Do you need to transfer money quickly? This can be a complicated situation to be in — most money transfer methods are fairly expensive, especially if they need to be done quickly. But there are some options that you can choose from, ranging from the lightning fast and costly to the somewhat slow but very affordable. 

1. Use an Account to Account Transfer

Do you and your friend or family member have the same bank? If so, most personal banking accounts will let you do an account to account transfer. An account to account transfer is usually really fast — sometimes it’s even instantaneous. It will only work if you use the same bank, though, but it also usually doesn’t require any significant fees. You will usually need to do this through a website or app. 

2. Complete an ACH Transfer

An ACH transfer is a method of transferring money through two unrelated banks. It’s the best way to transfer from bank to bank if you are using two separate banks, but you do need to have the other person’s bank account information in advance. You may also need to go through a verification process if it’s the first time that you have transferred money to the other person. 

3. Request a Wire Transfer

If you can’t complete a bank to bank transfer, you can often complete a wire transfer. A wire transfer is often much faster than an ACH transfer — sometimes it takes only one or two days, whereas an ACH transfer can take anywhere from three to four days. The drawback is that a wire transfer may cost more money. You can contact your bank to ask for a wire transfer form or use a third-party transfer service.

4. Use a Third Party Merchant Service

There are many third party services that will let you transfer money quickly. It’s even faster if you have money already in your third party merchant account. The downside to this, though, is that the other person will usually need to transfer money out of their third party merchant account and into their bank account from there. If the other person is amenable, though, this is often an instant transfer. 

The best thing to do when you’re in this situation is to call your bank and ask them what options they can offer. There are third party services for transferring money, but most of them will be more expensive.