Wire Transfer

A wire transfer is a payment made to a foreign supplier by electronically transferring payment from UC Berkeley's bank account directly to the supplier's bank account. Generally, wire transfers are accepted worldwide, though a wire transfer cannot be processed to a sanctioned country.

Wire transfers are used to pay foreign suppliers only. Suppliers with a U.S. bank account should authorize an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).


Many recipient banks levy a handling fee (or landing charge) for the administration of wire transfers. This practice varies but is common among Asian and European financial institutions. The handling fee is deducted from the wire transfer, and consequently, the beneficiary’s bank account may not be credited with the full amount that was originally disbursed by UC Berkeley. UC Berkeley does not reimburse suppliers for wire transfer fees.

Currently, the fee charged by UC Berkeley’s bank to initiate a wire transfer is paid centrally. This fee is not distributed to suppliers or to departments requesting wire transfers.

Confirmation Number

A confirmation number indicates the sending bank has initiated the transfer. The confirmation number does not imply that the beneficiary has received the funds. Such code numbers are internal to the processing bank and generally have no relevance to the beneficiary’s institution.

Processing Time

The university cannot guarantee when a wire transfer will be credited to a beneficiary's bank account. The processing time is impacted by the location of the receiving bank and correspondent relationships between the financial intermediaries through which the wires are processed.

Bank Code Definitions

Please refer to the Bank Code Definitions for Requesting Wires (PDF) for commonly used bank code definitions.

Currency Conversion

Unless specifically billed on the invoice or requested otherwise by the supplier, the wire transfer will be issued in U.S. dollars.

If payment in a foreign currency is required, please calculate the estimated currency conversion and enter the amount converted to U.S. dollars when submitting a BearBuy Payment Request Form.

Please attach a screenshot of the currency conversion in BearBuy as backup documentation.

The final amount charged to the department’s chartstring will be based on the currency conversion rate used by UC’s bank at the time the wire is issued. Accounts Payable will monitor the bank activity and will update the voucher amount in BearBuy accordingly.