Difference between wire transfers and ACH

There are several differences between wire transfers (using Fedwire) and ACH transfers. Knowing the difference will help you to identify whether you are sending a wire transfer or an ACH transfer.

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What are Wire Transfers?

Wire transfers are facilitated either by a bank or through a third party provider, and allow you to quickly transfer money between two parties.

Note: we can only accept wire payments originating from a bank account in your own name. It is advisable to use an individual bank account and not a joint bank account as often times they are returned automatically.

What are ACH Transfers?

ACH stands for “Automated Clearing House” which is a system created by the Federal Reserve specifically designed for regularly sending funds between accounts or sending and receiving payments.

Wire Transfers vs. ACH Transfers

There are a couple important factors to consider when choosing between wire transfers and ACH transfers:  

  Fedwire ACH
Cost to send
(what your bank charges)
$25-30 Usually free
($5-10 to speed it up) 
Deposit fee 
(what we charge)
$5 $5
Speed Same day* 3-5
business days

*This does not mean that your funds will always be credited to your Kraken account the same day. Our partners may need to perform additional due diligence which can delay the settlement of your funds.

In summary, you are not sending a wire transfer if:

  • The transfer is not specified as a "same day"
  • The transfer does not cost $25-$30


What is an IMAD/OMAD number?

What is a Trace number?

How to deposit USD via FedWire?