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Foreign Wire Transfers

What is a wire transfer?

A wire transfer is a payment made to a foreign vendor by electronically transferring payment from UCLA's bank account directly to the vendor's bank account. A wire transfer cannot be processed to a sanctioned country and in some instances an Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) license is required to process the payment.

When do I request a wire transfer?

Wire transfers should be used for foreign vendors only. An Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) should be requested for domestic vendors.

What is the cost?

Outgoing foreign wire transfers are costly to the University and are therefore processed only upon request. The internal costs associated with wire transfers are absorbed entirely by the University and are not passed on to the requesting department.

Note: A minimum threshold of $200 is required to process a wire transfer.

What is the timeframe for a wire transfer to be processed?

Wire transfers are processed daily by 10 a.m. upon approval by the relevant Accounts Payable (AP) or Travel authorizers.

Due to the need for various levels of review and approval, a wire transfer may not be processed on the same business day the paperwork is received.

What is the Process? 

Steps Description
1. Collect required paperwork
  • Complete the new online Wire Transfer Request Form
    • All information with asterisk are required.
    • The Approver is the person authorized to approve a wire transfer request. Approver examples are: principal investigator, chief administrative officer, chief financial officer, manager, etc.
    • The "Purpose of Wire" box in the Payment Details section should reference the invoice number, account number, or unique identifier as requested by the vendor for their reconciliation purposes. 
  • Upload original invoice and any appropriate backup information relevant to the payment.
  • If the vendor or payee bank account information is not preprinted on the original invoice, request this information from the vendor or payee and upload with the Form. Acceptable documentations are:
    • A revised invoice with the correct bank details,
    • An email from the vendor or payee with the bank details described in the body of the email, or
    • A copy of vendor or payee bank statement.
  • Travel-related foreign wire transfers are requested here. They should not be submitted through Travel Express. 
2. Create a purchase order (P.O.)
  • Create a purchase order (P.O.) in BruinBuy when applicable. Be sure the P.O. has enough funds to cover the expense, taking into consideration the foreign currency’s fluctuating conversion rates.
  • Purchase Order should be issued to the vendor, not the bank or other third party.
  • “Wire transfer required.” must be written within the P.O. description.
3. Submit the request
  • Review all information with asterisk is complete and correct.
  • Review all required documentation is uploaded as an attachment to the Wire Transfer Request Form.
4. View the status

Once Wire Transfer Request Form has been submitted, you will receive an email from Salesforce informing you the wire has been received and then again once wire has been submitted to bank for payment.

In addition, the status of a wire transfer can be viewed on the BruinBuy inquiry screen. Please keep in mind that international transfers do not settle immediately. Settlement takes approximately five (5) business days due to the varying time zones and banking standards abroad.

International Bank Account Number (IBAN) Information
The IBAN is an international standard for identifying bank accounts across national borders. The IBAN was developed to facilitate payments within the European Union. For European Union countries, please provide the IBAN in lieu of the bank account. Information regarding the IBAN structure can be located at:

Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT)
The SWIFT is a standard format of Bank Identifier Codes. It is the unique identification code of a particular bank. Only SWIFTs connected to the SWIFT network can be used to execute wire transfers. They can be validated at: 

Currency Conversions
Foreign currency conversions can be calculated on the Bank of America website: