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Which Hosting Companies Accept Wire Payments?

In the fast-paced world of Web hosting, developing, and publishing, the quick and ultra-secure nature of wire transfers can be both valuable and practical when it comes to paying your hosting provider for their services. However, there is a problem-few hosts accept wire transfers as a payment method. Some large hosts like HostGator are willing to accept bank wire payments, but other big hosts like BlueHost simply do not.

Why wiring money can be useful

While credit cards are usually everyone’s favorite payment method when it comes to online transactions, wire transfers have some advantages that credit cards do not.

First and foremost, there is the issue of security. Even if you trust your hosting provider completely, security breaches in credit card transactions can still pose a worrisome threat, and the illicit interception of credit card information is still a possibility. Banks are frequently targeted by hackers and even the biggest names in the industry are not invulnerable.

With wire transfers, however, that possibility is significantly reduced. Wire transfers require both the recipient and the sender to have verified identities tied to legitimate bank accounts, and, since every transfer is conducted through each party’s respective bank, the transaction is carried out right on the banks’ websites instead of through a payment system created by a third party (i.e. a third party payment ‘rail’ – usually a credit card company.

Wire transfers also eliminate the risk of credit card chargebacks and disputes, which should be good news for hosts as well.

So why aren’t more hosts willing to accept wire payments?

Unfortunately, these advantages are often outweighed by the added cost of processing wire payments and other problems.

Wire transfers have their risks as well, the majority of which involve wiring money to strangers (especially internationally, and especially to cash offices). They also require the host to share a lot of account information with the customer.

Speed is another problem, especially when it comes to international transfers. International payments are not processed quickly and the banks involved in the process have to conduct their business in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) frameworks. This means it usually takes a few days to transfer the money.

Practicality is another problem. Most people have simply grown accustomed to using credit cards for their online payment needs. Many simply do not view wire transfers as an alternative for a number of reasons – convenience being the most obvious one.

Wire transfers remain prohibitively expensive

In truth, the most tangible downside to wire transfers lies in the fees that could potentially go along with them. Depending entirely on your bank, you could be charged $25 per transfer, $15 per transfer, or a symbolic fee.

Naturally, international transfers tend to cost more. In case you have to pay monthly invoices for cheap hosting plans, wire transfers are simply not an option from a financial perspective, as the fees would be too high (e.g. paying a $15 fee every month to pay a $30 invoice does not make much sense).

On the host side, things are a bit better, but there are still a number of problems. Most hosting companies tend to use highly automated billing systems and processing wire transfers is simply too slow, manpower intensive and impractical. In many cases they would also have to pay a fee for accepting wire payments. The added cost would inevitably be passed down to the consumer. That is why only a small number of relatively big hosts are willing to deal with wire transfers – and even they have a number of caveats.

For example, HostGator is willing to accept wire payments only if the payment exceeds $100, or if the customer buys one year of hosting. Wire payments are not refundable and the company simply adds them to the customer’s credit – remember - no chargebacks.

If you know that your hosting provider is a reliable and trustworthy vendor, and you know exactly how much your bank will charge you for each transfer (and if you find that charge to be agreeable), you may want to consider paying with a wire transfer instead of a credit card. To do this, simply make sure that you choose a Web hosting provider that accepts wire transfers as payment and work out the overall cost.

Wire Transfer Hosting Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a wire transfer?

    A wire transfer is an alternative payment method to credit, debit, and PayPal that directly takes funds from your bank account and deposits it into a recipient's account.

  • Are wire transfers a common payment method?

    Wire transfers are only accepted by a few hosting companies like HostGator. Other web hosts like BlueHost do not accept wire transfer payments. As a result of the cost and time to do a wire transfer versus credit card transactions, wire transfers are not a common method of payment for hosting plans.

  • Can I get a refund if I make payments using wire transfers?

    Since wire transfers are costly to begin with, and chargebacks are not allowed, it is not usually possible to get a refund if you use this payment option. Instead, a credit will remain in your account if you end up with a balance remaining.

  • What should I bear in mind when considering wire transfers as a payment option?

    Since wire transfers requires revealing account information and no chargebacks are allowed, you need to be able to trust your hosting company. You also need to investigate how much your bank charges for wire transactions as well as any additional fees your host may require.

  • What are some advantages to using wire transfers?

    Compared to standard payment options like credit or debit cards, wire transfers are even more secure and don't rely on online protocols for security. On the other hand, online financial transactions involving credit cards are subject to attacks since hackers are constantly targeting large financial institutions and trying to exploit software and security vulnerabilities.

  • What makes wire transfers more secure?

    Wire transfers are more secure than other financial transactions online because it requires both the sender and receiver to be legitimate and have verified IDs. In addition, the actual transfer is completed on the bank's own website instead of a third party vendor.

  • How can hosting companies benefit from wire transfers?

    Transactions like credit cards allow for chargebacks which is a provision that allows funds to be returned to consumers in the event of fraud. In some cases, this privilege can be abused and create losses. Wire transfers reduce the risk of chargebacks which in turn helps hosting providers.

  • What are the risks a hosting company incurs when using a wire transfer?

    Using a wire transfer is inherently risky because it involves wiring money to unknown parties. Also, wire transfers require a hosting company to share more details with their customers in contrast with other payment methods like PayPal which only require an email address.

  • How fast can a wire transaction be completed?

    Wire transactions can be a really slow method of payment requiring as much as a few days to complete. This is a result of banks having to comply with money laundering and "Know Your Customer" regulations.

  • How much can I expect to pay for a wire transfer?

    In many cases, wire transfers can be really expensive in terms of hosting plans. For example, you could pay anywhere from $15 to $25 to complete a wire transfer depending on your bank. If you have a $15 monthly plan, you could be paying a significant percentage more than what you would normally pay using a credit or debit card. As a result, using wire transfers for small orders is infeasible and many hosting companies require a minimum purchase amount to allow this option.

  • What are some hidden costs a hosting company faces with wire transfers?

    Besides dealing with fees for incoming wire transfers, a web host faces additional costs for extra labor to process wire transfers since they are not automatic as opposed to credit card transactions.

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