Commonly Used Money Transfer Terms

Sending an international money transfer can seem complicated, especially when dealing with different terminology in a foreign country. If you see a word you don't understand, look it up here. As you familiarize yourself with the language, you'll find your understanding of money transfers as a whole will improve.

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ABA – American Bankers Association

A network of bankers and financial institutions responsible for creating and maintaining standardized best practices within the United States’ banking system.

ABA Routing Number

A unique nine-digit identification number assigned to financial institutions within the United States by the ABA. The first four digits are the federal reserve routing symbol, the next four are the ABA institution identifier, and the last is a check digit. Also commonly referred to as an ABA number, (ABA) Routing Transit Number, Routing Number, Bank Transit Number, or Transit Number.

ACH – Automated Clearing House

An electronic banking network used for direct deposit and direct debit transfers in the United States.

ACH Transfer or ACH Payment

A direct deposit or direct debit transfer processed within the United Sates via the ACH network. May take up to three working days to clear, depending on the banks’ operating schedules. Multiple payments can be processed in batches. Similar to BACS in the UK and EFT in Canada. Also known as an ACH direct deposit, ACH direct payment, or ACH direct debit.


An intermediary or person hired to carry out a transaction on behalf of another person or entity.


An increase in the value of a currency.

Ask Rate or Ask Price

The exchange rate at which a foreign exchange provider will sell a currency to you. Also known as the offer rate. For a customer, a lower ask rate is preferable since it means you will pay less to purchase a currency.

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