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As a freelancer or small business, you may choose to skip the fees of a payment processor and take payments directly through a wire or bank transfer. Or, you may be using bank transfers to pay your subcontractors and services.
The primary concern, then, is how to safely share your bank details online with someone so they can perform a wire transfer to pay you.
Encrypting files is not always practical, particularly if the recipient isn’t very techy. But, you’re in luck! There are many other ways to stay safe while sharing banking details!
What Is a Wire Transfer?
Wire transfers are an electronic way to send and transfer money rather than cash or cheques which can delay being paid. For those taking their businesses digital you’ll need to switch to bank transfers (before eventually choosing a payment processor and taking cards.)
What information do I need to send for a bank transfer?
To perform a wire transfer you need information from the person you’re sending money to. And you’ll need to give the same information to clients who you want to pay you!
- Transfer Date
- Sort Code
- Account Details
- Bank Address
- Name of Recipient
- Reference Number (This can be your name, invoice number, or service code it’s up to you)
For International Bank Transfers You Also Need:
- The Account Type
- IBAN & SWIFT Code (Your SWIFT code will differ depending on your bank but as an example check out how to do it with Barclays here. )
*Note: Some banks charge fees for international transfers
How to Safely Share Bank Details
There are several ways that you can safely share your bank details with clients and subcontractors without worrying about someone getting your information.
The first thing you can do is use encrypted emails which means that only the intended receiver can access and read the email. This is also a great idea for any types of communication that is sensitive for your clients and customers.
Over the phone/directly
You can’t beat the security of telling someone directly. Just make sure you double-check the details because this option has the biggest likelihood of human error! Speaking to someone directly is also a great way to make sure you are communicating with who you think you are.
Use a transfer service
There are also ways that you can set up accounts with different systems. One system, for example, is known as Transferwise. This means that you do not have to send your information to anyone and everything is done through the account. There are plenty of services like this to choose from, the downside is that they charge an admin or processing fee so you need to decide if it’s worth it.
When you are doing a bank or wire transfer, you need to protect yourself. Here are a few tips to make your bank transfer much easier.
Protecting Yourself When Doing Wire Transfers
Avoid public networks
When you are doing a bank or wire transfer, you will want to make sure that you are not using anything public. This means you do not want to be on a public computer or wireless internet connection because this is the easiest way for a hacker to intercept.
When you are using the public internet, so are several other people at the same time. Any one of these people could easily hack into your information if they wanted to. Keep in mind that there is no authentication required to use public internet, so this means easy access for hackers.
Another problem with public internet is that, not only can hackers access your information easily, but they can also install malware on your computer or device!
Think of it like being in a public park. You wouldn’t shout your personal banking information out loud, so don’t use public Wi-Fi.
Always check the person
The next thing you always need to do is make sure that you know and trust the person. If you do not know a person or who is sending you emails, do not answer or send money. You also always want to make sure that they are legitimate emails and not phishing emails!
This is going to keep you safer while you are doing transactions with your banking information.