How long does a bank transfer take with Barclays?

Zorica Lončar
26.01.21
3 minute read

Recently set up a bank account with Barclays? One of the first things you’ll need to know about is how long bank transfers take.

In this guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on making bank transfers with Barclays. Let’s start with what you’ll need to set up your first transaction.

Things you need to make a bank transfer with Barclays

If you’re ready to make your first bank transfer with Barclays, here’s the key info you’ll need to hand

  • The recipient’s full name and bank account details (account number and sort code)
  • The amount you want to send
  • A payment reference – this will help the recipient to understand who the payment is from and what it’s for.
  • The IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and SWIFT/BIC code – for international payments only
  • The recipient’s address – for international payments only².

If you’re making your transfer through online or mobile banking, you may also need your PINsentry card reader or Mobile PINsentry.

How long does a bank transfer take with Barclays?

The time it takes for bank transfers to clear with Barclays depends on who you’re sending the money to. For example:³

  • Payments to other Barclays accounts will usually arrive instantly
  • Payments to other banks will arrive on the same day - provided both banks use the Faster Payments service, and the payment is sent before 5pm (before 3.30pm for phone payments)

For international payments, it all depends where you’re sending to. Most international bank transfers are sent through the SWIFT network of banks, so it depends how many intermediary banks are involved along the way. But on average, international transfers take between 1 and 5 working days⁴.

Isn’t a bank transfer instant?

In many cases, the payment will leave your Barclays account immediately and arrive within 2 hours⁵. But it often depends whether the receiving bank also uses the Faster Payments service, or if they have any other processes that can hold the transfer up.

And if you make your payment after a certain cut-off point in the day, it may not clear until the following day.⁶

International payments can also take longer, depending on where you’re sending to and how many intermediary banks are involved.

Are there any faster international money transfer options?

While banks such as Barclays can be super-fast for bank transfers within the UK, they aren’t usually the best option for international payments. You may have to wait as long as 5 days for the payment to clear, as well as paying high fees and losing money to unfavourable exchange rates.

Luckily, there is a fast, reliable and money-saving alternative. Open a multi-currency account with TransferWise and you can make international transfers for low fees, the real exchange rate and a quick turnaround. It can take a maximum of 2 working days for payments to clear, wherever you’re sending to – but it rarely takes that long.⁷

How do I make a transfer with TransferWise?

It couldn’t be simpler to make your first international payment with TransferWise. Just follow these steps:⁸

  1. Sign up for a TransferWise Borderless account

  2. Set up your transfer online or through the TransferWise app – choose ‘personal transfer’ if you’re paying from a personal bank account

  3. Enter the recipient’s bank details and how much you’d like to send

  4. Check that you’re happy with the fees and add a reference if needed

  5. Choose your transfer type (i.e. pay by bank account, credit card)

  6. Hit ‘send’ and receive confirmation via email or in the app. And that’s it!

Join TransferWise for free

So, that’s it – everything you need to know about making a bank transfer with Barclays. It should be quick and easy for UK payments, but remember that there are potentially faster alternatives out there for international transfers.

Sources used:

  1. Barclays - payment information

  2. Barclays - international payments

  3. Barclays - payment information

  4. GoCardless - international bank transfer times

  5. Barclays - payment information

  6. Barclays - payment information

  7. TransferWise - how long does a transfer take

  8. TransferWise - how to send money

Sources checked on 19-January 2021.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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