How to send cash to another bank account

It’s quite easy to transfer cash from one bank to another, and even easier if you have access to online banking or an online money management dashboard like you get with an Arro Personal Account.

You will need to know a few details about where you want to send the money, but as long as you have the information you need, it should not be difficult.

The most important things to know are the recipient’s name, sort code and account number, and we’ll explain why you need each of these below.

What is a sort code?

A sort code is a 6-digit number, usually written as three pairs of numbers, for example 12-34-56. You can think of it as your bank’s ‘address’ in the UK financial system.

Each UK bank, building society and other account provider has their own sort code, and it’s normal for the high street banks to have a different sort code for each of their physical branches, too.

It’s a way to tell exactly which bank your account is managed by, even down to branch-level, and it also means that different banks don’t have to check with each other that they haven’t duplicated an account number.

What is my account number?

Your own account number is a unique 8-digit number that identifies your account among all of the others issued by the same bank, building society or other provider.

Eight digits means up to 100 million different account numbers in theory (including everything from 00000000 to 99999999) and as each provider can issue the same account numbers – just with their own unique sort code – that’s more than enough for everyone in the UK to have even multiple current and savings accounts.

Once somebody knows your sort code, your account number is the next step to narrow down the destination of a money transfer, so that it ends up in the right account among those many millions of possibilities.

Why do they need my name?

You wouldn’t be surprised if somebody put your name on a letter mailed to your house – even though they only need your house number and street address for it to get there – and in a sense the same is true of bank transfers.

Although your sort code and account number identify your account uniquely anyway, including your name allows for extra checks that the correct account has been identified.

At the very least, if you request a bank transfer in-branch, it means the teller can double check the name on the receiving account and look to see if they entered the sort code and account number correctly.

Sending money to another bank

Before you send money to another account, make sure you know exactly who you are sending the money to. Unfortunately we hear of so many cases where account holders have sent money to fraudsters or expert bank account hackers and lose substantial amounts of money. A friendly word of advice, if you don’t know the person, do not send them money, even if it looks like a legitimate company/ person.

OK so you know the name, sort code and account number of your chosen recipient – now you have a few ways to make that payment.

  • Go to a physical bank branch, wait in line, and ask the teller to authorise the transfer for you.
  • Use an ATM to manually enter the transfer details if your account allows it.
  • Call telephone banking and get them to do it – but expect plenty of security questions.
  • Log on to your online banking or Arro Money dashboard and make the transfer from there.

Only one of those can be done from the comfort of your own home without having to speak to a call centre – which is partly why online transfers are rapidly becoming the method of choice when moving funds to another account.

Other things to know

When filling in your online transfer request, you might be asked to provide a payment reference. This is optional but it’s a good idea to make use of it if possible.

Examples of where you definitely should include a payment reference include:

  • Paying tax, as you should have a designated taxpayer reference.
  • Paying bills, as again, you will usually have a unique customer reference.
  • Paying invoices if you have been asked to include a specific reference number.

Basically if you are told to include a specific reference code of letters, numbers or both, make sure you fill it in.

Meanwhile when transferring funds to friends and family, this option is less important, but you can still fill it in to remind you both that it is a gift, or your share of the bills – or even just to say hello.

With an Arro Personal Account you have your own sort code and account number, plus access to send payments via Faster Payments and Direct Debit – everything you should need to transfer funds to any bank account in the UK.