bank.
  • “Failed” means the delivery wasn’t completed. Double-click status for information and next steps.

What does “Invalid Bank Code” mean?

You’ll see this if the bank code for a Transfer is incorrect. If you see this, please double-check the accuracy of the recipient transfer information.

You also might see this if you’re sending money to the Philippines or Thailand, where only some banks accept Global Transfers. (For a full list, head here.) If you don’t see your recipient’s bank on the list, please visit your nearest ATB branch and send a wire transfer instead.

My recipient’s bank doesn’t accept electronic transfers. What can I do?

This might come up if you’re sending money to the Philippines or Thailand, where some banks don’t accept electronic transfers. A full list of banks in these countries that do accept Global Transfers is available here.

If you don’t see your recipient’s bank on the list, don’t worry—you can still send them money. Just pop in to your nearest ATB branch and ask about sending a wire transfer.

I see “sent” under Global Transfer status. Where is the money?

If the Global Transfer status in ATB Online or the ATB mobile app shows “sent,” the money has left ATB, and it is in transit to your recipient's bank. It should show up no later than three business days after the status shows “sent” (five days for special countries). If it does not, please contact us at 1-866-282-4932. We’re available to help from 7am-11pm, seven days a week.​

Why can’t I send a test transfer?

For certain countries, Global Transfers are sent with a money wire, so the Test Transfer function is not available. Those countries are China, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa and Switzerland. Sending a Global Transfer to these countries still costs less than sending a wire in branch.

How does the test transfer feature work?

Test transfers let you confirm that a new transfer is sending money to the right account before you send additional money. The feature sends $15 CAD or USD to your recipient. ATB waives the transfer fee for test transfers.

I can’t enter the bank country for my recipient. How I send money?

While your recipient can live anywhere in the world, we can only send Global Transfers to certain countries. (atb.com/globaltransfers has a full list.) If you need to send money to a country that is not on the list, please visit your nearest ATB branch to send a wire.

I can send funds to myself at another bank?

Absolutely! Make sure you enter your own name in the recipient details—using the name of the bank will cause delays.

What’s the difference between an ACH ABA routing number and a Fedwire ABA routing number?

Financial institutions in the US have two different routing numbers: ACH ABA numbers and Fedwire ABA numbers. To send a Global Transfer, you need the ACH ABA routing number. Using a Fedwire ABA routing number will result in a return of funds and, possibly, additional fees. Also, the routing number on wiring instructions usually will not work to send a Global Transfer.

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