What causes transfer delays?

What causes transfer delays?

One of the questions we get asked regularly is, “How long does an Azimo transfer take?” Azimo’s transfer times depend on many factors. These include how much you’re transferring, compliance checks, and how you’re transferring the money. 

But before you send money with Azimo, we’ll always give you an estimated delivery time for your transfer. Even after you’ve hit ‘Send’, we’ll update you on the status of your transfer as the money makes its way to your recipient. Every once in a while, however, your transfer can take longer than expected. Here are some of the most common reasons why. 

SWIFT transfers

When the SWIFT network was created in the 1970s, it lived up to its name. That’s because it was the quickest way to send money overseas. Nowadays, SWIFT transfers are one of the slower ways to send money abroad. But in countries with older banking systems, SWIFT transfers are sometimes the only option.

“So why do some SWIFT transfers get delayed?”

If you make a SWIFT transfer, we’ll need to wait until we receive your money from your bank account – and that can take up to three working days. That’s because before your funds are credited to the recipient, they’ll need to undergo fraud and money laundering checks*.

Some banks may also reroute your money to an intermediary bank while it’s moving through the system. Rerouting money generally takes longer than sending it directly. This usually happens when there’s no direct relationship between your bank and the receiving bank. 

*All Azimo transfers, including instant money transfers, have to undergo the same processes but SWIFT transfer checks take significantly longer.

Global events and natural disasters

Global events and natural disasters such as the Covid-19 pandemic and earthquakes can lead to delays in money transfers. These disruptions often affect staffing levels and infrastructure around the world, which can delay transfers.

Weekends and holidays 

Muslims at Mecca observing Hajj

Receiving your money and sending it to your recipient is a pretty quick and straightforward process. But banking hours, weekends, and public holidays are out of our control and may delay your transfer. For example, banking hours are usually reduced in nations that observe the holy month of Ramadan. 

Tip: Try sending money just before long holidays and religious festivals.

Time differences

Time zones can play a crucial role in overseas money transfers. If you’re sending money to a country with a significant time difference to yours, your transfer can take much longer due to different business hours.

Even local bank transfers can be time-sensitive. If you send payments at the end of the day, they will usually get processed on the next business day. This means some transfers sent late on a Friday might not be cleared until Monday.

Check the small details

Lady filling in details for a money transfer

Transfers can sometimes get held up by minor details. One example is when the name you’ve entered for your recipient doesn’t match their ID. For instance, if you’re sending money to your friend Sam, always check what their ID states. If it says Samuel, Samson, or Samantha then your transfer might get stuck. 

In some countries, small differences like these can delay or even void a transfer. Always check the information on our forms when you’re setting up a recipient, as there are tips there to help you avoid making common mistakes.

Tip: Pay attention to recipients that have recently married, divorced, or entered into civil partnerships. Circumstances like these usually lead to name changes.

The receiving bank 

After we’ve sent your money out, the receiving bank will collect and process the transfer. In understaffed banks or those with outdated technology, this procedure can take longer. If you’ve experienced delays like this before, sending your transfer a few days earlier can help. 

Partner requirements

Azimo works with a variety of payout partners around the world. These include banks, cash pick-up spots, and mobile wallet companies. Due to individual partner requirements, Azimo may need to ask for supporting documents.

For example, some partners may request a purpose for the transfer if it exceeds a certain amount. Similarly, if you’re sending a cash pick-up transfer to someone in Pakistan, our partners require that person to be a Pakistani citizen. 

Download the Azimo app on iOS or Android and enjoy Azimo’s market-leading rates and low, transparent fee on international money transfers.