How long does a bank transfer take with NatWest?

Zorica Lončar
26.01.21
3 minute read

If you’ve got someone to pay using your NatWest account, you’ll want to know how long the process is going to take.

In this guide, we’ll look at how to set up a bank transfer with NatWest – including the average turnaround time for both UK and international payments.

Things you need to make a bank transfer with NatWest

If you’re paying someone new from your NatWest account, you’ll need the following info ready

  • The first and last name of the recipient
  • The recipient’s account number, sort code and account type (personal or business)
  • The amount you’d like to send.

To make a transfer through NatWest online banking, you’ll also need your debit card and card reader.

For international payments, you’ll also need the recipient’s International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and SWIFT/BIC code.²

How long does a bank transfer take with NatWest?

NatWest uses the Faster Payments system, so bank transfers within the UK should happen immediately. However, they can sometimes take up to 2 hours to clear.³

For international transfers, it works a little differently. The time taken can depend on where you’re sending the money to and the payment type you choose. Here are your options:⁴

  • Standard international payment – 2-4 working days
  • Urgent international payment – 1-2 working days

You’ll need to make your payment before a daily cut-off time of 3-4pm (depending on whether you use mobile or online banking) and there is a limit on how much you can send at once. You’ll also pay a higher fee for urgent international payments with NatWest.

Isn’t a bank transfer instant?

Most UK bank transfers sent using Faster Payments do happen instantly, or at least under 2 hours. But if the receiving bank isn’t part of Faster Payments or has different processes, it can potentially take longer.

International transfers also tend to take longer. For NatWest customers, a transfer overseas can take up to 4 working days.

Are there any faster international money transfer options?

Banks can be a little slow when it comes to international transfers. But the good news is that there are other speedier solutions out there.

Open a Borderless account with TransferWise and you’ll only have to wait a maximum of 2 working days for your international transfer to clear⁵. Although to be honest, it rarely takes that long.

As well as being quick, secure and reliable, TransferWise also offers bank-beating low fees on global payments. You’ll only pay a tiny upfront fee no matter where you send to, plus you’ll get the fairest exchange rate possible.

How do I make a transfer with TransferWise?

It’s just as easy to set up an international payment with TransferWise as it is with your bank – if not easier.

Simply follow these steps:⁶

  1. Sign up with TransferWise – it’s free and quick, as all you need to do is verify your identity

  2. Tap in the amount you’d like to send and choose your transfer type (i.e. personal or business)

  3. Enter your details, such as your address

  4. Add in the recipient’s bank details

  5. Choose how you’d like to pay for your transfer (i.e. bank account or debit card)

  6. The exact fee for your transfer will pop up, along with the real, mid-market exchange rate.

  7. Check that you’re happy with everything and hit ‘send’.

  8. Receive confirmation via email or on the mobile app, and can track your payment too.

Join TransferWise for free

So, that’s NatWest bank transfers in a nutshell. We’ve covered the details you’ll need to set up a payment, plus the timescales for both UK and international payments. You should be all set to make your first transfer.

Sources used:

  1. NatWest - making payments

  2. NatWest - sending money abroad

  3. NatWest - making payments

  4. NatWest - send money abroad

  5. TransferWise - how long does a transfer take

  6. 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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