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How long does an online transfer from account to account take?

How long does an online transfer from account to account take and what does it depend on? This is one of the most popular forms of transferring money. Therefore, it is worth knowing that the processing time of such a transfer depends on many factors, such as the type of transfer or the sender's and recipient's bank.

How long an online transfer from account to account takes depends on several factors. The most important is the location of the bank account - if the transaction takes place between two different institutions, then it may take from 1 to 2 business days. If the money was sent on Friday afternoon, it will not arrive until Monday. The time is also longer if we have holidays and public holidays, because outgoing sessions do not take place then.


So how long does a transfer from account to account in the same bank take? In this situation, operations are lightning fast and funds can be transferred to the recipient even within a few minutes of issuing the order.


Types of online transfers from account to account

However, let's start from the beginning and explain why the situations outlined above occur. Can't operations between different banks take as long as an online transfer from an account at the same branch? The types of these operations are very important - they differ in their implementation time. The most popular of them are:

standard transfer (ELIXIR) – carried out via the ELIXIR system operated by the National Clearing House. These transfers are posted in three clearing sessions per business day;

instant transfer (Express ELIXIR) - allows you to instantly transfer funds between banks, even within a few minutes. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week;

internal transfer – carried out between accounts kept in the same bank. Typically, funds are credited immediately, regardless of the day and time of the transfer request.

Standard transfer processing time (ELIXIR)

The most interesting issue is how long it takes to make an online transfer from account to account in two different banks. As mentioned earlier, it usually takes 1 or 2 business days. A standard transfer made via the ELIXIR system is recorded in three settlement sessions during a business day. It goes into the waiting queue earlier - the time of execution of the order affects when the funds will be sent: in the morning, at noon or in the afternoon. Outgoing and incoming session times vary depending on the bank.


For example, in mBank, outgoing sessions take place at 5:55 a.m., 9:55 a.m. and 1:25 p.m., while incoming sessions take place at 11:15 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. In turn, at Alior Bank, incoming sessions take place at 10:30, 14:30 and 16:45, and outgoing sessions take place at 8:20, 12:20 and 15:20. If a transfer order is placed after the cut-off time of the last outgoing session on a given day, it will be processed only during the first session on the next business day.


This means that the waiting time for funds to be credited may be up to several dozen hours, especially in the case of transfers ordered before weekends or holidays.

Lightning fast instant transfers

People who are not satisfied with how long it takes to make an online transfer from account to account in different banks can use an alternative. These are instant transfers, such as Express ELIXIR. This service allows you to make an online transfer from account to account within minutes, regardless of the day of the week and time.


Express ELIXIR is available in most Polish banks, although not all recipients support this service. The list of institutions participating in the system can be found on the KIR website. The cost of an immediate transfer is usually higher than a standard transfer and is approximately PLN 5. Another solution enabling instant transfer of funds is the BLIK mobile payment system. Using it, you can make a transfer to a phone number, and the money will be transferred to the recipient's account within a few seconds.

How long does an online transfer from a foreign account take?

The processing time of a transfer from a foreign account depends on many factors, such as the type of transfer, the country of the sender and recipient, as well as intermediary banks. Standard SWIFT transfers can take from 3 to several business days, while SEPA transfers within the European Economic Area are usually posted the next business day. The cut-off times for submitting orders in banks are also important. Additionally, the delivery time may be longer due to holidays and holidays in the destination country.


It is therefore worth familiarizing yourself with the available options and choosing the most advantageous transfer method, taking into account both costs and processing time.

Factors affecting the processing time of an online transfer

Apart from the type of service selected, a number of other factors influence the processing time of an online transfer from account to account. The most important of them are:

hours of outgoing and incoming sessions in the sender's and recipient's banks - the greater the difference between closing the outgoing session in the payer's bank and opening the incoming session in the beneficiary's bank, the longer the waiting time for funds to be booked;

non-working days - standard ELIXIR transfers are not processed on weekends and holidays. Orders placed on these days will be processed until the next business day;

possible failures and delays in banking systems - they may result in longer waiting times for funds to be credited, regardless of the type of transfer;

additional verification activities on the bank's side - in some cases, e.g. in the case of high transfer amounts, the bank may carry out additional security procedures, which extends the transaction processing time.

How to speed up an online transfer?

To minimize the waiting time for an online transfer from account to account, it is worth following a few rules:

place transfer orders before the cut-off time of the outgoing session at your bank, preferably first thing in the morning;

use instant transfers or the BLIK service, especially when we want to transfer funds urgently;

avoid ordering standard transfers just before weekends or holidays;

make sure that we have enough funds in the account to complete the transfer, including any fees.

How long does an online transfer from account to account take? Important information

The processing time of an online transfer from account to account depends primarily on the type of service selected and the schedule of settlement sessions in the sender's and recipient's banks. Standard ELIXIR transfers are booked even within several dozen hours, while instant transfers and BLIK payments enable the transfer of funds within minutes.


To speed up the transfer, it is worth ordering transactions well in advance, avoiding placing orders before holidays and using modern payment methods. Thanks to this, we can minimize the waiting time for funds to be credited to the recipient's account.

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