Have you ever been stuck when required to make a payment but your only option was wire transfer? Well, many of us have and it’s not ideal. On this page, you’ll learn about the advantages of accepting wire transfers as payments, as well as making them.
Moreover, I’ll teach you about other bits and bobs to look out for when selecting a hosting plan.
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.
Who's Best for Wire Transfer Hosting?
We think HostGator is the best choice for Wire Transfer.
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. Here are some of them:
Chargebacks and Disputes
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. 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. Since every transfer is conducted through each party’s respective bank, the transaction is carried out right on the banks’ websites.
This is opposed to through a payment system created by a third party (i.e., a third party payment ‘rail’ – usually a credit card company).
Chargebacks and Disputes
PayPal has helpfully created a chargeback guide for customers.
Wire transfers also eliminate the risk of credit card chargebacks and disputes, which should be good news for hosts as well. As a reseller or hosting provider, chargebacks and disputes can greatly affect your finances. With wire transfers, this isn’t an issue.
However, saying that as a customer is a downside, in case of dispute.
Mistakes can be hard to correct. If you wire to an invalid routing code or account number, the transfer won’t go through. If you mistakenly wire to a real account, though, the transfer is irreversible.
You have a legal right to get the money back from the recipient, but it can be difficult in practice. The same applies if you overpay.
Wire transfers allow you to transact internationally, while credits cards often have limitations. When conduction business, this is a vital factor to keep in mind, to avoid loss of business. Wire transfers are of course the most popular way of sending funds internationally across individuals.
Having said that, they are also common amongst businesses.
How to Send a Wire Transfer
Your bank will give you exact instructions on how to initiate a transfer. Generally, you need to include the following information:
The routing number or SWIFT code (aka BIC) of the bank you’re sending to.
The recipient’s account number.
The recipient’s name.
The amount of the payment
Any required fee for your payment
Wire transfers are actually incredibly simple to send – after a few times of completing them, they become second nature. Payment fees generally vary from service to service.
Why Don’t Some Hosts 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 of Transactions
Speed is another problem, especially when it comes to international transfers. International payments are not processed quickly at all. This is because the banks involved in the process have to conduct their business in line with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti Money Laundering (AML) frameworks. As a result, 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.
Alternatives to Wire Transfers
Other payment methods can be less expensive. Let’s take a look at a few options which could work as alternatives to wire transfers.
There could be various reasons why you’d choose to go with an alternative option. Often this is location dependent. Moreover, other reasons could include finding loopholes with cheaper fees with other secure services.
Automated Clearing House (ACH)
These transfers aren’t as expensive, though they’re a bit slower. They’re often available as a ‘bill pay’ option with online banking, often with no fee at all. International payments by ACH can be difficult.
PayPal and similar online payment systems are sometimes feasible. PayPal charges a business a merchant fee when it receives payment, calculated as a percentage plus a fixed fee. International payments are more expensive.
The bitcoin blockchain, with a number of publicly visible, secure transactions.
Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are another possibility, but they’re still too novel for most hosting companies. Their exchange value is often volatile, and transaction fees can be tiny or very high.
E-check payments are just like checks but without paper. They’re usually free with a checking account. If they can’t go directly to the recipient’s bank account, they may become paper checks along the way.
National Bank Transfer (NBT)
National Bank Transfers are a great way to instantly transfer money. While this may vary country to country, it’s certainly a viable option.
The convenience of payment methods is also different for most individuals, depending on circumstances and location.
Electronic Fund Transfers
ACH, e-check, and wire transfer are generically called EFT (electronic funds transfer). Here’s a rough comparison of typical time and cost for them:
Days to Process
$15 – 20
1 – 2
Secure payments to another party, international payments
$0 – 10
1 – 3
Payroll direct deposit, online bill pay
3 – 5
Loan payments, legal retainers
Wire Transfers Remain Prohibitively Expensive
The cost of wire transfers can literally feel like burning cash. Image credit of Mussi Katz via Flickr.
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. The fees would be too high (e.g. paying a $15 fee every month to pay a $30 invoice does not make much sense).
Wire Transfer for Hosting Providers
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 are 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.
Worth It? Use It!
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. 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.
Pros and Cons of Wire Transfer Hosting
Every payment method has some things going for it and against it. Here I’ve tried to summarize the reasons you might want to use wire transfers as well as some caveats.
HostGator accepts bank wires (not ACH, EFT, or e-check) for its hosting plans. Customers must either pay for a year of service or meet a minimum threshold. Customers are asked to follow up with a phone call or live chat so payment will be credited properly. Wire payments aren’t refundable; any refunds owed will be credited to the customer’s hosting account.
LiquidWeb accepts wire transfers. Its bank doesn’t use a SWIFT code, so it recommends putting ‘FW’ in front of the bank routing number. Its public information doesn’t indicate minimum amounts. Customers need to contact the billing department by phone or email before setting up payment. Its Manage interface lets customers view their pending charges, balance due, and credits.
LogicWeb accepts bank wire and ACH payments. It provides an online billing portal for customers. Few details are available on minimums or refund policies. Contact them for details before setting up payment.
A wire transfer is another name for a bank transfer. With this method of payment, you transmit money directly from your bank to the recipient’s account.
The phrase ‘wire transfer’ is most commonly used to describe transactions to or from bank accounts in the United States.
Are wire transfers a common payment method?
Many large web hosting companies accept wire transfer, particularly if they are headquartered in the United States. However, wire transfers generally have to be manually processed, so they can be slower to verify, and more costly for the hosting company to deal with. That’s one of the reasons why credit card payments are more commonly supported.
Why are credit cards sometimes more suitable than wire transfers?
You’ll need to investigate how much your bank charges for wire transactions as well as any additional fees your host may require. If you are transmitting money to another country, you may need assistance from your bank, and there may be currency exchange or processing fees to pay.
Why do some customers prefer wire transfers?
Wire transfers are sometimes free, but this depends on the origin and destination for the transfer. Some customers prefer not to reveal their credit card details online.
How long does a wire transfer take?
This depends on your location, your host’s location, and the policies of the bank and the host. While a credit card transfer is generally instant, a wire transfer can take several days to complete.
How much can I expect to pay for a wire transfer?
Check your bank’s fees and policies to find out how much wire transfers cost.
Can I get a refund if I make payments using wire transfers?
This depends on the hosting company’s policies. Since wire transfers are costly to process, it’s more likely that the host will issue a credit. In some cases, the company may deduct an admin fee when processing a wire transfer refund.
Gary McGath spent years as a software developer before turning to writing. In addition to writing many articles on technology, he's the author of two crowdfunded e-books. His tech passions include data security and digital preservation.
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Who's Best for Wire Transfer Hosting?
We think HostGator is the best choice for Wire Transfer.