What is the difference between ACH and wire transfers?

There are several differences between wire transfers (using Fedwire) and ACH transfers. Knowing these differences 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.
How do I send a wire with my bank?
While the method for most banks vary, we do provide Support articles on some of the most popular banking options and are always looking to add more. Below are support articles you can use to find how to initiate a wire.

Note: This is simply to get to the wire submission page for popular banks. The information for submitting the wire will be in your Kraken account under the appropriate funding option.

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 via Plaid:

FedwireACH (Via Plaid)
Cost to send (what your bank charges)$25-30usually free ($3-10 to expedite) 
Deposit fee  (what we charge)$0-5Free
Speedsame day*

next or X-business day

not supported

Tracking ReferenceIMAD/OMAD

15-digit Trace ID (TRN)

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

Consult your bank to ensure you are sending a wire if you notice the following traits:

  • The transfer is not specified as a "same day".
  • The transfer does not cost $25-$30.
  • You can schedule recurring payments or payment periods.
  • Your bank requires sending 2 micro-deposits (deposits below a dollar) to verify the account details by having you confirm the transaction amounts.

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