ACH Transfer vs. Wire Transfer - What is the difference?

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ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a Federally facilitated network used to electronically transfer funds from one financial institution to another within the United States. Transfers are sent to the Federal Reserve from the issuing bank, which are then sorted and deposited into the receiving bank - a process which takes about 2 - 3 business days. This service is typically free, and we’re happy to report that Aspiration does not charge a fee for incoming or outgoing ACH transfers! While we typically credit ACH transfers into the Summit account on the next business day following the scheduled transfer date, the funds may still be subject to an additional hold (depending on account age and history) until the transfer has fully cleared.

Wire transfers, by contrast, have a more immediate processing time, often same day or the following business day if initiated after the cut off time. As a result, wire transfers typically have a fee associated with them. For outgoing domestic wire transfers, we charge a $20 fee. For outgoing international wire transfers, we charge a $40 fee, and for all incoming wire transfers, we charge a $10 fee (Schedule of Fees).

Domestic wire transfers initiated before 3:00 PM EST and international wire transfers initiated before 1:00 PM EST will be processed same business day. If a wire transfer is sent out after those cutoff times, it will post by the end of the next business day. At Aspiration, it is currently required for customers to call customer support in order to initiate a wire.

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