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How to make a Bank Transfer Payment

Oliver August 2020 6 min

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With the introduction of phone and online banking, making a bank transfer is now much more straightforward. Log in or use the phone banking to arrange the transfer, and it is arranged immediately.

In this brief article, we look at the various ways of arranging a bank transfer in Germany.

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Bank Transfer Within Germany

Online Banking

Using online banking is by far the easiest and quickest way of arranging a bank transfer. Log in to your account, enter the beneficiary details, and send the money. It’s as simple as that.

Online transfers are usually the quickest to be actioned, as everything happens electronically. In most cases, there is no need to wait for someone from the bank to authorize the transfer.

Standing Orders (Dauerauftrag)

When you need to make the same payment regularly, such as rent, a standing order could be the solution. You tell the bank the date each month, the beneficiary, and the amount. Then so long as you have funds in your account, the transfer is made automatically. The transfer will usually arrive with the beneficiary in a few hours.

Direct Debits (Lastschrift)

Similar to standing orders, direct debits offer more flexibility. You authorize the beneficiary to deduct varying amounts from your bank account. This is the perfect solution for bills such as for the telephone, which will be different each month. The payment is made automatically and will usually arrive in a few hours.

Remittance Slip (Überweisungsformular)

Before online and phone banking, this was the only way to arrange a bank transfer. They remain in use today, and sometimes you may receive an Überweisung attached to an invoice. In this case, enter your bank details on the form, date it and sign it, then take it to your bank. Transfers made in this way can take up to three days to arrive.

International Bank Transfer

SEPA Transfer

The Single European Payment Area (SEPA), sped up payments made in Euros within the European Union countries. SEPA bank transfers are rapid and easy to arrange through online banking. A SEPA transfer should typically arrive with the beneficiary the next day. The SEPA rules allow a maximum of 48 hours for the transfer to complete.

SWIFT Transfer

If you transfer currencies other than the Euro, then SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is the usual method of making the transfer. 

SWIFT is a set of international agreements that allow you to send money between countries and banks. A SWIFT bank transfer will typically take between one and three days to complete. Transfers to or from countries with less strict financial controls can often take longer. Sometimes up to ten days. 

The transfer time is may also be affected if the transaction is out of the ordinary for the client. For example, if you buy a holiday home and make a large bank transfer for the purchase, they may scrutinize it in more detail. This will inevitably delay the payment.

Bank Draft (Bankcheck)

Bank drafts are used much less often these days, with the advent of online transfers. However, they are still available if required. In many countries, they treat a bank draft as if it was cash. This is not the case in Germany, and on receipt, you must pay the bank draft into a bank account. One thing to note is that your bank guarantees the bank draft. This means they will pay it into the beneficiary’s account, and stopping it, should you need to, will be difficult.


How long does a bank transfer take?

The time to action a bank transfer depends on three key factors. 

First, how was the transfer arranged? Online or with a remittance slip (Überweisung Form). Online transfers are much quicker and can arrive within two hours. Using a remittance slip will take longer and possibly up to three days. 

Second, is the bank transfer between local banks or an international bank transfer? Local transfers are quicker and sometimes completed within two hours. International transfers can easily take two to three days, and occasionally up to ten days.

Third, the transfer speed will depend on whether your bank operates in real-time and starts the bank transfer on receipt. Or whether they use a batch system once or twice a day, which will be slower.

Why does a bank transfer take so long?

Although the financial world strives to make bank transfers much quicker, there are some obstacles. 

First, national banking systems differ despite introducing the IBAN and BIC. This complicates the process when transferring between countries. SEPA has gone a long way to solving this problem for Euro transfers.

Second, banks must check transfers for fraudulent or scam transactions. As bank transfer speeds increase, the banks are under increasing pressure to complete their checks more quickly.

How to transfer money from Paypal to a bank account

First, you must login to Paypal and link your bank account to your Paypal account. This can be done automatically by entering your bank login details. If you are not happy doing this, then the link can be made manually. Follow the Paypal instructions for doing this.

Once the accounts are linked, it is straightforward to log in to Paypal, choose to withdraw money, select the connected bank account, and send. The transfer usually takes between three to five days.


Making bank transfers has been transformed with the introduction of online banking. It is now much easier and quicker, with no need to visit a bank branch to arrange the transfer.

Making an international bank transfer in Euros has also changed with the introduction of SEPA. Transferring within the Eurozone is quick and cheap.

Penta has a selection of payment options that help your business to keep the money flowing and grow your business.

Opening a Penta Business Account is as easy as making an online transfer. Once you’ve discovered the simplicity of Penta payment solutions, your business will never look back.

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