How to make an international wire transfer from Kenya

Winner Ajibola


An international wire transfer is one of the fastest and most secure ways you can use to send money abroad from Kenya. This is why it’s also a popular option when you need to make international transfers. 

In this post, we’ll share tips on how you can successfully make international wire transfers from Kenya, all you need, and even cheaper alternatives you can explore. 

Four Differences between a Wire Transfer and a Bank Transfer

Wire transfers are an electronic means of transferring money from one bank account to another. This means that, they offer the same functions a typical bank transfer would - move money around. However, the primary difference between a wire transfer and a direct deposit is in the process of transferring the funds. Some of them include; 

1. Speed

How long does a wire transfer take? Wire transfers are typically faster than other forms of international bank transfers. Although, while regular bank transfers take about 24 hours to complete, it takes at least three days for the money to become available. So if you want to carry out a speedy transfer, wiring the money is a much better option.

2. Price

Although wire transfers are faster, you pay the cost of the speed in its pricing. Not only do you pay charges as the sender, but the recipient also has to pay a small fee for receiving the transfer.

International transfers are also more expensive since they’d be crossing borders. With bank transfers, you also have to pay a fee. However, this fee is much lower when compared to wire payments. 

3. Transfer Limits

Some banks or financial institutions tend to give monthly transfer limits. And when you exceed this limit, you either pay extra for each transaction or wait until the quota resets. With international wire transfers, you don’t have to worry about the number of transaction limits you get in a month. 

4. Reversals

Can wire transfers be reversed? This could be a pro or a con depending on your needs. Since wire transfers are processed instantly, they are most times irreversible. With bank transfers, there’s usually a reversal window you can take advantage of if you sent funds in error. 

What You Need to Successfully Wire Money Abroad

Before carrying out a wire transfer, you need to have the following information available;

  • Recipient’s full name and contact information
  • Recipient’s bank name, account number, BIC, and address
  • IBAN and Routing number
  • The amount you’d want to wire
  • Valid government ID

How to Make an International Wire Transfer

You can make an international wire transfer from Kenya via two options. You can do this directly from your bank or through verified online services. 

While a few banks allow you to make wire transfers from your banking apps, especially when you have a domiciliary account, you still need to visit the nearest branch. This is because your bank might not offer this service. 

You also need to know the updated exchange rates, wire transfer fees, and any taxes your transactions can incur. So here’s how to make an international wire transfer at a bank;

  • Visit the nearest local bank branch with all the relevant information for your transfer.
  • Ask about the bank charges, exchange rates, fees, and additional taxes
  • Collect the transfer form and ensure you fill out the correct information
  • Confirm that the process has been completed and save a copy of the receipt for future reference

Make an International Wire Transfer Via Money Transfer Services

There are many online money transfer services you can explore. Quite similar to using a bank, these services will ask you to fill out a form with the wire transfer details and ask you to pay the funds you’re sending in person. Once the transfer is complete, they contact the recipient for payment confirmation. 

Since they aren’t traditional banks, reviewing how secure and authentic whatever service you use is essential. 

Benefits of Sending Money & International Payments with Grey

Although wire transfers are an excellent and efficient way to send money abroad, they have many limitations that don’t protect you from fraud. For example, once you send a transfer, you cannot reverse a transaction. It’s also hard to identify and track the recipient. It’s why many scammers ask you to send money via this method. 

If you can, we recommend using secure alternative options like Grey. Grey is an online banking service that provides Africans with foreign accounts and seamless international payments. 

At the moment, Grey only supports payouts in GBP and EUR to the UK and countries in the EEA region. However, instead of using wire transfers to send money abroad, Grey uses local payment schemes (FPAs, CHAPS, and SEPA) that are easy to track.

Some of the other benefits of using Grey include;

  • Since Grey makes the payouts on behalf of its beneficiaries, they ensure that the transaction is 100% safe and secure.
  • You don’t need a foreign account to make a transaction
  • Low transfer rates when compared to typical bank transfers
  • Faster transfer processing time 
  • No monthly transaction quota - send money as many times as you want

Ready to see how it works? Start by downloading the Grey mobile app from the comfort of your home via Playstore or the iOS App Store to start a transaction. 

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