What are the Banks that Act as Intermediaries? What Do They Do?

Last Updated: 

June 25, 2024

In the world we live in now, businesses have to do business across lines and countries. How is that possible?

A lot of banks connect to each other to make an international banking network that helps make daily international financial transactions possible between many countries.

The intermediary bank is an important part of this network because it makes it possible for banks in different countries to send and receive money quickly and safely.

Key Takeaways on Intermediary Banks

  1. International Banking Network: Banks connect globally to facilitate daily international financial transactions, creating a seamless network for cross-border business.
  2. Role of Intermediary Banks: Intermediary banks help with international money transfers by acting as middlemen, ensuring secure and efficient fund transfers between banks in different countries.
  3. Process of Fund Transfer: Funds move from the originating bank to the intermediary bank, and finally to the receiving bank, facilitating smooth international transactions.
  4. Necessity of Intermediary Banks: When banks don’t have direct relationships, intermediary banks enable transactions, particularly crucial for cross-border payments.
  5. Usage Scenarios: Intermediary banks are often used in business transactions and international money transfers, even when multiple bank accounts are involved.
  6. Fee Structure: Intermediary bank fees, typically ranging from $15 to $30 per transaction, can vary based on currency and additional charges, sometimes leading to unexpected costs.
  7. Choosing the Right Partner: Using a reliable partner like Transferra ensures security, excellent customer service, and transparent pricing for international bank payments.
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What does an intermediary bank do?

An intermediary bank is a type of bank that helps with international money transfers by sending money on behalf of other banks. For your final payment, you must include the receiving bank's information instead of the middle bank's. This is to make sure that the money gets sent to the right person.

There is a bank that acts as a go-between for foreign wire transfers. The giving bank (also called the origination bank) sends money to the beneficiary bank (also called the receiving bank). The sender's bank is used by both individuals and businesses to send money through their local bank account. This bank is also called the source bank because it is where the person or business will send money to the receiving bank.

When a payment is sent from one bank to another, it ends up at the receiving bank. This bank is used by both individuals and businesses to accept payments into their bank accounts. Because the sender sends money to the recipient, accepting banks are also called beneficiary banks.

Lastly, an intermediary bank is used to make the connection between the two banks stronger because they are usually in different countries and don't work directly with each other. It takes less time for money to go from the sender's bank to the receiver's bank, and money is received more safely through this process. This makes a foreign transfer network reliable and safe.

How do intermediary banks work?

If you want to send money from one bank to another, especially to an account in a different country than your own, you will probably need to go through a middle bank. When money is sent from one bank account to another, an intermediary bank acts as a link between the accounts of the author and the receiver.

This is how the deal might go forward:

  • A customer of Bank A wants to send money to someone else who is a customer of Bank B.
  • Bank B and Bank A, on the other hand, do not share an account or any other banking links.
  • In any case, both Bank A and Bank B have given an account to Bank C. 
  • It is possible to send money through Bank C, which is the middle bank, so the deal can go through smoothly.

When do you need an intermediary bank?

When money is sent from one bank to another that doesn't have a direct link, an intermediary bank is usually involved. You will usually need a middle bank when sending money to someone at a different bank, especially if you are sending the money abroad, even if you have a single or shared bank account.

It's possible that a business deal involving money will happen here. Another way to say this is that the customer does not have to start using a middle-man bank.

When does an intermediary bank play a role in a deal?

When money needs to be moved between accounts at two different banks, an intermediary bank is often needed. If the giving bank doesn't have its own account with the receiving bank, it will usually use a third party bank.

It is likely that a company's main bank would use an intermediary bank to send money on its behalf at some point, even if it thought that having multiple bank accounts would save it money and avoid the need for intermediary banks.

What are the fees for using an intermediary bank?

The lack of regular fees by intermediary banks makes things less clear. However, middle bank fees vary based on the currency and any set fees that are added on top of the base rate.

The usual range for intermediary fees is $15 to $30 per transaction. Customers are angry because this can be pricey, especially when there are several middle banks involved and the costs aren't shown to them before the transaction is complete.  

Send money internationally with a partner you can trust!

A third bank is often needed when a bank customer wants to give money to someone at a different bank that is not connected to the first bank. In order to help with financial processes like wire payments, both within the country and especially between countries, intermediary banks work with other banks.

If you choose transferra.uk to handle your foreign bank payments, you get security, top-notch customer service, and clear prices. If your small business wants to send money to clients in other countries, Transferra can help. So, sign up for a Transferra account right now and take charge of your foreign activities.

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